UX designer skills to unlock your career potential

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User experience (UX) designers are responsible for how users interact with a company’s apps, services, and other products. UX designers not only need expertise in a variety of design platforms, but they also need to be great communicators with a keen sense of empathy and attention to detail.

Toptal’s Enterprise Design Team Leader Stewart Pressney says a solid set of technical competencies, whether it’s rapid prototyping or coding experience, is very important for anyone looking to pursue a successful UX career. Hope it helps. “You don’t necessarily have to be a developer, but it’s good to understand how things work,” he says. “On top of that, you can use popular design tools like Figma and Adobe Photoshop Illustrator, and animation tools like After Effects.”

More importantly, understand how to use thinking tools and user research methods to articulate why design decisions are made. SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analyzes, journey maps, empathy maps, even surveys and interviews, talking to people and finding out what they want from a product and how a particular product works It is conceivable to comprehend. It’s not working at the moment,” adds Presssney.

UX designers should create portfolios that show how they think about problems. This is something many people overlook when deciding which pieces to show off. “You often see very high-fidelity mockups of the final state of the product,” he says Presssney. “But recruiters want to know how you got from A to B and how certain decisions were made to achieve certain goals within the business. ”

Data fluency and learning data tools

Jon Halk, senior director of design and product at TextNow, says his team has emphasized the concept of data fluency (both qualitative and quantitative). “Qualitative aspects [encompasses] Understanding the methodology and foundations of the research, of course, but on the quantitative side, it’s really understanding how you look at the data that relates to user behavior and what kind of data you want to see,” he says.

Halk said it’s important for UX designers to be data savvy, have a deep understanding of how to quantify the impact of their designs, and effectively communicate the data to those viewing the final product. I’m here. “Everybody can have their own opinion, but they can’t have their own facts,” he says. “One of the things I stress to my designers, he said, is to understand the basics of how you look at data. We have a lot.”

Today, UX designers are expected to think more in terms of business and products. He adds: About the user journey gap. “

As design becomes “much more important,” UX designers must be able to strengthen partnerships between product management, engineering, and product designers. There is a lot of duplication of roles.

With a degree in interaction design from art school, Pressney believes successful UX designers can start with a background in psychology or liberal arts. “Through either a bootcamp program or an online course, for animation he uses Figment, Prototype, After Effects, or creates components in Webflow that developers can take and incorporate into their products. You learn the hard skills we’re looking for,” he says. “There are tons of resources on YouTube as well. It’s a huge wealth of knowledge and it’s all free.”

Communication and leadership skills are key

According to Halk, communication and leadership skills are top priorities on the list of effective UX designers, because everyone must understand the purpose of the project and align all stakeholders with it. .

“You have to lead your team by showing up in your organization as a team evangelist, empowering them to create tension — healthy tension — across different departments, whether technology or business,” he says. “Create an environment where your team is at the table and sets the conditions for success.”

This includes making sure everyone is clear about the problem they are trying to solve and providing a healthy environment for problem solving. “You have to be able to get your ideas out there. You have to constantly deal with different innovations and repeatability to get the best ideas and the time to execute them,” he says. “If you don’t have enough time, you have to rely on what you know. is required.”

Build your skill set over time

Pressney sees rapid prototyping as its strength. Especially when it comes to quickly building things from ideas. “My progress has been to become a bit of a developer, go through his bootcamp coding, learn 3D tools, and most recently lead a team to interact with peers and learn how to work with design operations,” he says. says.

He notes that it can be overwhelming to look at senior designers within an organization and wonder how they acquired all these skill sets and how they got to the position. I admit it. “I think when you’re just starting out in the industry, it’s good to specialize in key areas where you can add a lot of value to the teams you want to work on,” he says. “Whether it’s a technical team or a creative team, it helps you get your first job, and then you can add to your skill set as you improve your skills.”

A UX designer must be a bridge between multiple teams. “Usually it’s the marketing and creative department, the engineering and the developers who actually build the product, and the leadership or management,” he says. “Empathy Maps and Journeys It is important for him to have skills in tools such as maps.”

It’s always helpful to have a document (or similar asset) that allows multiple stakeholders to see not just the current state of the product, but its future potential and customer impact. “If you have a research-backed, very clear, well-designed document that shows what a particular product does in a particular area, it really helps the team align with their goals. “I always say that the foundation of a good UX designer is being able to actually talk to your users and get a sense of how they are reacting to your product.”


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