Listed top of Indeed’s 19 IT jobs that are in demand in 2023, UX design continues to be a hot topic in tech—and beyond.
Just recently, Adobe asked 500 hiring managers how important UX design was. Over 87% of them said that hiring UX designers was their top priority. And about two-thirds of the responders reported hiring five or more UX designers within the past year.
But why is UX design in such high demand and what makes the position in a company so crucial?
We’ve made this guide to answer all your questions on what makes people so passionate about UX design and why UX design is a great career choice.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
- Why is UX design important?
- Top 5 reasons why UX design is a great career choice
- How to become a UX designer
- Final thoughts
Let’s get started!
1. Why is UX design important?
Think of all your apps on your phone, laptop, tablet, and TV.
What was the process like to download them? How often do you use them daily? What tasks do they help you accomplish? Now, take note of all the different websites you visit per week. What is it like to navigate them? Do they help you fulfill a particular goal?
All of these questions get to the heart of what it’s like to have a user experience. And UX designers are usually the ones responsible for how smoothly that experience will go. Imagine how frustrating it is when an urgent task is delayed by a faulty site or an un-navigable app.
User experience designers help make products that are a win-win for both customers and investors. The user’s experience will be enjoyable enough to make them happy, loyal customers while the company profits from consistent or increasing sales.
By researching and staying up to date on the user base as well as relevant competition, UX designers keep brands cutting edge yet always useful and reliable.
Without the empathy and understanding of UX designers, the products we interact with every day would be more of a hassle and frustration than a helpful, effective tool.
UX designers anticipate the user’s needs, patterns, and desires to provide an effortless-to-use product that gets their goals met.
The proof is in the pudding: A study from Forrester Research highlights how a better UX design could yield conversion rates of up to 400%.
A well-designed product with an excellent user experience is not just beneficial for the company-customer relationship but also for society as a whole.
When we create tools that focus on efficiency and meeting our needs, we can accomplish more in our lives. By making experiences accessible and comfortable, UX designers can change people’s day-to-day experiences for the better.
2. Top 5 reasons why UX design is a great career choice
In the United States alone there are just under 10,000 UX designers currently employed. The field is growing and more people are turning towards UX as a serious career path. What’s so alluring about being a UX designer? We’ve compiled five of the most moving reasons to become a UX designer.
1. Making impactful products
UX designers work on more than just entertainment apps or commercial websites. As a UX designer, you may also have the opportunity to work on projects that make a huge impact on underserved communities, people in need, or disadvantaged groups of people.
For instance, you could be designing products to help people find mental health providers or access medical benefits and pharmacy discounts. Or, you may work on products that assist people to find housing, food, or legal guidance.
As a UX designer, you have the opportunity to shape how society interacts and utilizes technology and digital products.
But remember, while most UX designers work on digital products, they can also be employed to aid in the creation of real-life social services like education and healthcare programs, or finding access to resources like food and clean drinking water.
2. Diverse work scenarios
When it comes to UX, there is a comfortable environment for many different work styles. Whether you like remote work, in-office, large companies, or small start-ups, you’re sure to find a UX workspace that fits your needs and lifestyle.
Depending on the brand you’re working for, you could be one of many UX designers on a team or the only designer in the entire company. Many design agencies or larger UX teams offer the opportunity to focus on one aspect of the design process and hone specific skills.
Or you may want the responsibility of completing the UX design process from start to finish as the sole designer within a business.
3. Increased demand
UX design is extremely valuable to companies with an online presence. Being able to deliver a product that creates consistent and happy customers is key to business success. Therefore, UX designers are increasingly in high demand in tech and other spaces.
With so many brands in need of great UX design, compensation rates are generally quite high to attract designers to join their teams.
According to Glassdoor, the average yearly income for a UX designer in the United States is just above $120,000. However, this number vary depending on experience level and demonstrated skill.
There is no shortage of available positions either. Glassdoor alone lists over 2600 listings seeking UX designers of all levels. And that is just for the United States. The digitization of services has and will likely keep the number of available UX positions high.
Find out all the details on the UX designer’s salary and the market outlook in our salary guide.
4. Utilize previous or crossover skills
While many people find UX early in their professional careers, it is also a field known for having designers with a wide range of diverse backgrounds. That is what makes UX such a welcoming career path as it doesn’t require a strict set of prerequisites.
Throughout your time in the UX field, you may encounter designers that were once chefs, event planners, contractors, stock accountants, service industry workers, nurses, and many other unique workers. This is often because of the high rate of transferable skills within UX design.
As a UX designer, you deal with diverse companies with diverse customer bases. Therefore, crossover skills like empathy, critical thinking, business acumen, communication, research ability, etc., can go a long way when entering into your UX career.
5. Growth opportunity
Technology and business practices are dynamic and constantly adapting to the times. Therefore, UX design is a field that is flexible and always changing.
As a designer, you’ll have the opportunity to experience new trends. You’ll able to access cutting-edge software, creative methods, and even design for budding companies pumping out life-changing products.
UX can also be a foot in the door to other specialties or related fields. For example, many may start as general UX designers but end up focusing on research, testing, information architecture, coding, or visual design.
Personally, my UX career helped me find a love of teaching and mentoring. Very early on in my UX design journey, I realized that communicating UX concepts to new learners and helping students make their entrance into the field was just as rewarding as creating new products.
3. How to become a UX designer
Whether you are a fresh student or a career changer, there are many paths to becoming a UX designer. We’ve highlighted the top 3 most common ways people follow their passion for UX.
Like many other careers, some choose to obtain a formal UX degree from an accredited college or university. These programs are usually two to four years for a bachelor’s degree in UX or a related field. Many also take the option of a higher level of education by applying for a master’s program.
This route usually requires a bit more time and financial investment than others and may not prove to be any more beneficial than less formal education methods.
A bootcamp-style learning environment can be either online, in-person or a mix of the two.
They are often shorter programs than full degrees, ranging anywhere from 3-12 months, and are hyperfocused on UX design and related UX concepts.
It’s common for bootcamp students to be paired with a mentor or tutor, especially with fully online schools. The mentors provide expert advice from people with more in-field experience.
Because this education path is much more expedited, costs are usually cheaper and schedules are a bit more flexible. Many bootcamps also provide post-school career guidance to help optimize your resume or portfolio and jumpstart your job search.
CareerFoundry and some other schools even offer free short courses for you to try out the program to see whether it’s for you.
Another cost-effective option to get started in UX is to teach yourself. This means reading, researching, and practicing design concepts on your own until your skills are proficient enough for an entry-level position.
Being self-taught provides maximum flexibility with minimal cost, but requires a lot of discipline and drive. It’s all on you to come up with an adequate curriculum, study plan, resource catalog, and networking opportunities.
Luckily with YouTube and similar learning platforms, it’s easier than ever to teach yourself the basics of UX design.
4. Final thoughts
Each designer’s journey into UX is a unique one. UX designers come from both tech and non-tech backgrounds and each lends a distinct set of skills and an eye for design.
As their career progresses, UX designers are constantly learning new ways to work and create for the ever-changing world around them.
Some may enter the UX field for a steady salary and job security while others crave the need to solve complex problems and utilize previously honed skills in new and exciting ways. There are plenty of reasons why people become passionate about UX design and they are diverse as the field itself.
And, as you’ve seen from this article, why UX design is considered a great career choice.
There are many different ways to become one, and that’s why we’ve created this step-by-step guide to how to become a UX designer.
If you’d like to learn more about why UX design is a great career, check out these articles: