What is UX Design and Is It the Right Industry for You?

UX Design: What is all the buzz about?

The UX Design field has attracted a lot of attention recently. The salaries are high and the rapid job growth in the industry is expected to continue. Want to take advantage of this blossoming job market? Are you a creative individual? Do you have technical/software development skills? If so, continue reading to explore whether the UX Design industry is right for you!

First of all, what is UX Design?

UX is short for User Experience. UX Designers are responsible for cultivating a customer’s experience with a product and ensuring that its design is easy to use, appealing, and intuitive. According to Glassdoor, the average base salary for a UX Designer is around $95,000 per year, but you can earn more if you have more years of experience. This high salary makes UX Design one of the more lucrative creative careers. While UX Design does require specialized skills, it is possible to transition into UX Design from many fields, and you do not need a specific degree to become a UX Designer.

What types of skills does a UX Designer need?

UX Designers have a mix of creative and analytical skills. One of the main skills a UX Designer needs is the ability to conduct research. UX Designers analyze customer needs and explore how a person will interact with a particular product. They conduct tests to see which versions of prototypes are more effective, and adjust their designs from there. For example, on most websites, everything from the colors, to the layouts, to the shapes of buttons and icons has been well thought out and tested by a UX Designer. UX Designers also need strong design abilities. Knowing design principles, best practices, and common design software is necessary in order to deliver design prototypes and finished products. Some of the most common software used in UX Design include Figma, Sketch, Adobe XD, Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop. Ultimately, UX Designers must combine their artistic and strategic sides to be constant problem solvers. They must champion the interests of the customers and constantly pursue better solutions to design problems. If that sounds exciting rather than tedious, UX Design may be perfect for you!

I want to pursue UX Design, where do I start?

Where you start on your UX Design journey depends on your background. If you have a background in product design, web development, graphic design or a similar field already, transitioning into UX Design will be easier. You may be able to learn UX Design software and best practices on your own, which can help you develop a portfolio of UX Design work. Portfolios are key in getting hired as a UX Designer because they show companies what skillsets you possess and how you can add value to their organization. If you do not come from a technical or design background at all, it is probably a good idea to consider more formal classes. SMU CAPE offers a UX Design Certificate program that doesn’t require you to have a college degree or any specific prior experience. Our instructors have decades of experience in the industry and can help you make the career transition into UX Design. Find out more about the SMU UX Design Certificate program and how it can advance your career here.