What does a UX Designer do?

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Enok Madrid
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5 min
Sep 28, 2022
Sep 29, 2022

If you’re considering a career as a UX designer, you’ll want to know how UX designers work on a day-to-day basis. What is your role within a company? And most importantly, What does a UX designer actually do?

Allow me to be clear as I possible can explain what UX designers actually do. And this based on my personal experience.

So what does a UX designer actually do?

Essentially, doing UX design means you go through a design process in order to get to different screens designs that the users will interact with for a website or web app.

There many design processes and ways to do UX design out there but this process always breaks down into these 3 fundamental steps:

  1. Research
  2. Design
  3. Testing

No matter how you approach this process, you're the end goal is to have final designs that solve a problem or add value to the user and make the experience much better. So in the end the deliverable is the visual design, mocks, or guides for developers to build.

These visuals are created using tools such as Sketch or Figma, and they include all the different screens designs the user will interact with.

1. The Research phase
Your goal is to be clear on what you want the design to solve for and to set the design project in the right direction. You do a lot of discovery to answer many questions like:

  • Who are the users?
  • What is the market?
  • What is the problem we want to solve?
  • What is the ideal outcome that we want to use as a success criteria?

Common activities to perform research include:
Conducting user interviews

  • User surveys
  • Asking stakeholders in your organization or business leaders to provide you with an understanding of the business objective, data, insights, metrics, and possibly solutions that have been tried before that did not worked.
  • You create personas
  • Build the user-flows.

At my current job, I don't really spend that much time on research unless we are starting a brand new project from scratch or if we're releasing a new feature in one of our products. Unless you job title is "UX Researcher", then you'll probably spend less time on this type of research.

Most of my energy on a day-to-day basis is focused on the Design phase.

2. The design phase
This is where you get to sketch wireframes, and put together screen designs in tools like sketch or Figma.

But before you touch any of these design software, you need to be clear on the users needs and put yourself in their shoes. You also must make sure that your design solutions match the business objectives, while at the same time ensure that the designs are visually appealing by adding harmonious colors, imagery, typography, illustrations, icons, and subtle animations.

When we have a prototype ready to share with our team, we use tools such as InvisionApp. This is useful for other team members to interact with and get a feel for your designs so they can give you feedback. This allows us to start having meaningful conversations around the design you're presenting. What we think will benefit the users? are we inline with the business needs? Are we communicating the right message?

You also get feedback from the developers because they will be there to gauge the feasibility of any specific design pattern whether it's technically possible to build or not. Developers might even suggest a different approach. It's really a collaborative experience when you include your team to be part of the design process. There might be times when you'll be challenged and you need to have your facts and data ready at your finger tips to help you defend and confirm your design decisions and stand your ground.

3. The last step on a UX process: Testing your designs.
This happens once a featured get built and release to the public. We test against our original success metrics to know if what we designed has achieved the original objective. Did it improve the usability? Does it simplify a step for the users? Is it more clear? Are we getting conversions? Whatever the objective was, did we reach reach it?

And to conduct these tests we use tools such as usertesting.com, Userbob.com, hot-jar, to gather session recordings, heat-maps, analytics, A/B tests, and user surveys.

There are so many tools out there, all you have to do is google usability testing and you'll get plenty of resources.

Just keep in mind that without testing you won't know if all the hard work you put into a design was worth it. Here's a metaphor that helps put this in perspective:

"The ‘User Experience’ is like a really comfortable train ride, in that it only matters if the train is headed to where you want to go"

Alright, Well I hope to have helped you get a clear understanding of what we do as UX Designers.

Thanks for reading,
Peace ✌️