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15 April 2024 - 4 minutes

What is UX/UI Design and What Does a UX/UI Designer Do?

The need for UX/UI Design is quickly catching on in the tech world. Peek into the compelling world of user experience, and find out if you've got what it takes!

Juliette Carreiro - Tech Writer

Have you noticed how many of the things you experience have been carefully planned for your comfort? We live surrounded by user experiences, both in the analog and digital world. It is very rare for a product to not be designed based on a reflection of our behavior with a service, on the way in which we seek information, or on our perception. UX/UI Design is the future, being that the UX and UI profiles are among the most demanded jobs today, with an annual growth of 18% according to several studies.

But these acronyms can be undecipherable if you’re not in the know. Read on to find out all about what UX/UI Designers do to make your customer experience a stellar time that you won’t forget easily.

Who knows, maybe you're even the next great UX/UI Designer of the future...

What is a UX/UI Designer?

A UX/UI Designer is a professional dedicated to finding an easy, intuitive, and friendly way to solve a problem based on the tastes, needs, and opinions of the users of a product or service. In other words, they’re the person in charge of designing the experience of a client and making sure it’s optimal.

Before continuing, it is important to differentiate between UX and UI, two disciplines that are often confused, probably because they work hand in hand, overlapping often, and because of the similarity of their acronyms. 

In this context, UI, or User Interface, refers to the creation of the interface, which can be visual or developed mainly with languages ​​such as HTML, CSS, or JavaScript. The design choices made when creating an interface are determinant in achieving simplicity, clarity and sympathy. If the website design is confusing or hard to read, the user will run away! 

The UI Designer is, therefore, primarily responsible for the visual aspect of the interface and deciding the user’s journey.

UX, or User Experience, focuses on usability and what the user’s experience throughout the process will be like, focusing on analysis and social relationships. All the touchpoints between user and website are taken into consideration to ensure that the customer has a great time, fully satisfying their quest and having their needs met.

The UX Designer focuses on ensuring that the navigation and actions performed by the user are consistent, handling the processes and actions triggered by the user.

So, in short: the professional in charge of the UI will focus on the design of the product, impacting the first visual impression of the user, while the person in charge of the UX focuses on usability and easy navigation, creating certain emotions and sensations when using the interface. 

Skills of a UX/UI Designer

Tasks as important as creating experiences that meet the needs of customers, improving the perception of the brand, and creating a solid link with their products often fall into the hands of the UX/UI Designer. Think for a moment about applications like Netflix or Spotify, tools like Google Sheets or Zapier, and digital products like Google Home or Philips Hue. Behind each and every one of them there is an immense amount of user experience work, with the aim of creating an easy, intuitive, efficient, and beautiful application.

Creativity, empathy, and listening skills are some of the most important characteristics that a good UX Designer must have in order to soak up the user's context, the processes they undertake in their day-to-day life, and their needs. Being a good observer is also essential to notice those details that escape us at first glance when using an application, without neglecting business and communication skills, the latter being essential. Working on a good relationship with the rest of the team is essential, as well as researching everything related to usability and learning about new software and technical solutions and trends that pop up.


The Many Facets of UX/UI Design

Depending on the size of the team, a UX/UI professional may need to develop into a certain role. One of these roles is the UX Researcher, who is in charge of analyzing users and helping them understand them by asking who they are, studying their behaviors, and focusing on their needs through interviews, surveys, and research. User experience maps, usability assessments, and analytics reports are often their main projects.

The UX Writer, then, is responsible for knowing and defining communication with the user, studying their language to learn how the product should speak in order to connect with the client. The tone and the strategy of communication are usually their tasks, defining the content creation strategy and its presentation to the user.

Another path of specialization is that of Service Design, which seeks to create or improve existing services with the aim of making them more usable, useful, and desirable, as well as more effective. Those who are dedicated to this work pursue the goal of having the best available service in the eyes of both the consumer and the company.

Whatever the final destination of a user experience designer may be, vacancies in the sector have grown by up to 560% in recent years, a finding that shows, unequivocally, that user experience professionals are essential with companies becoming increasingly aware of the importance of designing the best digital experiences.

Resources To Get Started In UX/UI

With it being such a wide and flexible professional field, you’d be hard pressed to not find yourself fitting in one of the specializations related to UX/UI. Although caring about the customer experience is the one prevalent quality, roles like Web Design and UX Strategist require radically different skill sets.

Betting on practical and quality training is essential to enter the field, although we want to leave you some initial recommendations to get you started. Check out this list of eight must-read UX/UI books, with great insight on design and user experience and brilliant professional advice. Trying an introductory course on Domestika or Coursera, watching videos on channels like UXTips, learning these top UX principles or getting to know these top prototyping tools are also some great ways to know more about UX/UI Design.

Determined to become a UX/UI designer? Then check out the UX/UI design bootcamp here at Ironhack, where you will adopt the leading mentality of the technology industry and learn to use the most cutting-edge product tools to bring your digital products to life. If you want to completely transform the way people and brands interact, you have found your place. Ready to change your life? 

Apply now!


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