Job roles for UX designers
The roles a designer can have within an organization are still new. However, more and more people understand the importance of design in the creation of a digital product.
When looking for a job, I found the broad spectrum of design roles confusing and challenging to navigate when looking for a job. So I made this guide.
The roles might vary from organization to organization, but hopefully, you'll be able to navigate the job offerings easily.
The first step to finding a job in UX/UI is understanding what the titles mean. If you've done some research already, you might have found that many experts recommend looking for something more specific than "UX/UI."
UX/UI is too generic, and in most cases, it refers to UI more than UX. So, depending on what you want to do, a more precise title might work better.
Aso, what you'll find is that the more precise a job title is, the more focus the organization has on design.
If you want to do a little bit of everything, "UX/UI" is the way to go.
An oversimplification of UX and UI is that UX design is how a product works, and UI how it looks.
A User Experience Designer focuses on many steps in creating a digital product: research, strategy, prototyping, usability testing, etc.
A UX designer has a 5000-feet picture of the workings of a product. Therefore, they focus entirely on the strategy and apply design thinking to create the best product possible.
Their job is based on iteration, and as such, it never ends as they continually optimize for better usability and experience.
A UI Designer or Visual designer focuses on the visual aspects of products across different devices.
They work with color palettes, typography, rhythm, and grids. A UI designer deals with design systems to create consistency.
They can either be involved in the high-level design or on low-level. Meaning, they can either design the flows and low fidelity mockups or work in high fidelity prototypes.
They take care of design patterns and systems.
Interaction designers or IxD optimize the interfaces to minimize the number of steps needed to achieve a goal.
They aim to make the experiences consistent across devices and operating systems.
They care about ergonomics and usability.
The User Researcher is the voice of the users. They advocate for the users.
Their tools are interviews, surveys, workshops, and reports.
It is their task to find the real problems. They place themselves in the users' shoes and see the real problem and the best solution.
They "design" a way to organize the information. This position is crucial in companies like Amazon, where there are several categories and subcategories.
It is their job to design a way for the users to find the information they are searching for.
For a content designer, it is vital how the information is organized and how it is structured.
They make content easier to understand.
UI Web Developer
A UI web developer is a mixture of a front-end developer with a UI designer. They know how to code and how to design interfaces.
A little bit of everything. It varies depending on the organization.
It took me by surprise the first time I saw this title because a product meant something physical, but product designer has come to mean digital product designer.
Many of these positions merge and overlap, as UX/UI design is still a growing field.
I also find that many positions exist in other fields. For example, I see many similarities between a user researcher and a market researcher.
UX designers are hard to place in an organization. While many of us have a graphic design or developer background, we don't do one or the other. So most of the time, we are placed somewhere in the middle.
You don't need to know how to code to become a UX designer, although expanding your knowledge beyond your comfort level has never hurt anyone, and it will help you communicate better.