What does a UX designer do?

UX designers place much more emphasis on how all of the components of a design work with each other, rather than simply how something looks. As such, they are often involved in user testing and developing test scenarios to iron out any problems with a product. They are also frequently engaged with clients to discuss workflow matters - how a user might reach a certain page on a website, or what occurs when a button is pressed on a smartphone app.

Tasks:

  • Creating workflow diagrams and wireframes
  • User testing
  • Storyboarding usage scenarios
  • Consultation with clients
  • Researching trends in technology

What skills do I need to be a UX designer?

UX designers need strong problem solving skills - these skills are required to solve design problems that often don’t have one correct solution. They also require sound communication skills in order to understand and convey abstract concepts to clients and test subjects, as well as clear instructions for users to follow throughout testing. Good communication and the ability to collaborate are also necessary as UX designers often work as part of a larger design team. 

Skills/attributes
  • Communication skills
  • Ability to stay current with technology
  • Work well in a team environment
  • Ability to conceptualise ideas
  • Excellent design skills

Specialisations

UX design in itself is a specialised field within the realm of design, however there are a range of career paths available for UX designers to pursue that utilise and build on the skills gained throughout their employment. Many of these opportunities make use of technical skills, such as programming, and business skills, such as product management. 

User interface designer

User interface designers take the information and research conducted by a UX designer through user testing, and create the visual components that form the face of the product that a user will interact with. These designers are closer to traditional graphic designers, as their focus is on traditional design principles to ensure the user enjoys their visual experience with the product.

Design project manager

Being a UX designer means you’ll gain a lot of experience working in projects. Many UX designers use this experience to advance their careers into design-based project management. Project managers with technical experience in their field are highly sought after as they are often better equipped with knowledge required to make technical decisions.

UX developer

Got a keen eye for code? Over the course of your career as a UX designer, you’ll inevitably pick up some valuable coding tidbits. UX developers take their code snippets to the next level, shifting their focus to the technical development rather than design of a product. This line of work is often synonymous with front-end development.

Study pathways for UX designers

There are number of ways to break into the field of UX design - including traditional methods like tertiary education, industry workshops and less traditional routes such as software testing or assisting on projects.

Getting Started

Build your understanding of UX design with comprehensive coursework

Skill Building

Kickstart your career with design theory and practical training

Professional Development

Choose an industry recognised UX design certification and get the most out of your studies.

Industry Recognition

Registration is not required to work as a UX designer, however joining professional associations like AIMIA (The Digital Industry Association of Australia) and UX Australia can help you build a strong professional network and find new employment opportunities.

Getting a job after graduation

Put your training to good use and get the best professional head start in your information technology career. Emphasise your personal strengths and achievements in your resume and target your cover letter to the job description listed.

Job Prospects and Salaries

Employment growth in design based careers has been mixed recently, however looks to grow over the period to 2018 in Australia. The Department of Employment predict this sector to almost double its growth rate in this period.