Not too long ago we would have been scratching our head at what UX meant and what UX designers do. The truth is, it’s now one of the most prevalent roles in our digital world, with our tech touchpoints needing to be designed in such a way that we get what we need when we need it.
If you have used an app that was both enjoyable and intuitive or a website that just flows as you’ve never experienced before – there is always a UX designer behind that build who has orchestrated that success. If you are starting a new project or looking to improve your own digital presence and pathway, let’s get to know more about a UX designer and what they can make possible for you.
What is the job description of a UX designer?
A UX (user experience) designer is tasked with designing or redesigning an app or a platform that yields a positive experience for the user that is valuable. Whether this platform inspires or educates, they will breathe life into a brief by delivering a user journey that relates to the target audience. This can be achieved by gathering research, facilitating testing and using the data (local, targeted or global) that is present to them.
A UX designer will, of course, have intermediate design skills, using imaginary, language, animation, font and colours as tools to engage the end-user. While UX methodologies will change and improve as time goes on, most will have cross-platform experience and have a good grasp of IT and data engineering to complement their unique set of skills. Simply put, they treat their craft like a science with testing and data at the centre of all design decisions.
Who should engage a UX designer?
If you’re feeling a little bit intimidated by the role of a UX designer and the work they do, you would be surprised at how many industries they actually touch with the ability to streamline all kinds of digital journeys, so they aren’t necessarily hidden inside a cool agency and not accessible to your average client. If you are a startup launching an app, then it’s time to engage a UX designer so that they can plot the user experience and flag bottlenecks and enhance conversion potential.
If your business is in the mature stage of its lifecycle and you are seeing the traffic but a huge drop off in genuine engagement with the app or platform, then a UX designer might be able to diagnose the problem and propose a solution.
What to look for in your UX designer?
Ok, now that you know what a UX designer does in principle, how do you select the right one for you and your project at hand? A good place to start would be to put a call out to UX designers who already operate in your industry (health, construction, government, etc), as they will already be in the same headspace as you and be able to anticipate what you know and what your users are looking for. Who knows, you might get lucky and love a concept from their portfolio and have a great place to launch your project.
That said, if the reason you are searching for a creative UX designer is that you are sick of being pigeonholed and want something more memorable – think about the apps and platforms you like, and make note of the features that are most compelling to you. Then you can search on LinkedIn or through agency bios to find that individual who is also interested in exploring the same areas. One thing to remember though is that what you like might be different from what your user likes, so be sure to distinguish the two.
Hopefully, we’ve answered more questions than we have created and you are closer to identifying what you want from your UX designer and how it can improve your existing offering. As soon as you have a brief together, start having chats with your selected UX designers and see what they can each bring to the table.