Sometimes a forgotten branch of tech, UX/UI design is a crucial part of the customer experience and can’t be left behind. That said, it’s frequently seen as the “easy” area of tech or even a role that could be done by anyone. At Ironhack, however, we know that UX/UI designers are as essential to the success of a project as the developers who write the code or cybersecurity professionals that protect the website from malicious hackers.
And that’s exactly why we’ve created this article: we want to give you a look into the day to day of a UX/UI designer, better understand what they do all day, and highlight some of the frustrations that UX/UI designers face on a daily basis.
A Day in the Life of a UX/UI Designer
As UX/UI designers get ready for the day ahead, they’ll find that their responsibilities are quite varied, but usually follow the same trends, depending on where they are in their current projects. We can expect to see the following:
Team meetings: UX/UI designers typically work on large teams of other designers or other techies, such as developers, project managers, analysts, and more; ensuring that everyone is on the same page is an essential part of managing tech projects–after all, you don’t want your designers to spend time working on a design that the developers have decided to eliminate from the website.
Pitch designs: UX/UI designers could create a great design, but ultimately it needs to be agreed upon by the entire team to make sure it’s feasible and fits in with everyone else’s plans; when UX/UI designers have a sketch or outline of what they’d like to design, they pitch the wireframe or sketch to the rest of the team to get approval before heading deeper into the process.
Receiving feedback: as we mentioned above, UX/UI designers don’t work alone; in fact, their final deliverables need to be agreed upon by the entire team ahead of time to avoid any potential issues. The majority of UX/UI designers will need to dedicate a section of their day to receiving feedback and making necessary changes to then present it the next day to their team again.
Creating: this is the obvious step! Once meetings, pitches, and feedback are completed, designers are free to get their hands dirty and get designing, creating the perfect design for their project.
Things Only UX/UI Designers Will Understand
Now that you have a clear idea of what the day to day is like for UX/UI designers, let’s dive right into things that only UX/UI designers will understand and some of the common misconceptions that others–and even other techies–have about the field.
When people think you just design products from scratch
The intricacies that go into every single aspect of design are so particular and small that people may think that your job is limited to sketching a design, getting it approved, and finishing that design–then you’re done. UX/UI designers know this couldn’t be further from the truth, however; as new tools and updates are released on the tools that UX/UI designers use and new data about how clients are reacting to the design are introduced to designers, they’re tasked with small improvements to the design constantly.
Our tip: remind people that your goal as a UX/UI designer is to improve the user’s experience with a product or service and therefore are constantly reviewing data, feedback, and research to figure out what’s best for your design and your changes, although seeming small, are crucial.
When people don’t think of you as someone who works in tech
This might be the most frustrating aspect of working as a UX/UI designer and unfortunately there are a good number of people who don’t think that UX/UI designers are techies! Although working as a UX/UI designer doesn’t demand knowledge of coding or programming languages (which, to be honest, are usually the skills equated with working in tech), it is very much a tech role and an integral part of a tech team.
Our tip: remember that assumptions like this typically come from a place of ignorance, not of malice, and have no effect on your job or the work you actually do. Try not to get too frustrated and take this as a chance to explain why UX/UI design is definitely a tech field and give examples of the work you do to help convey the message.
When clients expect you to be the expert of every single audience
As we mentioned earlier, an integral part of UX/UI design is ensuring that the customer experience is as great as possible and this requires a deep understanding of the client. After all, the target audience for different products or services can vary significantly; it’s the responsibility of the client, not the designer, to communicate their goals and guidelines to the designer and not the other way around.
Our tip: if you see that a client is expecting you to have a deep knowledge of specific areas, especially those in which you haven’t worked before, make sure you flag this early on and explain that you’re an expert in UX/UI design and not that specific audience, asking all the questions necessary to create a perfect design that matches the client’s expectations. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes or ask questions; be honest and showcase your expertise through your due diligence beforehand.
Not everything is sunshine and rainbows in the field of UX/UI design and even though we’d like to eliminate the aforementioned occurrences from our day to day, it may not be possible (at least not now!). However, preparing yourself to enter the market as a UX/UI designer has never been a better option–tech roles are growing rapidly and new opportunities are coming out practically every day.
If you think UX/UI design is for you, you’re in the right place. At Ironhack, our UX/UI Design Bootcamp teaches you exactly what you need to know to land your dream job in tech with an expert-designed curriculum, detailed Career Services, and job hunting support for up to a year after graduation.
Sounds like a good fit for you? We can’t wait to hear from you!