UX Designers

Your constantly-updated definition of UX Designers and collection of videos and articles
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What are UX Designers?

User experience (UX) designers are professionals who create meaningful and user-centric digital experiences. They use design principles, psychology and research methodologies to make sure that products and services are easy to use, visually appealing and in line with user expectations. Designers understand user needs and behaviors to make intuitive interfaces, optimize users’ journeys and satisfaction—and drive business success. 

 Author and Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) Expert, Professor Alan Dix explains why UX design is so important: 

 

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Why are UX Designers So Important?

‍UX designers play a vital role to shape the digital landscape. They’re the architects of seamless and intuitive interactions between users and digital products or services. These designers craft compelling experiences that meet—and exceed—the needs and expectations of a design solution’s target users. As team members, they form the backbone of design teams and stick to a UX design process like design thinking. Designers strive to create products—like apps and websites—that ultimately drive customer satisfaction and loyalty.  

The roles and responsibilities of a UX designer can vary—and these depend on the company and project. In the main, though, their responsibilities include:  

1. Research and Analysis

UX designers do extensive research to get insights into user needs, behaviors and pain points. They use various techniques—like interviews, surveys and usability testing—to collect data and inform the design process. User research is a really vital part of a designer’s role. Without the insights collected from the various methods they use to observe and interview the people who will use a product or service, designers cannot create the right or needed design.  

 UX Strategist and Consultant, William Hudson explains the importance of user research: 

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2. User Persona Development

UX designers take research findings and apply them to create user personas. These personas represent the target audience. Personas highlight the audience’s goals, motivations and preferences. They also reflect the user flows—what users experience in the context of how they approach, encounter and use a given product or service.  

Image of a user persona with details.

An example of a persona.

© Interaction Design Foundation, CC BY-SA 4.0

User personas serve as a reference point throughout the design process, and ensure that the final product or service meets user expectations. 

Professor Alan Dix explains personas: 

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3. Information Architecture and Wireframing

UX designers organize and structure content to make it as usable and accessible as they can. They create information architecture—which defines the hierarchy and flow of information within a product. Wireframing is another crucial step where UX designers make low-fidelity layouts so they can visualize the product's structure and functionality. These visual representations let designers visualize a product or service’s layout and flow. And wireframes are basic representations of the interface.  

 William Hudson explains wireframing: 

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4. Prototyping and User Testing

UX designers build interactive prototypes so they can test—and validate—design concepts. Prototypes—interactive models that simulate the user experience—are tools that help UX designers iterate and refine their designs before going into development. Like wireframes, prototypes are essential tools for UX designers, and they let users interact with the product—and then give feedback on it. They can be low-fidelity (lo-fi) or high-fidelity (hi-fi) in terms of how sophisticated they are. The former are especially useful early in the design process, while the latter are typically far more expensive representations of how the final product will look. In any case, prototypes enable designers to iterate and refine their designs based on user insights. 

Image of a design team doing paper prototyping.

Prototyping is a highly effective way to get design ideas “out there” for testing—and paper prototyping is a great way to do it early and smartly.

© Interaction Design Foundation, CC BY-SA 4.0

5. Collaboration with UI Designers and Developers

UX designers collaborate with user interface (UI) designers to make sure that the visual elements of a product run in line with the overall user experience strategy. They work closely with developers to make sure that the design gets implemented seamlessly.  

6. Continuous Improvement

Even after a product gets launched, UX designers look at the user feedback and behavior so they can spot areas for improvement. They do usability testing and collect data to make data-driven decisions so they can boost the user experience.  

How important UX designers are for brands is something that’s impossible to overstate. As designers focus on user needs, they make digital experiences that are intuitive, engaging and memorable. This—in turn—drives customer satisfaction, loyalty and positive perceptions of the brand.  

Careers and Roles in UX Design

UX designers have diverse career opportunities—and they can specialize in various roles. Common ones include:  

1. UX Designer

UX designers are responsible for a product or service’s overall user experience. They do user research, create wireframes and prototypes, and they collaborate with UI designers and developers to bring the design to life. 

2. UX Researcher

UX researchers focus on how to understand user needs, behaviors and motivations through various research methods. UX research splits into two approaches. Quantitative research focuses on the “what,” “where” and “when” of users’ needs and problems, and includes such techniques as A/B testing, analytics and tree testing. Meanwhile, qualitative research focuses on why users think and feel the way they do, and involves—for example—diary studies, interviews and usability testing. UX researchers gather data and insights both to inform the design process, and to make it so that the final product does indeed meet user expectations.  

3. UX/UI Designer

UX/UI designers combine both user experience and user interface design skills. They’re responsible for making visually appealing and user-friendly interfaces—ones that are lined up with the overall user experience strategy.  

4. UX Writer

UX writers specialize in making content that’s clear and concise—content that guides users throughout their journey. They make sure that the language that’s in the product is consistent, informative and easy to understand.  

Author, Speaker and UX Writer, Torrey Podmajersky explains what UX writing involves: 

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5. UX Consultant

UX consultants provide their guidance and expertise to organizations that seek to improve the user experience of their products or services. Consultants conduct audits, provide recommendations and develop strategies on how to enhance the overall user experience. 

To excel in these roles, UX designers will typically have a background in design, psychology, human-computer interaction or some field that’s related. They’ve got a deep understanding of user-centered design principles, research methodologies and emerging trends in technology.  

Challenges that UX Designers Face

UX designers contend with a variety of challenges—and here are some: 

1. Balance User Needs and Business Goals

UX designers have to strike a balance between how they meet user needs and align with the organization’s business goals. It’s something that calls for effective communication and collaboration with stakeholders—to make sure the design meets both what the users and the business expect. Users have diverse needs and preferences—and some core considerations are vital to work into the final product. So, UX designers have got to advocate for users, and educate stakeholders and clients about the need to keep user needs in sharp focus throughout the design process. 

Design Director at Societe Generale, Morgan Peng gives valuable advice on this key issue that designers face: 

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2. Adapt to Evolving Technology and Trends

As technology rapidly evolves, UX designers need to stay updated with the latest trends and tools—adapt their skills and design approaches to accommodate new platforms, devices and user behaviors.  

Image of a staff member serving a customer in a shop with a point of sale system.

For example, both the cashier and the customer have their own user experiences, which the Point-of-Sale (PoS) system and the ordering system influence. UX designers help shape these experiences as they keep up with new ways to pay and more.

© Jacob Lund Photography and Noun Project, Fair Use

3. Acknowledge and Handle User Research Limitations

It can be a challenge to do user research—whenever there are budget and time constraints. UX designers must find innovative ways to collect insights and validate design decisions, all within these limitations.  

4. Design for Accessibility and Inclusivity

UX designers also have a challenge facing them to design inclusive experiences that cater to diverse user needs and abilities. They need to consider accessibility standards and make sure that their designs really are usable for all users.  

See why accessibility is such a crucial design consideration: 

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5. Collaborate with Cross-Functional Teams

UX designers work closely with other members of the product team—such as UI designers, graphic designers, developers and product managers—as well as stakeholders from different disciplines. They collaborate to make sure that the design goes in line with the overall product vision and meets business goals. Effective communication and solid teamwork are crucial things for successful collaboration to be a reality.  

UX Designer and Author of Build Better Products and UX for Lean Startups, Laura Klein explains the value of cross-functional teams.   

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6. Experience Variations in the Definition of Their Role

For various reasons—including budgetary constraints—some organizations can blur the job description of a UX designer with that of a UI designer. And they can expect a combined UI-UX designer in one. UX designers focus on the overall experience of the user, as interaction designers or experience designers. UI designers, meanwhile, are responsible for the look and feel of the product—like the UI elements. Similarly, UX design skills are more concerned with how to understand user behavior and make a product that’s functional and is one that really meets their needs. UI design skills—though—focus on how users interact with the interface. UI designers have deep knowledge of visual design and create visuals that guide users well through the product. Meanwhile, UX designers take a more holistic approach to design and its many facets—including how to implement an interface.  

The perspective that UX designers bring to the table is unique. They advocate for the user and make sure that the design runs in line with the overall product vision. As such, they form a vital foundation—or runway—for the right thing ultimately taking off in the marketplace. 

Educational Background and Expertise

There’s no specific educational path one must take to become a UX designer. Even so, most professionals do have a background in design, psychology or a related field. Employers often prefer a bachelor's degree in design, human-computer interaction or some disciple that’s related. Even so, practical experience, a strong portfolio and relevant certifications can also be invaluable assets.  

What UX designers need is a combination of technical skills and soft skills. Technical skills for designers include having proficiency in design software such as Figma, Sketch, Adobe XD and InVision. They should also be familiar with user research methods, information architecture and usability testing. Soft skills—like communication, empathy and problem-solving—are equally important for effective collaboration, and for really understanding user needs.  

See why empathy for users is an essential ingredient in UX design: 

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Salary of a UX Designer

The salary of a UX designer can vary—it’s based on factors such as experience, location and industry. At the junior level, UX designers can expect an average salary of $60,000 to $80,000 per year. Mid-level UX designers earn around $80,000 to $100,000. Meanwhile, senior designers can earn upwards of $100,000 per year.  

A map of the world showing salaries of UX designers in various countries.

© Interaction Design Foundation, CC BY-SA 4.0

It's important to note that salary ranges can differ—geographical location and industry demand decide that. As the demand for skilled UX designers continues to grow, the salary prospects are promising for those entering—or advancing in—the field.  

Examples of UX Designers and Their Impact 

Numerous UX designers have made great contributions to the field and left a lasting impact on the digital landscape. Some notable examples include:  

Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs—co-founder of Apple—was renowned for his emphasis on user experience. His vision and attention to detail shaped iconic products like the iPhone, iPad and Mac, and really revolutionized the way users interact with technology.  

Image of Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs

© Magnolia Pictures, Fair Use

Don Norman

Known as the “father of UX design,” Norman coined the term "user experience"—and he’s written influential books on the subject. He’s urged designers to embrace highly relevant challenges to the modern world through humanity-centered design as well as other approaches.  

Image of Don Norman.

Don Norman

© Interaction Design Foundation, CC BY-SA 4.0

Sarah Doody

Sarah Doody is a UX designer and consultant—known for her expertise in user research and design thinking. She’s the founder and CEO of Career Strategy Lab and an author. 

Image of Sarah Doody.

Sarah Doody

© www.SarahDoody.com, Fair Use

Alan Cooper

Alan Cooper—often termed the "Father of Visual Basic"—is a pioneer in the field of interaction design. He introduced the concept of personas, and he advocated for user-centered design principles, too.  

Image of Alan Cooper

Alan Cooper

https://mralancooper.medium.com, Fair Use

Steve Krug

Krug—author of Don't Make Me Think—is famous for his insights on usability and user-centered design, and he’s an important contributor to UX design overall.  

Image of Steve Krug

Steve Krug

https://theagilerevolution.com, Fair Use

Irene Au

Au—the former head of design at Google—has played a key role in shaping the user experiences of various Google products. 

Image of Irene Au

Irene Au

© Paula Macedo, Fair Use

Tips on How To Become a Successful UX Designer

Aspiring UX designers should consider the following tips:  

 1. Build a Strong Design Foundation with a Diverse Skill Set

Designers should get a solid understanding of design principles, user-centered design methodologies and industry-standard tools. It’s also vital for them to keep on expanding their knowledge and technical skills so they stay ahead in this rapidly evolving field.  

2. Practice Empathy

Designers need to put themselves in their users’ shoes and strive to understand the latter’s needs, goals and pain points. Empathy’s a key trait to have for user-centered design that’s effective.  

3. Hone Research Skills

Designers should invest the time so they learn various research methods and techniques. User research is crucial for informed design decisions—and to make sure that designs really do address user needs effectively.  

4. Cultivate Collaboration Skills

UX design is a collaborative field—one that calls for effective communication and teamwork all the way through the design process. So, it’s vital to develop strong collaboration skills for them to work harmoniously with cross-functional teams and stakeholders.  

5. Learn from Others

Designers should consider collaborating with peers, joining design communities and seeking mentorship so they can build up their skills and knowledge. It’s a vibrant and expanding industry, so it’s a vital asset to be part of a network.  

6. Build a Portfolio

Designers should create a compelling portfolio—one that showcases their design projects, thought process and problem-solving skills in the best way possible. A portfolio should show their ability to create meaningful and user-centric experiences. The portfolio’s a vital asset. It will travel ahead of the designer to tell prospective clients or employers what they’re capable of, and how. It’s vital to show the journey as well as the thinking that went into the ultimate product—not just the results. 

Stephen Gay, Design Lead for the Adword Display & Apps Team at Google, gives valuable advice about UX portfolios: 

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7. Stay Curious and Updated

Designers should keep up with the latest trends, technologies and best practices in UX design. It’s important for them to attend workshops, conferences and webinars—as well as read highly regarded books—to expand their knowledge and network with industry professionals. As technologies evolve, for instance, the elements that go into experiencing and using those technologies do change as well. So, it’s ultra-important to keep a finger on the pulse and stay up to date so they keep ahead of the game.  

8. Seek Feedback and Iterate

Designers should embrace feedback and continuously iterate on their designs based on the user insights they get. User testing and feedback are essential both for refining designs and for improving the overall user experience.  

9. Remember the Vital Factors

Whatever emerges during the design process, including—for example—a client’s failure to recognize necessary design points, designers should keep core considerations top of mind—always.  

These include usability, desirability and accessibility—to make sure that end products really do meet user expectations and provide positive experiences.  

Watch this video to understand the Elements of User Experience: 

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10. Stay Passionate and Persistent

Passion and persistence are true keys to success—and that goes for any career. Designers should stay passionate about creating exceptional user experiences and stay persistent in how they pursue excellence.  

Overall, it’s essential to bear in mind that good UX design involves a big-picture view—a view of who the users of a product or service are, the many aspects of their user journeys, and more. UX designers are the driving force behind the brands that shape products and services that meet user needs, drive business success and contribute to the progress of technology—at the global level.   

Learn More about UX Designers

Take our course User Experience: The Beginner’s Guide.  

Read our piece How to Become a UX Designer? for some detailed insights.  

 Find some great examples of what UX designers do in 9 Examples of Good UX Design Every Designer Should See by Selman Gokce for further valuable information. 

Consult What Does a UX Designer Actually Do? by Caroline White to understand some key points. 

What is a UX Designer? How to Become One, Salary, Skills by Jessica Powers for more valuable information. 

Questions related to UX Designers

How much can a UX designer expect to earn?

A UX designer's salary varies widely—and that’s based on location, experience, and the specific industry they work in. On average, in the U.S.:  

Entry-level UX designers: Typically start with salaries of $50,000–$70,000 per year.  

After a few years’ experience: $70,000–$100,000.  

Senior UX designers—or those with specialized skills in high-demand areas: $100,000 or more.  

Additionally, UX designers in tech hubs like San Francisco or New York often earn higher than those in other regions. 

Take our Master Class How To Successfully Change Your Career To UX Design with Cory Lebson, Principal and Owner at Lebsontech LLC. 

How important is coding for a UX designer?

Coding isn’t essential for a UX designer, but it does offer valuable benefits. While UX design primarily focuses on understanding users' needs and creating optimal user experiences, having coding skills can be a major plus. It can really enhance a designer's toolkit, and if a UX designer knows the basics of HTML, CSS and possibly JavaScript, it helps them communicate better with developers, understand the technical constraints of their designs and make minor adjustments without always relying on a developer.  

What’s more, a basic understanding of coding means UX designers can prototype their ideas more effectively—and test functionality that can be crucial for the user experience. It can also mean a designer's more marketable, as some employers appreciate that versatility in a designer. 

A designer should focus on the core UX areas first, and consider learning coding as a supplementary skill that can broaden capabilities and opportunities in the field. 

Take our Master Class How to Design With and For Artificial Intelligence (AI) with Daniel Rosenberg, UX Professor, Designer, Executive and Early Innovator in HCI. 

How can I build a portfolio for UX design?

Showcase your best projects. Include a variety of work that demonstrates your skills in research, wireframing, prototyping and user testing. For each project, explain your design process from understanding user needs to iterating on feedback. Emphasize outcomes and how your design improved user experience or met business goals. Be sure to put in visuals like sketches, wireframes and screenshots—they’ll make your portfolio engaging. 

What’s more—always explain the context of your projects and the role you played in them. Highlight any unique challenges you faced—and how you overcame them.  

Another thing is to include a section about yourself, your design philosophy and your approach to UX design. This personalizes your portfolio. Plus, it gives potential employers or clients sharp insights into how you work. 

Remember: keep your portfolio updated and tailored to the job or client you’re applying for. Quality over quantity matters—so, curate your best work that aligns with their needs. 

Watch as Creative Director and CEO at Hype4, Michal Malewicz explains some vital ingredients of a UX portfolio: 

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What are the challenges of remote UX design work?

Remote UX design work presents unique challenges—and these include communication barriers, collaboration difficulties and time zone differences. It becomes more complex to communicate effectively with team members and stakeholders when a designer can't have in-person meetings. Misunderstandings and delays in feedback can happen, too, and slow down the design process. 

To mitigate these challenges, try to establish clear communication protocols, use collaborative tools effectively and schedule regular check-ins. Flexibility and understanding from all team members are crucial things to navigate the complexities of remote UX design work successfully. 

Take our Master Class How To Balance Remote and In-Person UX Work with Cory Lebson, Principal and Owner at Lebsontech LLC.

What are the ethical considerations in UX design?

Ethical considerations in UX design focus on several major areas: how to respect user privacy, ensure inclusivity and be transparent about data use. Designers have to protect user data from unauthorized access or breaches. It’s crucial to design products that are accessible to all, including people with disabilities, ensuring everyone can use them without barriers. 

Transparency about the collection, use and storage of user data is another ethical must. Users should have clear information about what data the researcher or designer is collecting and the choice to opt-out if they wish. Misleading designs—known as "dark patterns"—trick users into actions they didn't intend, like subscribing to a newsletter or making a purchase, and they’re unethical practices in UX design. 

Designers hold the responsibility to create experiences that don’t exploit users’ cognitive biases or vulnerabilities. It’s also a must to consider the impact of a design on users' mental health and wellbeing—and avoid designs that might cause addiction or negative social behaviors. 

Ethical UX design means a designer puts the user's interest and wellbeing at the forefront of the design process, and makes sure that technology serves to improve users' lives without compromising their rights or dignity. 

Watch as CEO of Experience Dynamics, Frank Spillers explains an important dimension of accessibility as a fundamental part of what is right to do in UX design: 

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How do I become a UX designer?

Start with learning the fundamentals of UX design—like user research, wireframing, prototyping and user testing. You can find many online courses, tutorials and books that are dedicated to these topics. Think about getting a formal education—such as a degree in design or related fields—or specialized UX design bootcamps. In any case, it’s crucial to build a solid understanding of design principles and user-centered design. 

Next, practice your skills—and actually work on design projects. These can be hypothetical projects, redesigns of existing applications or volunteer projects for nonprofits. This hands-on experience is invaluable, and it’s something that will help you build a portfolio to showcase your work. 

Networking with other designers and professionals in the field is important, too. So, join design communities, go to workshops and participate in design hackathons to meet others and learn from their experiences. 

Last—but not least—keep up with industry trends and best practices. Continuous learning is key in the ever-evolving field of UX design. 

Take our course User Experience: The Beginner’s Guide to start breaking into this exciting career now.

What's the difference between UX and UI design?

UX (user experience) design focuses on the overall experience a user has with a product—with the aim to make it efficient, effective and satisfying. It takes a designer to understand users' needs and design the whole journey they go through with interacting with a product. UX designers research, test and refine to make sure that the product really does meet the user's needs. 

UI (user interface) design, though, concentrates on the visual and interactive elements of a product's interface—like its buttons, icons, spacing and typography. UI designers create the look and feel of a product, and they make sure it’s aesthetically pleasing and intuitive to use. 

Both roles are crucial to a product's success—and they work closely together to create user-friendly and attractive designs. 

Watch as Creative Director and CEO at Hype4, Michal Malewicz explains what UI design is: 

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Where can I find UX design inspiration?

Explore the following resources: 

  • Design portfolios: Browse through portfolios on platforms like Behance and Dribbble. Many designers showcase their projects—and they offer a massive wealth of creative solutions and visual styles. 

  • Design inspiration websites: Websites like Awwwards, UX Design.cc, and Pttrns feature curated collections of web and mobile design projects, and they highlight innovative and trend-setting work. 

  • Social media: Follow UX/UI designers on social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn. Many of them share their latest projects, sketches and design processes there. 

  • Design blogs and magazines: Regularly read design blogs and online magazines such as Smashing Magazine, UX Magazine and the Nielsen Norman Group’s articles. They cover the latest trends, case studies and best practices in UX design. 

  • Books and eBooks: Dive into books and eBooks from experienced designers and thought leaders in UX. They provide comprehensive insights into design principles, methodologies, and case studies. 

Remember, inspiration can come from outside the digital world, too, so observe the design of everyday objects, architecture and nature. Sometimes, the best ideas really do stem from unrelated fields. 

Take our Master Class Exclusive Design for a Better World, a Discussion with Don Norman for some powerful inspiration. 

How do you manage stakeholder expectations in UX design projects?

To manage stakeholder expectations in UX design projects, it takes clear communication, the setting of realistic goals and continuous engagement. Start with clearly understanding and documenting stakeholders’ expectations. Discuss the project's scope, timelines and deliverables upfront to make sure everyone’s on the same page. 

Regularly update stakeholders to fill them in on the project's progress. Use visual aids like wireframes, prototypes and user feedback reports to make updates more engaging and understandable—it’s transparency that helps manage expectations and makes for timely adjustments. 

Involve stakeholders in key stages of the design process—like user research and testing. This inclusion helps them understand the rationale that’s behind design decisions and nurtures a sense of ownership and collaboration. 

Be honest about what’s achievable within the given constraints. If expectations are unrealistic, communicate this early and negotiate a feasible solution. Prioritize features and tasks together—focusing on user needs and project goals. 

Last—but not least—educate stakeholders about UX principles and the value of a user-centered design approach. This knowledge can get their expectations into line with the realities of the design process and its outcomes. 

Morgane Peng, Design Director at Societe Generale, explains common issues when designers deal with individuals who do not understand design:  

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How does UX design integrate with agile methodologies?

UX design integrates with agile methodologies as it embeds user-centered design practices within the iterative and flexible framework of agile development. In agile teams, UX designers work closely with developers, product managers and stakeholders throughout the entire development cycle, to ensure the team continuously considers and addresses user needs.  

Key points of integration include:  

  • Sprint planning: UX designers get involved in sprint planning to define user stories and prioritize tasks based on user needs and feedback.  

  • Continuous collaboration: Designers and developers collaborate daily, and make sure that UX considerations actually do factor in the development process from start to finish.  

  • Iterative design: Teams adapt UX design processes—like creating wireframes and prototypes—to fit within agile sprints, something that allows for rapid iteration and testing.  

  • User feedback: Agile methodologies put an emphasis on how important user feedback is. UX designers do user testing and conduct research within sprints—using insights to refine and improve the product in iterations that follow.  

  • Cross-functional teams: Agile promotes cross-functional team structures—where UX designers contribute their expertise alongside developers and product managers, which nurtures a holistic approach to product development.  

UX Designer and Author of Build Better Products and UX for Lean Startups, Laura Klein explains important points about agile and UX design:   

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What are some highly cited scientific articles about UX designers?

1. Nielsen, J., & Molich, R. (1990). Heuristic evaluation of user interfaces. Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. ACM.  

This seminal publication—by Nielsen and Molich—introduced the concept of heuristic evaluation as a method for usability testing in user interface design. It’s been highly influential in the field of UX design by providing a systematic approach to evaluating interfaces based on a set of usability principles or heuristics. The method outlined in this paper has become a standard practice for UX designers to find usability issues early in the design process—leading to improved user experiences and more intuitive interfaces. 

 

2. Zimmerman, J., Oh, C., Yildirim, N., Kass, A., Tung, T., & Forlizzi, J. (2021). UX designers pushing AI in the enterprise: a case for adaptive UIs. Interactions, 28(1), 72-77.  

This article by Zimmerman et al. explores the convergence of AI and UX design, and it specifically focuses on the integration of adaptive user interfaces (AUIs) in enterprise settings. It highlights how AI technologies can enhance user experiences by automating routine tasks and providing personalized interactions. By discussing the UX process for AUIs, common interaction design patterns and the innovative potential of AUIs, the publication sheds light on the evolving landscape where AI and UX intersect. The emphasis on design ethics and implications for AUIs underscores how important it is to consider ethical considerations in leveraging AI to improve user satisfaction and efficiency in interface interactions. 

What are some highly regarded books about UX designers?

Dashinsky, A. (2023). The Path to Senior Product Designer: An Actionable Growth Plan for a UX Design Career. Paperback.  

This publication by Artiom Dashinsky provides a comprehensive and actionable guide for advancing a career in UX design—specifically targeting the path to becoming a senior product designer. It stands out for its practical approach, offering insights into essential skills beyond technical proficiency, such as presenting, mentoring, giving feedback, and process improvement. By drawing on industry-backed insights from prominent companies like Etsy, Dropbox and Coursera, the book outlines a structured framework for skill development and career progression within the UX design field. It equips readers with tools to set career goals, assess their skill levels and create personalized growth plans to accelerate their professional advancement. 

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Literature on UX Designers

Here’s the entire UX literature on UX Designers by the Interaction Design Foundation, collated in one place:

Learn more about UX Designers

Take a deep dive into UX Designers with our course User Experience: The Beginner’s Guide .

If you’ve heard the term user experience design and been overwhelmed by all the jargon, then you’re not alone. In fact, most practicing UX designers struggle to explain what they do!

“[User experience] is used by people to say, ‘I’m a user experience designer, I design websites,’ or ‘I design apps.’ […] and they think the experience is that simple device, the website, or the app, or who knows what. No! It’s everything — it’s the way you experience the world, it’s the way you experience your life, it’s the way you experience the service. Or, yeah, an app or a computer system. But it’s a system that’s everything.”

— Don Norman, pioneer and inventor of the term “user experience,” in an interview with NNGroup

As indicated by Don Norman, User Experience is an umbrella term that covers several areas. When you work with user experience, it’s crucial to understand what those areas are so that you know how best to apply the tools available to you.

In this course, you will gain an introduction to the breadth of UX design and understand why it matters. You’ll also learn the roles and responsibilities of a UX designer, how to confidently talk about UX and practical methods that you can apply to your work immediately.

You will learn to identify the overlaps and differences between different fields and adapt your existing skills to UX design. Once you understand the lay of the land, you’ll be able to chart your journey into a career in UX design. You’ll hear from practicing UX designers from within the IxDF community — people who come from diverse backgrounds, have taught themselves design, learned on the job, and are enjoying successful careers.

If you are new to the Interaction Design Foundation, this course is a great place to start because it brings together materials from many of our other courses. This provides you with both an excellent introduction to user experience and a preview of the courses we have to offer to help you develop your future career. After each lesson, we will introduce you to the courses you can take if a specific topic has caught your attention. That way, you’ll find it easy to continue your learning journey.

In the first lesson, you’ll learn what user experience design is and what a UX designer does. You’ll also learn about the importance of portfolios and what hiring managers look for in them.

In the second lesson, you’ll learn how to think like a UX designer. This lesson also introduces you to the very first exercise for you to dip your toes into the cool waters of user experience. 

In the third and the fourth lessons, you’ll learn about the most common UX design tools and methods. You’ll also practice each of the methods through tailor-made exercises that walk you through the different stages of the design process.

In the final lesson, you’ll step outside the classroom and into the real world. You’ll understand the role of a UX designer within an organization and what it takes to overcome common challenges at the workplace. You’ll also learn how to leverage your existing skills to successfully transition to and thrive in a new career in UX.   

You’ll be taught by some of the world’s leading experts. The experts we’ve handpicked for you are:

  • Alan Dix, Director of the Computational Foundry at Swansea University, author of Statistics for HCI: Making Sense of Quantitative Data

  • Ann Blandford, Professor of Human-Computer Interaction at University College London

  • Frank Spillers, Service Designer, Founder and CEO of Experience Dynamics

  • Laura Klein, Product Management Expert, Principal at Users Know, Author of Build Better Products and UX for Lean Startups

  • Michal Malewicz, Designer and Creative Director / CEO of Hype4 Mobile

  • Mike Rohde, Experience and Interface Designer, Author of The Sketchnote Handbook: The Illustrated Guide to Visual Note Taking

  • Szymon Adamiak, Software Engineer and Co-founder of Hype4 Mobile

  • William Hudson, User Experience Strategist and Founder of Syntagm

Throughout the course, we’ll supply you with lots of templates and step-by-step guides so you can start applying what you learn in your everyday practice.

You’ll find a series of exercises that will help you get hands-on experience with the methods you learn. Whether you’re a newcomer to design considering a career switch, an experienced practitioner looking to brush up on the basics, or work closely with designers and are curious to know what your colleagues are up to, you will benefit from the learning materials and practical exercises in this course.

You can also learn with your fellow course-takers and use the discussion forums to get feedback and inspire other people who are learning alongside you. You and your fellow course-takers have a huge knowledge and experience base between you, so we think you should take advantage of it whenever possible.

You earn a verifiable and industry-trusted Course Certificate once you’ve completed the course. You can highlight it on your resume, LinkedIn profile or website.

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In 9 chapters, we’ll cover: conducting user interviews, design thinking, interaction design, mobile UX design, usability, UX research, and many more!

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