User experience design is a multifaceted concept that includes different dimensions like interaction design, information architecture, visual design, usability, and user-computer interaction. UX design is the process of designing (digital or physical) products that are useful, user-friendly, and delightfully interactive. It’s about enhancing the experience that people have while interacting with your product, and making sure they find value in what you’re providing. UX designers combine market research, product development, strategy, and design to create seamless user experiences for products, services, and processes. They build a bridge to the customer, helping the company to better understand — and fulfill — their needs and expectations.
1. Scope of UX Design
UX is a broad umbrella term that can be divided up into four main disciplines: Experience Strategy (ExS), Interaction Design (IxD), User Research (UR), and Information Architecture (IA).
UX design is not just about the end-user; it also brings huge value to the business providing the product or service. Experience strategy is all about devising a holistic business strategy, incorporating both the customer’s needs and those of the company. Interaction design looks at how the user interacts with a system, considering all interactive elements such as buttons, page transitions, and animations. Interaction designers seek to create intuitive designs that allow the user to effortlessly complete core tasks and actions. UX design is all about identifying a problem and designing the solution. This requires extensive research and feedback from existing or potential customers. During the research phase, UX designers will launch surveys, conduct interviews, and usability testing, and create user personas in order to understand the end user’s needs and objectives. They gather both qualitative and quantitative data and use this to make good design decisions. Information architecture is the practice of organizing information and content in a meaningful and accessible way. This is crucial in helping the user to navigate their way around a product. To determine the IA of any given product, information architects consider the relationship between different sets of content.
UX designers not only come up with solutions to user problems; they also need to present their ideas and designs to key stakeholders as part of their day-to-day work. Larger companies might employ a team of designers, with each focusing on a specific aspect of the process such as research or visual design. As the tech industry grows, the field of UX design is becoming increasingly varied. UX designers can find themselves working on a wide range of projects within various contexts. The usability of a website, mobile application, or piece of software will largely determine its success on the market. Together with UI designers, UX designers are responsible for ensuring a smooth online experience for the user. From eCommerce websites to dating apps, from CRM software to web-based email clients, each and every online journey you take has been carefully designed by a UX professional. With the global VR market expected to be worth around $44 billion by 2024, UX designers will increasingly be required to design immersive experiences. Likewise, since augmented reality has also been working its way into the mainstream, more and more, UX designers will have to adapt their approach to ensure the latest technologies are accessible and user-friendly.
2. UX Designer As A Career Option
Nowadays, you cannot maintain a successful website without UX/UI design so it is becoming quite essential with the growth of industries such as Artificial Intelligence or AI. There is a rising demand for designers or professionals who have specialized in UX/UI. A UX/UI designer is more of a specialist and has a broader set of skills than a web designer which is why there is more scope for them. Those who are familiar with UX/UI create a customized experience for the user and are deeply involved in each of the processes from data collection to behavior analysis and marketing. Their skills are focused on presenting a viable solution and creating a website that is responsive, easy to navigate, and has all the suitable elements such as sliders, buttons, and icons. In UX, you are expected to come up with problem-solving strategies that boost the usability of a website or application. A UX designer needs to be aware of this while testing and delivering the final product.
According to a study, design-driven firms have outperformed their competitors by 219% over a course of 10 years. Furthermore, a study commissioned by Adobe found that design thinking in business creates a measurable competitive advantage. Design-led companies reported a 41% higher market share, 50% more loyal customers, and 46% competitive advantage overall. So, what kind of UX job role could you expect?
• A Specialist who becomes an expert in one type of UX design, such as interaction, visual, or motion design. UX specialists are more common in large companies with a large number of designers, such as Google.• A Generalist is responsible for a wide range of tasks. The majority of UX design jobs are generalist positions, especially in companies with a small number of UX designers. Entry-level UX designers typically work in generalist roles, and some people choose to stay in generalist roles for the rest of their careers.
3. Popular UX Courses To Help You In Your Career Path
A. Developed by the Georgia Institute of Technology, Coursera’s Introduction to User Experience Design is an easy-to-follow (and free) course led by Dr. Rosa I. Arriaga. Consisting of lecture videos, readings, and quizzes, the course covers all the essentials of UX design, and it’s great if you’re looking for a rapid, relatively detailed overview without an intense practical component. The lectures are engaging and the course syllabus is clear and straightforward.
The focus of this course is to introduce a beginner to User Experience (UX) Design. The course introduces the novice to a cycle of discovery and evaluation and a set of techniques that meet the user’s needs. This course is geared toward the beginner and enthusiast. It is for learners that have heard about UX or UI design but don’t have any practical experience in the disciplines. In this course, you will be introduced to the four-step user interface design cycle. The course is designed such that you will be exposed to a set of techniques to gather information about a) what the user needs b) how to design and model interfaces based on these and c) how to evaluate the design to ascertain that the user’s goals are met. These techniques are tools that are used in a standardized manner and provide the data that you may use in your design. The course is 100% online and takes approximately six hours to complete. In the end, you’ll receive a completion certificate as proof of participation, which can be shared via LinkedIn.
B. Featuring weekly, live online lessons and small class sizes, UX Academy’s Beginner UX Design Course will teach you the basics of user experience and give you the confidence to undertake new, bold, and innovative projects. Enrolment costs between £1050 – 1500, but they offer monthly payment options. Taught by first-class tutors dedicated to helping you succeed, this part-time, eight-week program will fully equip you with all of the tools you need to succeed in UX design.
In this beginner course, you will learn user experience fundamentals and master the design process with a user-centered approach. In addition, you will learn several tools and methodologies to succeed as a UX designer. The course is comprehensive and delves into the different techniques designers use to analyze research findings, identify user needs, and translate them into design solutions. The course enables you to discover how usability principles affect the efficiency of a product and how behavioral principles drive users’ expectations by combining principles of psychology, convention, and technology to create an intuitive digital interface. Finally, the course will teach you to plan and conduct usability tests and learn how to iterate your UX design project based on user insights.
C. SuperHi’s Introduction to User Experience Design Course aims to teach beginners the skills they’ll need to create practical, intuitive experiences for users. While it is an affordable ($149), the introductory course, students can still expect to cover all the bases of an iterative UX design process—including user research, wireframing, prototyping, UI design, and user testing. Whether you’re looking to kickstart a career in UX design, or you’re currently a non-digital-focused designer wanting to design for the web or apps, this course is an accessible and affordable option for getting a solid introduction to the field.
This beginner course will teach you what goes into a UX design process and how it differs from a traditional graphic design process. You will also learn what are the popular research methods and how you can turn insights from research into personas, user journeys, site maps, and user flows. This course also covers conducting user testing with real people, getting feedback, and how to make informed design decisions based on them. It also includes creating wireframes and prototypes to hand off to clients and stakeholders, conducting user testing, and turning feedback into insight to inform design decisions. Going from wireframes to design, and creating consistent, effective designs, at the end of the course, there are case studies to apply your learnings in real life.
D. Popular learning platform Udemy’s User Experience Design Fundamentals Course is next up. Taught by expert Joe Natoli, this course is an excellent option for anyone looking to grasp the basics of UX design without breaking the bank. Made up of on-demand videos, followed by assignments where you will apply what you’re learning, so it sinks in, this ten-hour course will equip you with a complete understanding of how to practice UX—from research to strategy.
This course is comprehensive and covers a lot of basics for a beginner UX designer. It starts with understanding user experience design and its importance. The course also delves into the elements of user experience and how these elements function cohesively. It also teaches strategies, research processes, and business goals of a potential design to meet the target user needs. You will learn how to develop content requirements and architect information effectively. The course also covers a basic understanding of the principles of digital media and navigation design. The sources and assignments will enhance you to create wireframes with effective information design. Another feature of this course is that you will get insights into the A/B testing processes.
E. Human Factors and Culture in Design is another amazing course to learn about User experience or UX from edX. In this particular course, you’ll be taken into a realm where UX design is tailored for the differences in users’ cultural backgrounds and abilities. With a specific design in mind, you will be encouraged to focus on gradually elaborating on it using a cultural perspective. The course is mostly targeted at learners who are interested in Chinese culture.
This course will teach you how to create excellent user experience (UX) designs that are user-centric and consider factors such as consumer demand, ability, and cultural background. Understanding UX design, or how to design with the user in mind, is not only a requirement for designers but also a skill product managers and developers should develop throughout their careers. This course will help you develop unique critical, analytical perspectives on user experience and user interface. This course starts with specific design cases and gradually dives deeper into the newest research findings, covering from the simplest to the most complicated studies of user analysis, task analysis, user interface design, cross-cultural design, user experience design, robot, and human interaction design, the newest health care, and human factor research projects, and more. As we have seen, UX design is an extremely multifaceted field. Working in UX requires a highly diverse skill set coupled with a passion for user-centric design. A career in UX can be very varied, challenging, and financially rewarding; the average compensation for a UX designer is approximately $97,000 in the US. UX designers come from all walks of life, and you don’t necessarily need a university degree to break into the field. Employers tend to look for a mixture of design skills, business acumen, and soft skills among others.
Some skills which will boost your probability to be a UX designer are:
• Proficiency in creating user stories, personas, sitemaps, wireframes, prototypes, and storyboards
• Ability to plan and conduct user testing, surveys, and formal evaluations
• Ability to iterate your work based on user testing data and qualitative feedback
• Understanding of interaction design principles and information architecture
• Ability to translate goals, objectives, and data into digital experiences
• Understanding of business metrics, and how your designs contribute to performance
• Strong communication and presentation skills; an ability to articulate and discuss your design decisions with clients and stakeholders• Flexibility and adaptability