Who is a UX specialist? What skills are required and what are the responsibilities? What do earnings look like? In our new series we present details and news about specific occupations. This time, we focus on positions related to UX.
How did you become a UX specialist?
One day I was asked to find irregularities at one of our client's online store. The website was quite old. It was assumed by the client that the new website would allow to execute business goals more efficiently. The new website would take into account human factors and ergonomics as well as solutions that would help to increase sales. To prepare an expert audit, I decided to carry out the necessary research. Thanks to it I gathered crucial information on types of tests and ways of presenting results.
However, it is difficult to describe a career path in UX in just a few steps. There are several areas that UX experts can specialize in - interaction design, UX research and information architecture. An expert can be promoted to become a manager, though most people are not interested in this position.
What are the responsibilities of a UX specialist?
Responsibilities depend on the position and the degree of specialization. There are cases where each member of the UX team has their own specific tasks. One person can work as an individual specialist as well. The UX Research specialist focuses on gathering information and data that are the basis for the further work. However, the person responsible for designing interaction prepares the product in the context of user experiences.
Generally speaking, there are certain tasks associated with the UX specialist position. They include recognizing users' needs, testing the usability of the interface, designing interface as well as the collaboration with other members of the team and the client.
What skills are necessary to be a UX specialist?
If you want to become UX specialist, it especially important to know prototype programs such as Axure, UXPin, InVision or Sketch. The basic knowledge of HTML and CSS or UX testing (quantitative and qualitative) would be another advantage. Your employer might want you to be able to adapt the acquired information in further designing stages. The other skills that might be an additional asset are creativity and empathy towards others.
What is the most interesting aspect of this job?
I really appreciate the fact that this position is a combination of psychology and technical aspects. But what I like the most is the possibility to provide solutions that are the answers to users' actual needs.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of this job?
The biggest challenge appears when the project we are working on has a smaller budget than required. Sometimes there are situations when it is difficult to convince your co-workers and clients that you are right.
The biggest advantage is the satisfaction that my actions contribute to making life easier for users of interfaces that I optimize.