“According to CNNMoney/PayScale’s top 100 careers with big growth, great pay and satisfying work (i.e. 100 Best Jobs in America), UX design ranked #14 with a median pay of $89,300 with the top pay hitting $138K and a growth rate of 18%.”
Design is a pretty vague term. When someone says they’re a designer, it can mean anything from industrial design for cars to designers who work with clothing and print media. However, in the last decade, the tech industry has seen the emergence of a new type of designer: the UX Designer. This new job title can be confusing to grasp, so let’s take a dive to get a better understanding.
What is UX Design?
A User Experience (UX) Designer is primarily responsible for how a product feels to a user. It encompasses all aspects of the interaction between the user and the complete product experience (from onboarding to end-transaction). The broad responsibility of a UX designer is to ensure that the product logically flows from one step to the next. Uber’s new user onboarding process would be a perfect example of great UX Design.
A User Interface (UI) Designer is responsible for how the product is laid out. It is a sub-discipline of UX Design and is focused on the interaction between the user and the product. They are in charge of designing each screen or page with which a user interacts and need to ensure that the UI visually communicates the UX Designer’s path. For example, after the UX Designer creates an onboarding process for new Uber users, a UI Designer would visually create the interface for that process.
In most small to medium-sized companies, a UX Designer is responsible for both UX and UI Design needs. However in larger companies such as Google, Facebook, Uber, AirBnB and Tesla (the list goes on) where hundreds of millions of end-users are involved, the role of a designer becomes very granular.
Why does it matter?
Often cited by UX evangelists, Tom Gilb’s research in the 80’s found that every dollar a company invests in UX can yield a return of up to $100.
UX Design plays a critical role in both user acquisition and retention. That is, if you build something awesome, more people will want to use it and keep using it. It’s what allows Apple to charge a premium and sell millions of iPhones, iPads and Macbooks on launch day. It’s what allowed companies like Uber, AirBnB and Tesla to disrupt the century old taxi, hospitality and automotive industries. They completely altered the user experience around their product/service to become industry leaders and innovators.
Some of the most valuable brands in the world have employed a design-centric philosophy to differentiate themselves from the rest. Often cited by UX evangelists, Tom Gilb’s research in the 80’s found that every dollar a company invests in UX can yield a return of up to $100. Another study conducted by the Design Management Institute (DMI), one of the largest communities of design leaders, revealed that over the last 10 years, design-led companies have maintained significant stock market advantage and have outperformed the S&P by 228%. Some of the companies in the study included Apple, IBM, Ford, Nike, Starbucks & Walt Disney.
If this isn’t convincing enough, according to a study conducted by Missouri University of Science and Technology, 94% of the factors that affect a user’s first impression of a product, are design related. In fact, by 2020 UX Design will overtake price and product as the key differentiator in consumer decision. What’s the bottom line? UX is increasingly playing an important role as a market differentiator for emerging companies. To be a competitive player in the market, companies need to focus on creating a lasting experience around their product.
How can you become a UX Designer?
UX Design does not require a University degree, yet there’s a big shortage between the number of job openings and qualified candidates. According to EMSI, IT related jobs (a category which includes UX Design) are 28 percent of all average monthly unique job postings, making this the industry’s second most in-demand group of professionals for 2016.
At Ironhack, we’ve launched a 9 week, full-time course created by senior UX Designers from some of the best companies in the world. The course is meant for individuals with no prior experience, looking to break into the UX Design industry. At the end of the course, students will be connected with Ironhack’s hiring network of more than 200 companies with the goal of being hired as UX Designers.
If you’re still not convinced about the job opportunities, here are some stats by CNN & PayScale. According to CNNMoney/PayScale, UX Design ranked #14 among the top 100 careers with big growth, great pay and satisfying work with a median pay of $89,300 with the top pay hitting $138K and a growth rate of 18%.
Interested? Check out course details here.