How to Become a UX Designer

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If you think being a User Experience (UX) Designer is about building websites, then read on – that’s really just the tip of the iceberg.

“User experience” is the interaction someone has with a product or service. Today, that’s often a website or smartphone application, but it could also be the dashboard in your car with all the modern “infotainment” bells and whistles, medical diagnostic equipment or a self-checkout terminal in a grocery store. The experience of using an application or device right down to how many clicks it takes to accomplish a task is the domain of the UX designer.

It’s their job to think about the design of the product or service from a user’s point of view – ease of use, the effort necessary to complete a task, and how the process makes the user feel. A good user experience doesn’t just happen; it’s shaped by a UX designer who considers every element that might affect how someone interacts with a digital experience or a physical product. Today’s UX designers are also tasked to design for accessibility and inclusivity.

There are many things you can do as a UX designer and many ways to become one – yes, there’s traditional education and certifications specifically designed for the field, but there are ways to become a UX designer via other industries and disciplines.

Having a formal education certainly helps, and there are certifications you can get to augment your skills and give you credibility when seeking out employment and projects. But like any digital discipline, there’s a mix of hard and soft skills that are essential if you’re to be a successful UX designer.