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A career guide to becoming a UX Designer 

Published: Friday 23rd October 2020

User Experience or UX designer jobs involve using specialist computer software to create websites and apps. You will be involved in designing and creating digital products and services for specific target groups. With the digital world continuing to grow,  User Experience jobs are becoming a trend. There’s a huge variety, hence the role could be in any one of many different industries. For example, creating mobile clothing apps for young people or a website providing legal advice to homeowners.  

You will be working both alone and as part of a wider team of designers. The role can be found in many different industries, as well as the public sector. This can range from local governments and NHS Trusts to small, medium and large-sized companies. Many UX designer jobs exist in the retail, health, finance and media sectors.  

What does a UX Designer do? 

A career in UX design involves creating useful, easy-to-use, visually appealing applications and websites/pages. With the role found in so many different sectors, your specific duties will likely vary. For example, the needs and designs of a retail company will be very different to that of a local government organisation. However, becoming a UX designer does involve general tasks common to the role, these include: 

UX Designer sitting at graphic studio in front of laptop and computer while working online

  • Use specialist tools, such as Adobe, Axure ad InVision to create wireframes and prototypes 
  • Create and implement user journey site maps 
  • Work across various platforms, such as mobile and desktop versions 
  • Work closely with team members to quickly respond to problems 
  • Maintain and improve existing websites/apps when required 

Work is usually office based. However, there are growing opportunities to work remotely. If working for an external design agency, you may be required to visit clients at their premises to receive briefs of provide updates. Freelance opportunities exist in this role, as do part-time and short-term contract positions.   

How to become a UX Designer 

Regarding how to become an UX designer, there are a number of different routes you can take. The majority of UX designer employers will require you to have a university degree in a related subject. Accepted degrees include those in computer science, graphic design and digital design. However, HND’s in related subjects may also be accepted. You will need to demonstrate a keen interest in digital design, including strong working knowledge of languages such as HTML. 

ux developer and ui designer brainstorming about mobile app interface wireframe design on table

Previous experience can include your own website or blog. There are also internship and voluntary opportunities in this role. These can greatly improve your chances of paid employment, even if you do not have a relevant university degree. In terms of the skill sets and character traits needed to become a UX designer, these include the following: 

  • Strong interest and knowledge of coding and design principles and languages 
  • Conceptual thinker with good problem-solving and concentration skills 
  • Strong communication abilities and eye for detail 
  • Clear understanding of user experience principles 
  • Determined, methodical and able to work to deadlines 

Salaries and career development 

UX designer jobs can provide a great career in a sector that continues to show impressive growth. With the role found in so many different industries, there are often many opportunities available at varying levels. Entry-level positions are common, with duties likely focusing on research and analysis before moving onto UX projects. Once you have gained around five-years of experience you will be able to move into more senior UX designer roles. Other roles include head of user experience, content strategist and IX design manager. There are also opportunities to work freelance, including consultancy positions. Regarding salaries, junior EX designer jobs offer around £19,000 – £25,000. From here, salaries will rise to between £30,000 – £50,000 for experience UX designers. Management-level roles can see wages rise to £65,000 depending on the sector.

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