Median Salary: $90,000
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We have all had an experience where we download a new app and don't know how it works (I'm looking at you SnapChat) or how to find the information we are looking for easily. Trying to navigate complex interfaces be an incredibly frustrating experience that makes users not want to use a product anymore. This is bad both for the company who is making the product and the user who is wanting an intuitive product that is easy to use.
On the flip side, think about a time when you downloaded a new app and it felt like magic. You could easily sign up and use the app from the first time you opened it. Any time you have used an app that was simple and intuitive there was likely a UX Designer behind that experience.
UX (User Experience) Design is a field that seeks to create intuitive experiences for users of any type of product. UX Designers use their skills to marry what the product should with the way users expect the product to function. Their job is to make sure that the incredible functionality of the products they work on is easily understandable to all different types of users that might be using their product. Some of the effects of good UX Design are a clear data hierarchy, intuitive interactions with a product, and an enjoyable experience in leveraging a product's capabilities.
While UX Design is not always with web and mobile applications, it is the most common context in which people use the word. Most often we are talking about the way a user navigates some sort of digital application when we talk about UX, but it can also apply to physical products or even games. Any time a user needs to easily understand what is going on with a product, you can bet there was a lot of thought that went into the user experience.
UX Design as a whole is pretty broad category that has many different tasks. Some of the most common tasks in a job could be evaluating an existing site for UX improvements, creating wire frames of new products, and drawing sitemaps or data hierarchies of a product. They can be responsible for the early stages of product development or improving an exisitng product with better experiences for users.
As a UX Designer you will likely work closely with other designers (like User Interface Designers), product managers, developers, and clients. You job is often a lot of translating what other stakeholders in a company want into experiences that meet all product requirements.
Lynda offers a great starter guide to landing a career in user experience. If you aren't quite sure if UX is for you, watch the videos on what it means to get into UX and how to break into a new career.
This short YouTube video gives a great overview of what UX Design is and what UX Designers actually do. The creator uses a cool whiteboard effect to keep you engaged and inform you on what UX really is.
Don't Make Me Think talks about the principles of making experiences that are simple and intuitive for all types of users. The Author highlights the importance of creating clear user patterns so people can easily know how they should interact with your product.
This book could be considered both a reference and text book for all types of developers. It gives a comprehensive guide to building visual experiences with HTML and CSS. Make sure to give this book a read if you are interested in anything about design and building products users interact with.
General Assembly offers immersive design programs can teach you the skills to quickly land a new job and switch careers. Most programs are in person and last around 3 months, but they also have online-only options for those who prefer that.
Graphic Design is a degree that teaches you the fundamentals of creating visual experiences in both digital and physical mediums. You will learn about color choice, design programs, and how to build immersive experiences in your coursework.