What does it mean to be a real UI/UX designer?

UI/UX design is grown rapidly industry. Therefore, more and more people tend to join the ranks of its representatives. However, what does it mean to be a UI/UX designer and which professional skills does he need to have to succeed? We decided to analyze the article in the Justinmind blog on prototyping, and select key points from it. The highlight of this article is our comments and conclusions.

So, where to start if you are determined to do UI/UX design?

First of all, you need to understand that this is a diverse field of activity for which professional skills from various areas will be useful. On the one hand, this is good, since you can switch your job relatively quickly and even use previous experience as an advantage. However, this situation is an obstacle to focus on something specific.

You shouldn’t strive to acquire all the promising skills; otherwise, you won’t be good enough in any of them. Find the best direction for yourself and continue to study within the narrow specialization. However, keep in mind the basic skills that will be relevant for any UI/UX designer – they will become a springboard for your further improvement.

Which skills should develop a novice UI/UX designer?

We have identified ten points that are most important in our opinion. Among them:

  1. Conducting UX research gives you an understanding of which problems users may encounter and what needs to be worked on in the process of creating an interface.
  2. Participation in joint projects – you need to learn how to work in a team, even if you plan to launch independent projects in the future.
  3. Use of wireframes and prototypes – they serve as a clear confirmation of your qualifications for other people.
  4. Creating texts isn’t main, but valuable skill for a designer.
  5. The ability to visual communication is one of the essential skills for creating an attractive UI.
  6. Empathic – this character trait helps to put oneself in the place of another person and better understand the desires of customers, the demands of investors and potential problems of users. Moreover, the better you understand others, the better you communicate with people – verbally and visually.
  7. Designing user interaction – this type of design has much in common with the user experience.
  8. Programming – the line between the designer and the developer is blurred now. Therefore, getting basic programming skills is a good idea.
  9. Testing and analytics are used to find out how well your design works and how it combines with the overall functionality of the website or application.
  10. Communicative and organizational skills – they are necessary for a new level.

 

Let’s look at each of them in more detail.

UX research

Here, as in marketing, it is essential to understand who your target audience is, what interests it and which issues it solves by using websites, mobile applications. The next question is how its representatives interact with their favorite resources and digital tools. In a simple version, you can download and manually test some of them. Consider them in terms of ergonomics, features of thinking and perception of the target audience.

Participation in joint projects

In order to effectively manage a team, you need to feel the principles of working in it, learn how to allocate tasks and get the missing knowledge from colleagues. It is especially useful when you don’t have additional expertise in coding, web design, marketing, and project management. Besides, you will get the opportunity to participate in large, complex, exciting and ambitious projects that are difficult to handle alone.

Using wireframes and prototypes

There are many tools for quick prototyping. With their help, you will be able to understand in which direction to develop a website or application at the initial stage, then effectively present the project to investors, demonstrate its functioning before the start of the main works.

Ability to work with texts

There is an opinion that the ability to process texts is as important for a designer as the understanding of the principles of typesetting. Please take a look at describing the new functions, features of using, hints – all of them are written with neat laconic texts, which are perfectly combined with the visual part.

Prominent examples are projects by MailChimp, Dropbox, and Apple. Of course, large teams of professionals work on them, but basic text processing skills will be useful for you in everyday practice.

The potential for visual communication

Think about the fact that people perceive visualized information more efficiently. Therefore, when you draw icons, interactive prototypes, mockups, and presentations, you form the attitude of future users to the finished product.

The more convenient and understandable the interface, the more people will want to use the website/application. So, the better you convey the essence of the project through visualized images, the better you will be perceived by customers and investors. You have to be able to express your thoughts through graphic elements.

Empathy

When you understand what a concern for customers is, investors and future users, you know where and how you should place emphasis during the design and presentation of the project.

User interaction design

There is importance to create not only aesthetically attractive websites/applications, but also take into account how users will interact with them. Use for these interactive frameworks with several design options to facilitate the selection of the right one.

 

Programming

UI/UX specialists work at the junction of two professions. Often, people move from one adjacent field of activity to another. For example, according to one of the reports in Design in Tech, a third of designers have a technical background. This situation doesn’t oblige you to dip into coding, because an understanding of the basic principles is enough.

Testing and analytics

Some designers are afraid of metrics. However, analytics helps to evaluate and improve your product based on specific, measurable indicators: numbers, percentages, proportions. As one of the tools, you can use Google Analytics.

Communication and organizational skills

Organization of your own time, other people and the project management process as a whole becomes extremely important at a certain stage. Therefore, start pumping these skills as soon as you feel that you have grown as a technical specialist.

Besides, as you gain popularity, you will increasingly need to hold public appearances and presentations. Therefore, you should learn to confidently hold on to the public, defend your point of view and talk about the benefits of the product. A little populism here won’t interfere, ladies and gentlemen.

Significant skills for the UI/UX designer: conclusion

As we said above, the sphere of design is developing rapidly, some trends are replaced by others, but the listed 10 skills will remain relevant in changing conditions. Regardless of what you like in the process of UI/UX design: designing, prototyping, analyzing or building communications – don’t waste your time and study hard. The world needs both excellent technical specialists and good team leaders.