What Are UX Designers Actually Doing?

Recently, I often see web companies are hiring “UX Designers” rather than “Web Designers” on job boards. I was curious to know what the average UX designers are doing and the difference between UX designers and web designers. I researched a job description of UX designers and what kind of skill sets are needed for them.

What is UX Design?

“UX” stands for “User Experience”. UX design is the process of designing (digital or physical) products that are useful, easy to use, and delightful to interact with.

UX Designer’s Tasks and Responsibilities

Research and User Testing

idea
First of all, UX designers research their customer’s needs. In the case of websites, they analyze user’s average session durations, popular pages and their behaviour. Also, user interviews and discussions are important. UX designers research and user test, then find out problems and solve them.

Creating a Wireframe and Prototype

wireframe
Based on research and user test, UX designers plan the project. Set personas which represents a cluster of users who exhibit similar behavioural patterns in their purchasing decisions, use of technology or products, customer service preferences etc, and create a customer journey map which shows a customer’s end to end journey and experience for a given goal. This is a phase to communicate with marketing team and decide the way to solve problems. Then create a wireframe and prototype.

Designing

designing
Some companies have a different section for interface design, but in other case it will be UX designer’s task. Create image assets and components like icons, background images etc, and a style guide as well.

Presentation

presentation
Responsibilities of UX designers are not only research and design, but also presenting research findings or concept designs logically. UX designers are frequent presenters. And good presentation skills are very important because if you can’t communicate your ideas, your insights and your designs, they’re simply not going to gain traction.

Wide Range of Abilities Are Required

Other than above skills, the knowledge of human factor, psychology or cognitive science will be things which every UX professional should have in their arsenal. However, unlike web designers, UX designers will not have many opportunities of coding.

Information on Job Offer of UX Designers

I researched those online job boards below, targeting Japan and English speaking countries including the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the UK. Data consisted of 134 job postings.

* I researched about information on job offer of web designers and developers in the past on “Skills a Web Designer And Web Developer Need“. Please check it out too!

Required Skills

skill
Most of companies required skills of Photoshop and Illustrator. Sketch and InVision are also popular tool overseas. “Other” includes InDesign, After Effects, Bootstrap, Keynote and Marvel. In Japan, skills of HTML (23%) and CSS (22%) are more popular than those graphic tools.

Years of Work Experience

year
29% of companies in English speaking countries need your great portfolio more than your past experience. Then over 3 years is accounted for 26%, over 2 years is accounted for 22%. Meanwhile, surprisingly, 81% of Japanese companies don’t care of your past experience.

Education

education
Companies which required bachelor degree in related area accounted for 62% and 38% of companies didn’t matter the educational background in overseas. Among companies that required bachelor degree, 87% of them were companies from the US. Remaining countries are Canada and the UK.
In contrast, there is no Japanese companies require educational backgrounds. I’m wondering how they choose candidates if they don’t matter candidate’s work experience and education? hmm…


It is getting clear what UX designers are doing for their work. I hope this post will help you to plan your future job. Interesting in UX design job? So it’s time to study about it! I will post about UX design on this blog. Please let me know your thoughts!

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