Driverless cars, audio sunglasses, phone watches, smart coffee cups… Lifestyle technology creep is insidious in the very best of ways, and the products all have excited end users looking for a seamless experience. Which is why the UX designer is currently a highly prised commodity…
If you’re considering becoming a UX Designer, then now is a very good time to sign up for a diploma. Demand for the role has grown exponentially in many countries - including the usual key territories of Europe, America and Australia. Plus developing tech nations such as China and India.
CNN have predicted that UX Design jobs will have grown by over 20% by the end of the year. And as a result of the high demand, salaries are increasing. With demand outstripping supply, applicants often consider two or three offers before accepting a permanent role.
So, if you’ve read this far and are excited by the prospects, there may be a crucial question that needs answering:
So what exactly does a UX designer do?
The answer is actually more complicated than you might think.
To say that UX design is just about design, is rather like saying that marketing is just about, well, marketing things. Over time, marketing departments have integrated with every part of business to encompass what a company does, what it stands for, how it behaves, how it promotes itself, what research it conducts and even its overall strategy.
It's the UX Designer's role to put themselves in the mindset of the user and understand how they could better use and enjoy a product.
Similarly, UX design encompasses a number of disciplines with many touch points within an organisation, such as research, design, writing copy, testing products, internal communications and so on. It’s hard to pigeon-hole exactly what the role involves - made harder by the fact that the job title means different things to different organisations. As a result, describing exactly what the role involves and what skills are required is tricky.
But we better do that if you’re considering making it your profession! So here goes…
It's the UX designer's role to understand exactly what a user wants from a product or service; to put themselves in the mindset of the user and understand how they could better use and enjoy a product.
It now goes beyond just graphic design and UI (User Interface), to further focus on the emotion and logic involved with a product’s use - the complete experience. In many ways it therefore goes to the very heart of a customer’s interaction with a brand.
As a result, the user experience (UX) design process touches the entire business and production process of creating products; from research through to designing and branding them with usability and functionality at front of mind.
The UX Designer can come from all sorts of backgrounds, from design to programming to psychology, even.
A UX designer needs to put themselves in the role of consumer, not just for use of a product, but also why they might acquire the product, and the aftercare they will be looking for. This isn’t just from a utility point of view, but also from the perspective of fun and comfort. In the case of something like an iPhone, the product goes way beyond being just a product and is an integral part of people’s lives.
As a result of being such a varied role, people come to UX design from all sorts of backgrounds, from design to programming to psychology, even. They all need a suite of skills though that will best serve them in the role. And that largely comes down to what motivates and interests you.
If you’re naturally empathetic, enjoy interaction with people and have a keen interest in technology trends and gadgets, then that’s a good starting point. Also, on your list of skills and likes should be problem solving, collaboration, communication, some writing and project management aptitude, curiosity and an analytical mindset. It’s a real right brain/left brain mix of logic and creativity.
In the case of something like the iPhone, the product goes way beyond being just a product and is an integral part of people's lives.
Weirdly though, if you’re purely interested in design, then UX is probably not for you. It’s more about innovative solutions than innovative designs.
Oh, and don’t worry if you’re not a geek and you don’t understand coding - the pressures around such disciplines has largely disappeared.
Still not convinced it’s for you? Well, if you’re not quite over the line yet, then consider this…
Someone who is good at UX design has a massive potential to develop their career quickly in many different directions, given the multi-disciplinary nature, and the number of areas of the business you will be exposed to.
With the right mindset, you can rise very quickly through the ranks.
The technology world is also not slowing down anytime soon and so long-term security is good - UX designer is regularly in the lists of top 10 highly demanded roles. Options to become a freelancer with flexible working is also high.
Finally, at their very core, most people would love to have a job that helps change the world. While UX design might not quite do that, it certainly influences and improves how people experience the world.
It doesn’t get much better than that…
Macleay College’s Diploma of User Experience Design also provides in-depth focus on:
- UX and real-world issues
- Entrepreneurial thinking
- Design literacy and visual communication
- Cognition, social and emotional interaction
- Coding language and relevance
- Interaction design and user interface frameworks
Why choose a Course at Macleay College?
At Macleay College we believe in real-world course content to ensure you’re job ready.
- Our course material and teaching method incorporates the latest industry practices and real-world experience
- Our lecturers have industry experience and up-to-date knowledge
- Our small classes feature personalised teaching that nurtures your unique strengths
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