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Who is a UX Strategist & How to Become One [+Salary]

Elena Mitsiou
•  27.09.2023
With the UX design industry booming over the last years we have witnessed an abundance of different UX job roles in demand. It goes beyond the shadow of a doubt that the role of the UX strategist is one of the most sought-after UX roles in the industry right now as it is instrumental in formulating a killing UX strategy that can drive the success of the product.

UX Strategists focus on crafting a winning strategy to enhance the overall experience of a product while hitting business targets. Strategy development and a knack for research and optimization are the bread and butter of every successful UX strategist.

Curious to know more? Let’s dive in! 

Key Takeaways:

✅ A UX Strategist is a UX professional who specializes in creating the overall UX strategy.

💥 The main focus of a UX strategist is to enhance the overall experience of a product while hitting business targets.

🔍 Project management skills are vital if you want to become a successful UX strategist.

💡 Creating the strategic plan of the scope of research is one of the main responsibilities of a UX strategist.

😍 UX strategists have lucrative careers!

Who is a UX strategist? 

A UX Strategist is a UX professional who specializes in creating the overall UX strategy as well as the working frameworks for the strategy execution, with the main goal of enhancing the user experience of digital products while meeting business needs. 

The main focus of every UX strategist is to come up with ways of aligning user needs and behaviors with business goals and activities.

UX strategists can wear multiple hats based on the size and the level of UX maturity of the team, but generally they would strategically plan the research needs and develop strategies to optimize the overall quality of the user experience across the different features of a product or service.

What do UX strategists do? 

ux strategist

A UX strategist plays an instrumental role in any UX team as they can make or break the user experience of a digital product. UX strategists are usually accountable for creating strategic plans around user research, its analysis as well the application of the research findings to product development

A UX strategist will also be responsible for fostering the collaboration of cross-functional teams and mentoring the team members to ensure that the team operates on high standards at all times. UX strategists mainly laser focus on formulating a high-level strategy when it comes to user experience. However, depending on the size of the UX team the UX strategist might need to take a more hands-on approach.

Here are some of the main tasks of a UX strategist:

  • Outline the overall UX strategy and UX vision
  • Align the UX direction with the goals and needs of the business
  • Set the main UX metrics and key performance indicators
  • Play a big role in strategic decisions around information architecture and content strategy
  • Create a strategic research plan
  • Analyze the competitor landscape and any emerging industry trends
  • Collaborate with team members and cross-functional teams to make sure that the strategy is implemented
  • Be on the lookout for optimization opportunities
  • Course correct or iterate the strategy when appropriate

What are the most common UX strategist skills?

To become a successful UX strategist you need to possess a combination of different soft and hard skills both in the business and the UX realm. This unique set of skills will give you the ability to craft and implement stellar UX strategies that can drive the business to success. 

Here is a list of the most common competencies that every UX strategist should possess:

  • Business Acumen

As a UX strategist, you would need to have a great understanding of how a business works, and its specific goals. This will enable you to formulate a UX strategy that can help the organization achieve those goals. Additionally, grasping and being able to analyze the competitive landscape is equally important.

  • Problem-Solving skills

Solving problems when it comes to addressing and working around UX challenges will take a big part of your role as a UX strategist so being a keen problem-solver is of utmost importance. 

  • Agility

Being agile and able to adapt will get you a long way in your role as a UX strategist. This should be also coupled with a keen eye for the latest industry trends and methodologies to take advantage of.

  • Project Management

Yes, you’ve read this right. Project management skills are critical to your role as a UX strategist as these skills with help you to allocate resources as well as prioritize UX activities. 

  • Strategic & Critical Thinking

The ability to think strategically while developing effective strategies goes without saying. On top of that, thinking critically and being able to make the right decision in a timely manner is another critical skill that any UX strategist should have.

  • Data Analysis 

The ability to analyze data and get actionable insights to drive UX activities is yet another skill that every strategist should have. This helps in setting and analyzing meaningful key performance indicators to measure the impact of the UX strategy.

  • Collaboration & Creativity

Strategists should also be creative and collaborative in nature, these soft skills ensure that the UX teams can come up with innovative solutions at all times and that there is clear communication across cross-functional teams to deliver those solutions.

How to become a UX strategist?

ux strategist

Becoming a UX strategist might involve spending a few years as a UX designer or UX Researcher so that you can gain all the necessary skills and experiences needed to have a stellar career. 

It will also require some sort of formal education and continuous skill development to make sure you always stay on top of this ever-evolving industry. Although there is not one single path to becoming a strategist these are some of the steps you can take toward your journey to become a successful UX strategist. 

1. Taking up a University Degree or a UX Course

Starting with some formal education can be a great way to get your foot in the door as a UX strategist. When it comes to university degrees common relevant fields that are proven to be very helpful in landing a job as a UX strategy include Graphic Design, Psychology, Human-Computer Interaction, Social Sciences, and Anthropology.

If earning a university degree is not a viable solution for you, there are an array of UX courses you can take to get the right UX foundation for your career.  

2. Getting UX Experience

If you take a look at the path of UX strategists with successful careers you will see that a lot of them have spent years as UX designers or researchers before taking the leap of faith.

Working as a UX designer will help you gain a solid understanding of the full UX design cycle, including the main principles, methodologies, and dynamics of a UX team. Getting some UX research experience will also help tremendously with getting the hang of an array of research methodologies and strategies.

This experience will help you not only build your practical skills as a UX professional but will also give you the chance to master industry-standard UX tools like Figma, Invision, or Adobe as well as research platforms like UXtweak.

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3. Networking & Mentorhip

Attending UX conferences and local meetups as well as being a member of any local UX community can be another great way to get a foot in the door as a UX strategist. Staying connected with UX peers, seeking mentorship, and creating a strong network can help you get the right advice and guidance on how to achieve a successful career in the long run.

4. Building a Portfolio

If you are looking to kick-start your career as a UX strategist, consider building a winning portfolio to showcase your experience and unique approach to problem-solving. Building a portfolio will help you establish credibility as a UX professional and will help you start meaningful conversations with recruiters and clients alike!

 

5. Engaging in Continuous Learning

UX is an evolving field so to become a successful UX Strategist you will need to always stay ahead of the curve when it comes to the latest trends and technology in the UX realm. Make sure to read books, and blogs and consider taking workshops or short courses to further enrich your knowledge and skills.

What is the average salary of a UX strategist?

Yes, in case you are wondering, UX strategists have lucrative careers! The salary of a UX strategist can greatly depend on the location and years of experience and it varies from industry to industry and from one organization to another. As a rule of thumb, being a UX strategist is a fruitful career that offers great compensation packages.

In major tech hubs like the UK or the US, these are sought-after roles that pay extremely well. For example, according to Glassdoor, an average salary in the UK for a UX strategist is £81,243 per year while according to Salary.com, the salaries for UX strategists in the US span from $105,363 to $135,150. Also, certain industries like tech, cybersecurity, or healthcare tend to give better packages compared to other industries so this is so this is also something to have in mind.

Always remember that salary figures can fluctuate depending on economic conditions so make sure to stay up to date with any changes.

UX strategist vs. UX content strategist: What’s the difference?

The role of the UX strategist is not to be confused with that of the UX content strategist. While the UX strategist looks after the entire UX operations, the UX content strategist will laser focus on content and the strategy around it. Hence, although both roles are equally important they have distinct focuses:

Focus

Responsibilities

UX Strategist

Focuses on the wider UX strategy arching over all the different UX operations and activities.

Their responsibilities would include planning a high-level strategy for UX throughout the entire product lifecycle process.

UX Content Strategist

Focus on the content and its impact on the user experience.

Their responsibilities would include planning the UX content strategy and guidelines for the voice and tone of the brand.

Where to find UX strategist jobs?

Finding UX strategists’ jobs might seem like a daunting task. This is why we have collated this comprehensive list of where you can source those online: 

  • LinkedIn: Create a LinkedIn account if you do not already have one and use the job search functionality to start your search using keywords like “UX Strategist” or “User Experience Strategist.”
  • Indeed: Indeed is one of the most established global job boards to search for opportunities as a strategist.
  • Ux Jobs Board: This is a great job board focusing specifically on UX roles so this one will definitely come in handy when searching for UX strategist roles.
  • Dribble: Dribble is another great job board that specializes in UX and design roles that are worth looking at.
  • We Work Remotely: When it comes to remote UX strategists’ roles, WWR is a great place to start your search.

Resources and Communities for UX strategists

ux strategist

There are a host of resources to tap into and an abundance of UX communities that you can be part of so that you always remain ahead of the curve when it comes to the latest industry trends:

UX strategist Resources:

  • Nielsen Norman Group (NN/g): This is the most comprehensive resource on UX research and design as it offers a host of blog articles of great value on every topic around UX.
  • UX Design Institute Blog: This is a blog created by UX Design Institute and it offers great articles about UX strategy.
  • UX Collective: If you are looking for a place to get updated on the latest advancements in UX strategy look no further.

Courses for UX Strategists:

Ready to become a UX strategist? 

Are you ready to begin your journey toward becoming a strategist and start making an impact on users and organizations alike? The UX strategist path is a lucrative and fulfilling career path for anyone who is looking to make an impact in the UX field so get your portfolio ready and start applying for roles!

If you are unsure how to get started on your UX portfolio, take advantage of UXtweak, the all-in-one platform to start building your UX case studies and learning a comprehensive UX research tool! 

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FAQ: UX Strategist

How do you become a UX strategist?

To become a UX strategist, consider taking up some formal education on UX or any related fields. Build your skills and knowledge by getting a few years of working under your belt and never stop learning!

What is the goal of a UX strategist?

The primary goal of a UX strategist is to ensure that the UX strategy aligns with the user needs and the business goals. All this while improving the user experience.

What is the difference between a UX strategist and a service designer?

While UX Strategists focus on the overall UX strategy of the digital aspects, Service Designers focus on the entire service ecosystem.

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