How to Become a UX Designer in Australia
A UX designer’s main job is to analyse and understand the way end-users are using a company’s product. Once they do the research and analysis, their responsibility is to come up with the best and simplest ways a product can be used, so that consumers have it easier. When you boil it down, a UX designer is in charge of user experience. They are the ones who make sure this experience is well-structured and optimised.
Typically, this entails designing the appearance and behaviour of new and existing functionalities. When the design is finished, prototypes are made to test all the solutions and adjust them so that they are viable and reasonable. Finally, when all adjustments have been made, a UX designer will create a design which will be used during coding and programming.
The job doesn’t stop there, though. Once users start interacting with a product, UX designers analyse ways in which they can further optimise that interaction and the whole process starts again.
Are you analytical and enjoy problem-solving? Have you always wanted to work in the obscure and forever-changing world of technology? If yes, becoming a UX designer might just be for you. Here’s a simple guide on how to do that.
Step 1: Do Some Research
The best thing about tech careers is the multitude of paths that can take you there. As the field is fairly new, there's no real consensus on what exact qualifications you need to do the job. Basically, if you know how to do it, you're qualified. Start your journey by reading up on UX design and all it entails. There are thousands of books available on the topic, so you should not have a hard time finding the resources. Alternatively, start following some blogs to gain a better understanding of the world of UX design. Take an active approach to learning and master the field all by yourself.
Step 2: Enrol in a Course
There is a large number of courses dedicated to training interested parties on the ways of UX design. Some of them are run by actual designers, who are looking for ways to give back and create a strong network, while others are held by professors. Either way, these courses are typically short and designed to equip you with all the necessary practical knowledge you will need to work as a UX designer.
Step 3: Get a Degree in UX design
As an alternative to the first two steps or once you figure out UX design is something you really want to do, you can throw all your chips in and get a degree. There are not many professionals with formal training, but the field is slowly growing. It definitely wouldn't hurt to take a full-fledged degree course.
Step 4: Land a Job
Getting a job is always easier said than done. This is especially true when it comes to technical careers, where you need to prove to know your stuff. Here, a degree or certification carries less weight than the skills you have. You could spend hours honing your CV and preparing for the job interview, as you should, but it will come down to what you are able to do. Most commonly, you will be given a practical test of sorts, to determine if you're ready for the job.
Step 5: Don't Stop Leveling Up
Just like with other technical fields, user experience design is pliant to change. Make sure that you stay on top of trends and new technologies. Enter into a few associations, form a group of UX designers, create your own network. Continue learning and you (and your boss) will see improved results in no-time.
What does a UX Designer do?
A UX designer looks at the way users interact with their company's system and products in order to simplify usage. Their main goal is to make the system user-friendly, levelling up the benefits consumers have when using their company's website. By doing research, UX designers see what parts of their products and offerings need improving. Then, they analyse any problems they have identified, which often comes hand in hand with interacting with consumers in order to get feedback. After the problem has been analysed, the UX designers move onto drafting possible solutions for the problem at hand. There's always a multitude of options, so their responsibility is to find the simplest, best and most cost-effective ones. What follows is the preparation of prototypes or detailed sketches, depending on the offered solution, and testing. The testing phase usually results in further adjustments and then the new product/system is launched. Once it's made public, the whole process starts again. It's a never-ending cycle of improvement.
- Analysing the way users interact with products/system
- Creating solutions to simplify user interaction
- Maximising user satisfaction
- Optimisation of user experience
- Researching ways to improve user experience
- Drafting solutions for identified issues
- Generating detailed sketches and prototypes of suggested solutions
- Testing the viability of proposed solutions
Skills for Success
Apart from strong technical skills and ability to work with several software platforms, a good UX designer needs specific soft skills to succeed. They need to be good team players, as everything they do is done in collaboration with the entire design and development department. Then, they should also have great communication and customer servicing skills. It would be beneficial to be analytical and open to feedback, as well. Additionally, having a solution-oriented approach is a must, as is being good at time-management. UX designers also need to know project management, be dedicated and passionate about their job.
- Team spirit
- Collaboration and communication
- Technical knowledge and skills
- Ability to operate various computer software solutions and programmes
- Customer servicing skills
- Open to feedback
- Great communication and analytical skills
- Solution-oriented approach
- Time and project management
- Dedication and passion