What is a UX Designer and What Do They Do?

by Pranav Ramesh
November 27, 2020
What Does a UX Designer Do?

What is a UX Designer and What Do They Do? As a UX designer, odds are high that you’ll be asked to explain what value you bring to the project. UX designer job descriptions vary widely between companies. A typical UX designer job description will include terms like ‘design’, ‘wireframe’, and ‘prototype’, but that’s where the similarities end. There is still quite a bit of confusion regarding what UX design is, and what UX designers actually do.

If you are a UX designer, this roadmap could help you describe not just what you do but what value you bring to a project. And if not, it could at least clear up some of the confusion around the question, “What do UX designers actually do?”

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1. What is UX design?

If you look at five different UX design job descriptions you are likely to find five varying sets of requirements. UX design is a generic term that covers many disciplines. It is also commonly confused with UI design, leading to more confusion.

UX (user experience) design is the bridge that connects products or services to the people that use them. The way you use an app on your phone, a website, or even a kitchen appliance was designed to be used that way. It combines everything from design and technology to market research and psychology. Any and every factor that drives a person to use something a particular way is part of the UX design.

2. What does a UX designer do?

UX designers have a wide range of responsibilities. They typically work with a larger team that shares the goal of making the product better for the end-user. This could include making it more intuitive, easier, faster, more efficient, or just plain fun.

UX designers typically connect the business stakeholders with the development team. With the experience of the user at the forefront, they campaign for additional features, design edits, a complete change in the product; anything that gives the customer a better product.

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3. What are the processes and tasks involved in UX design?

While the role will vary widely based on the company, product, or service, there are a few functions almost all UX designers are expected to do. They perform user research, create customer personas, design workflows and wireframes, build prototypes, and conduct testing.

  • The first step is the User research, where the UX designer delves deeper into understanding the customer. The designer will start with a brief from the client, do additional research, then use those insights to develop a customer persona.
  • Next comes the task of shaping the customer persona. A customer persona is a vague representation of what a typical user might be like. For example, Lisa is a highly driven go-getter with a university education, who needs to get things done quickly. This generalization can help with deciding what features to add or remove from the product.
  • Following this, design workflows and wireframes are used during the design process to map out the path a typical user would take. The prototype is then used to test the design before moving into production.
  • Once the product or service is built, the UX designer is usually part of the testing phase. Here, the team ensures the product does what it is intended to, in the way it is meant to, before releasing it to the customer.

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4. UX designer skills

It should come as no surprise that a UX designer needs a wide range of skills. They must possess organizational skills to develop workflows, design skills to create wireframes and prototypes, and analytical skills to decipher market research and test the final product.

On top of the technical skills, though, a UX designer must have outstanding soft skills as a great deal of their time is spent interacting with people. They touch base with key stakeholders to learn what is needed for the business, technical teams to create the product, and customers to get feedback and make adjustments. So, the ability to communicate and collaborate quickly and effectively is critical.

Conclusion

The role of a UX designer encompasses many different characteristics. Depending on the needs of the team, the product, or the service, the designer will have to use a variety of technical abilities and soft skills. Additionally, there is still quite a bit of confusion about what exactly a UX designer does. Because of this, UX designer job descriptions can look very different for different companies. Hopefully, the information above helps clear up some of the confusion.

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