5 Reasons to Become a UX Designer
5 Reasons to Become a UX Designer
If you're considering taking up UX design, become informed about the outlook of the field and what being a UX designer necessitates.
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Customer experience is a huge part of marketing. It always has been. When customers shop in physical stores, those store owners do what they can to make the experience pleasant and convenient. That’s why they have clerks that ask, “Can I help you find anything?” That’s why they organize their products in departments and on shelves; that’s why they have signs directing customers to those departments. And they do make efforts to ease the checkout process, although that is still an area of challenge (think long checkout lines at the grocery store). Many stores have opted for self-check lines to improve this part of the shopping experience.
But what about online shopping? What about the user experience there?
The same goals are in place – make the user experience smooth, streamlined, convenient, pleasant, and enjoyable. And, in the course of all of this, the physical appearance of that site must be appealing too. All of these things and more are what a UX designer does. And if anyone has or decides to develop the skills to become a UX designer, there are lots of reasons why this career is terrific.
It’s a Great Time for UX
A lot is happening in design right now. When I think about my early days as a designer, I remember clients who wanted a glitzy website, every page filled with content and sales pitches, and lots of “stuff” that the visitor/user “needed” to do on a large PC screen, seated at their home or work computers. These sites were busy and a bit complex. And the work, frankly, was fun and gave me an opportunity to experiment with layout, color, visuals, etc.
How things have changed. And how more exciting they have become.
Today, with about half of the world’s population accessing sites and apps via their mobile devices, the UX designer faces new challenges.
- They have to adopt a mobile-first design strategy, ensuring that a site is amazing on a small screen, that users get the information they need and want in minimalized form, and that they don’t have a lot of typing to do to complete their actions.
- They have to get the training they need to use the new technologies that make a site/app a fun, efficient, and enjoyable experience – things like biometric identity, HD visuals and videos, cashless payment, citation generator, chatbots, personalization, and even AR, to name a few.
All of this new technology and the tools to use it in the design of websites give UX designers the chance to let all of their “creative juices” loose and have great fun while they create amazing designs and elements for their clients.
UX Designers Who are “Current” are in High Demand
Consumers download and use apps that give them fast and efficient methods to accomplish their goals. If they want information, they want visuals and videos; if they want to purchase, they want stuff like the one-click purchase that Amazon offers; they want simplicity.
Companies understand this, and so they need UX designers with the latest skills who can create sites/apps that will be popular with users. They have to compete in a tough marketplace in which consumers have lots of options. And when they say great design elements and features working for their competitors, they want the same thing.
Glassdoor, a company that tracks earnings of various professions, estimates that the average income a UX designer can expect is $90,000 in the U.S. compare that with starting salaries of $45,000 for teachers, many of whom have Master’s degrees.
In terms of education and training, though, UX designers can prove their abilities without a degree, if they have taken the training (much of it online) that gives them the latest skills and have samples of their work for employers or clients to assess.
The Creative Element
Most designers are creative. They love to experiment, to take some risks, and to craft the unique and “never-been-done-before.” If this sounds like you, then UX design will be a great “fit” for a career.
Options for Work Environment
The great thing about being a UX designer is that you can choose a work environment that will be a “fit” for your lifestyle needs. You can work for a large corporation, as a part of a design team; you can work for a design firm with assigned clients and no need to market yourself; or you can choose to freelance as a solopreneur and have the flexibility that comes with the work life.
Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.