Top UXers master these 7 UX skills. Do you belong to them?
News and Updates

Published on January 15, 2021

Top UXers master these 7 UX skills. Do you belong to them?

How to get one of the most demanded careers in the creative industry? We listed the top UX skills you'll need.

According to Glassdoor, UX roles are some of the best jobs in America. However, entering this industry requires some critical skills to meet the demands of this promising business. If you are interested to learn more about UX and the essential skills you need to become a part of it, read along.

User experience (UX) is a broad term that includes every aspect of the end user’s interaction with the company’s products and services. In more detail, UX is the feeling users experience when using a product or service in terms of how well the user can navigate the product, how easy it is to use, how relevant the content displayed is, etc.

To achieve an excellent user experience is to meet the target customers’ specific needs without fuss, in a simple and elegant way that creates joy to use the product. There must be a seamless merging of multiple disciplines, including UX design, UX research, and UI design, which are the fundamentals in the UX field.

Now you might be asking what do all these different roles mean and how they are different. We prepared a quick summary of each of these UX positions for you and some of the typical tasks they include.

What is a UX designer?

A UX designer focuses on user satisfaction with a product in terms of its usefulness, usability, and enjoyability. Simply put, a UX designer is the user’s advocate within the product, whose responsibility is to ensure that every component of the product is logically and easily accessible, and every process within the product is intuitive.

Some typical tasks of a UX designer include:

  • User flows and wireframes

Using a range of tools to map out the user’s journey through a product, including user flows and wireframes.

  • Prototyping and user testing

Creating clickable prototypes (scaled-down versions of a product, which are not incredibly detailed) and running user testing (in collaboration with UX researchers) enables them to examine the user flows and designs before they get developed.

card sorting

What is a UX researcher?

The purpose of the UX researcher is to uncover human insights to guide the designing process. In other words, researchers listen, observe, empathize and ask the right kinds of questions to understand users, synthesize their findings that can be turned into actionable ideas, and communicate them to the rest of the team.

Some typical tasks of a UX researcher include:

  • Research planning and recruitment

Developing a research plan with clear objectives, writing discussion guides, and recruiting end-users for the research.

  • Data collection

Moderating usability sessions, developing and implementing surveys, conducting stakeholder, and client interviews.

  • Data analysis

Extraction of insights about user behaviors and translating them into actionable recommendations for the team.

  • Presentation of insights

Crafting personas and presenting research findings to the larger team in a clear and organized fashion.

heatmap

What is a UI designer?

UI designer considers the look, feel, and interactivity of a product, to visually guide the user through its interface. UI studies all the visual, interactive elements of a product interface—including buttons, icons, spacing, typography, color schemes, and responsive design.

Some typical tasks of a UI designer include:

  • Design

Creating a style guide to ensure consistency, designing screens, creating visual touchpoints, and the interactivity behind them.

  • Prototyping

Creating prototypes with advanced interactions and transitions to test the visual designs, identify their flaws, and smooth over the rough edges.

card sorting

The top 7 UX skills you need

As mentioned earlier, UX is an incredibly diverse field, thus there is a wide variety of skills someone who wishes to find a job in UX should possess. You’ll need many soft skills alongside the industry standards expected in most positions, from which we picked the ones we deem most important.

Soft skills 

Soft skills are less about your qualifications and more personality- driven. They are intangible and non-technical capabilities that relate to your attitudes and intuitions. Soft skills enable you to navigate your work environment, collaborate with others and accomplish your goals with complementing hard skills. Soft UX design skills include the following.

1. Communication

Either verbal, written, or visual, communication is the number one skill to have. As a UX professional, you’ll need to articulate your ideas when presenting to clients and stakeholders clearly. You’ll also need to be an active and engaged listener when interviewing users and collaborating with developers or fellow designers.

2. Empathy

Empathy is the core of the user-centric design. When advocating for the users, you’ll need to step into their shoes to view the product through their eyes and truly understand their goals and pain points. Similarly, when conducting research, you will observe and ask questions to gather meaningful insights about the design.

3. Curiosity

Creating a sense of curiosity will help you to keep up. Curious professionals engage with clients, products, and challenges in meaningful ways. To develop this skill, try to listen more than you speak, look at problems from multiple angles, and often ask quality questions.

Hard skills 

Hard skills are acquired abilities and can be enhanced through training, repetition, and learning. Unlike soft skills, they are specific to a career, and they are measurable by performance. The most important hard UX skills include the following.

4. Information architecture

Information architecture plays a significant role in UX and refers to organizing information effectively and understandably. To produce and implement site maps and organize navigational structures in an intuitive way for the end-users, you must learn the principles of information architecture.

5. Wireframing and prototyping

Wireframing and prototyping are at the core of the UX profession. These skills enable you to understand how users navigate and interact with flows of information and help you test your designs, catch mistakes, or find ways to improve your product before its finalization.

6. Research skills and analytics

Research is essential in determining users’ needs and understanding the way they interact with the product. Thus, you need to know research methods, such as qualitative and quantitative data collection, understanding how to plan and conduct research, and analyze findings.

7. Visual design

As most of the population are visual learners, graphics are key to engaging users with a product. Hence, you should be familiar with interface elements like layout, typography, graphics, images, and animated motion. You should know how to make things look clickable, establish an effective visual hierarchy and use color theory.

Conclusion

UX is an incredibly diverse field, with various soft and hard skills you should master when trying to find a job in it. The first step is to recognize which of these skills you already have and which you need to develop. Acquiring more abilities increases the value you can add to your work and it also helps you to stand out to potential employers. 

If UX interests you and you wish to develop your knowledge and gain valuable skills in the field, try our research platform UXtweak, a comprehensive all-in-one online tool, where you can register for free. Working with UXtweak will give you an overall understanding of how the most important tasks in UX work. If you are looking for interesting resources to improve your UX skills, read our blog The Best UX resources 2021. For more information about UX research, see our guides here.

Free 5-day Pro trial

Try Profesional plan with all features for free.

Bee
User
testing &
surveys
Card
sorting
Session
recording
Tree
testing

You might be interested in

User Research 20 Terms you need to know as UX researchers

In this article, we’ll try to familiarize you with a few terms that we consider critical for UX researchers to add to their vocabularies. Read more ...

UXtweak Team
UXtweak Team
February 25, 2021
User Research 5 tips for successful recruiting. Find the right respondents for your user testing

The key to successful testing is your respondents. But whom should you test? The article discussed 5 points you should consider while recruiting participants for user testing.  Read more ...

UXtweak Team
UXtweak Team
February 19, 2021
Usability Testing How to motivate people to attend your research

In this article, we will discuss when to use specific types of motivation, what effect it might have on the results, and we'll give you some tips on motivating participants to attend your study so that you will get maximum from your next user testing. Read more ...

UXtweak Team
UXtweak Team
February 12, 2021
News and Updates Top 10 UX podcasts in 2021

Discover the top 10 UX podcasts in 2021 to learn more about UX, find out what issues young creatives face, discover new trends, or listen to field experts. Read more ...

UXtweak Team
UXtweak Team
February 4, 2021

Stay informed

Subscribe for UXtweak news & useful UX tips and tricks

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.