Responsibilities of a UX designer
The day-to-day responsibilities of a UX designer can vary slightly depending on the industry, office structure and platform type. However, many duties are the same regardless of the setting. These responsibilities may include the following:
- Create sitemaps: UX designers follow user research to map out the screens and navigation flow for websites, apps or software. Developers and UI designers can use these blueprints as a guide for creating a user-friendly final product.
- Create prototypes: Prototyping is an important part of the UX design process. You work with developers and designers to build a working test product. This prototype allows you to test usability and make changes before final publication.
- Test usability: UX design requires extensive user testing. As a designer, you test the usability of your site or app yourself and get insights from other users.
- Make improvements: After testing, you lead the effort to make UX-related improvements to the site. This step in the design process follows the prototyping, testing and debugging procedure before publication of final updates.
- Research competitors: UX experts often look at competitors’ products and assess their usability with the aim of ensuring they are not lagging or missing a trend and are offering content, features or UX design elements to stand out from others.
- Check accessibility: All users need to be able to access the site regardless of limiting factors. UX designers ensure compliance with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. Due to the Americans with Disabilities Act, some users have grounds for lawsuits if they cannot access a business’s website.
As a UX designer, your job can include other duties, such as writing for UX or commissioning website content, creating reports and communicating suggestions to decision-makers.
Where do UX designers work?
UX designers work in a wide range of settings. Most businesses and organizations rely on the UX of websites, apps and other digital platforms to communicate and interact with customers and users. UX designers help ensure the usability and overall value of these presences.
One of the biggest advantages of a career in UX is the ability to find opportunities in almost any industry. Here are some of the most common examples.
- E-commerce businesses: UX designers in e-commerce ensure the site, product listings and all connected features, like the shopping cart and payment processing systems, meet customer needs and expectations. In this job, you work closely with developers and designers and use analytics to track engagement and sales conversions.
- Corporate websites: Corporations hire UX designers to ensure their websites provide the necessary information and interactivity to clients and customers. In addition to the design and usability of the site, you ensure users can find the information and features they need.
- Embedded systems: UX design isn’t limited to websites and smartphone apps. Embedded systems — such as those used for smart refrigerators, climate controls or home security — require UX expertise. In this setting, designers are responsible for ensuring users have access to the necessary information and can intuitively control their systems via a display panel or phone app.
- Software: UX designers work closely with software engineers and developers to ensure end users are able to operate the products effectively. With constantly updated software-as-a-service platforms becoming common, UX design professionals are becoming even more vital to software companies.
UX designers can find full-time employment with larger companies or work for a consultant or third-party service provider.
Should you become a UX designer?
You can consider a career in UX design if you enjoy user research, user testing, human-computer interaction, information architecture and other web-design tasks that combine creative and technical skills. While visual design abilities are important for UX design pros, you also need to understand accessibility, analyze user research and feedback and grasp the technical requirements of user interface and backend design.
When choosing a career path, you should decide if your skill set matches the job requirements. You should also assess the practical aspects of the job, like growth potential and salary, and measure whether you can realistically complete the necessary education.
Learn IT skills at University of Phoenix
If you’re interested in a career as a UX designer, University of Phoenix can help you learn the core skills in software development and web design typically required for this role. While UOPX does not offer a direct career path to becoming a UX designer, it does offer programs that teach graduates how to apply computer science theory to real-world business problems.
The University of Phoenix Bachelor of Science in Computer Science degree prepares students to analyze complex computing problems and apply development principles to produce computing-based solutions. Graduates will leave with skills that apply to a range of business IT needs and be prepared to pursue similar occupations to UX designers, such as software developers and computer consultants.
Students can also apply IT certificates to their computer science degree or pursue them as stand-alone certificates. For example, the University offers an Advanced Software Developer Certificate that covers topics ranging from introduction to software engineering to software architecture.
This is just a glimpse of what University of Phoenix has to offer in the field of computer science and IT. Explore what other IT programs are offered by visiting the UOPX website.