what is a UX designer?

As a UX designer, you make a product or service usable and accessible. Whether users are interacting with a digital product, like browsing a website and navigating a mobile app or using a service, user experience is vital. A user experience designer ensures that all aspects of interacting with company products are delightful and effective.

User experience designers specialise in building intuitive and simple interaction experiences by providing fun and aesthetically pleasing formats. To solve user problems and provide a positive experience, you research the needs of end users. For instance, you seek to understand users' motivations, attitudes, desires and expectations. Learning the pain points of the company's customers helps you create a seamless customer experience.

what does a UX designer do?

UX designers create digital products relying on interactive processes rooted in user-centric problem-solving and design thinking. As a UX designer, you work in various companies that rely on digital products. For instance, you could work in technology companies or IT consultancy firms. Some UX designers also work as freelancers assisting various companies in app or software development.

Would working in IT as a UX designer suit your visual awareness? Then read on to find out what competencies and qualifications you need to thrive in a UX designer role.

UX designer jobs

average UX designer salary

According to National Careers, the starting salary for junior UX designers is £25,000 per year. When you have some experience, your compensation package ranges from £30,000 to £50,000 annually. Senior UX designers earn over £50,000 annually, depending on their seniority and experience level.

Some employers have additional benefits as part of the employment contracts. UX designers' standard benefits include a bonus scheme, transport allowance, private medical insurance and house allowances.

what factors affect the salary of a UX designer?

The compensation package of a UX designer depends on experience and educational qualifications. When you are a junior UX designer, your salary is low due to the minimum responsibilities associated with your role. When you have some experience in the industry, you take on complex roles, which warrant a higher salary. Senior UX designers are experts in the field and negotiate a higher salary for their in-depth knowledge of the subject matter.

The location also influences your earnings based on the existing demand in the market and the cost of living. Large cities like London have higher compensation packages to reflect the demand for UX designers in the area. The cost of living also pushes the amount higher.

serious man thinking
serious man thinking

types of UX designers

User experience design is a multidisciplinary role with multiple niche specialisations. Some of the areas UX designers specialise in include:

  • UX visual design: as a visual designer, you rely on visual elements and graphics to solve user experience problems. For instance, you develop wireframes and prototypes for testing products or websites to ensure a better user experience. You also add design elements that maximise a site's usability while adhering to the brand guidelines.
  • UX research: as a user experience researcher, you use various research methods like conducting focus groups, surveys and usability testing to understand the user experience on a digital product. After studying human behaviours, you assist the design team in making the necessary adjustments to improve the UX design.
  • UX writing: when you specialise in UX writing, you create all the content that users interact with when they use an app, engage in a service or visit a website. You understand the audience and use words to encourage users to interact with the company's products.

working as a UX designer

As a UX designer, you create products based on a user-centric problem-solving approach. That means a single concept requires regular refinement and testing to ensure it achieves the desired goals. Here's a look into the duties and work environments of UX designers:


education and skills

Some of the educational qualifications include:

  • university course: many people join the role through a university course. It can be a higher national diploma, postgraduate award or undergraduate degree in digital marketing, product design or graphic design. The course should give you the skills to use the latest UX design tools to boost your career.
  • college: some people pursue college courses to advance their skills and join the UX design teams in companies. A course like A Level in computing, T level in digital production, design and development and Level 4 Certificate in digital media design is useful for UX designers. They lead to higher qualifications and open opportunities for apprenticeships.

UX designer skills and competencies

Focus on building the following skills to create a solid foundation for your career as a UX designer:

  • empathy: as a UX designer, you should put yourself in other people's shoes. Empathy helps you understand users' problems and challenges when interacting with a website and ideal solutions from a user's point of view. Empathy lets you obtain the best information from user research sessions with focus groups.
  • communication skills: as a UX designer, your job involves interviewing users during research and communicating feedback to the management team. Communication skills help you present your findings and solutions eloquently to clients and the management.
  • collaboration skills: as a UX designer, you require collaboration skills to work in harmony with your team. You can leverage others' expertise when exploring solutions and take feedback when you have collaboration skills.
  • critical thinking: as a UX designer, critical thinking skills are important for innovating new solutions and challenging your assumptions. User experience roles also require creative and critical thinking that keeps you on top of your game.
ux designers planning
ux designers planning


FAQs about working as a UX designer

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