One of the most common questions people have when considering a transition to UX/UI design is what skills are required to be successful in the field and stand out in the job market.
In this sense, it is important to emphasize that technical skills (hard skills) alone are not enough; behavioral skills (soft skills) are also essential.
This article will list and explain the hard and soft skills commonly required for UX/UI Designers.
1) Communication Skills
The UX Designer will not work in isolation. On the contrary, this is a professional who will always work in a team, whether with other designers or professionals from other areas of the company, such as:
- Marketing and Sales;
- Developers and Programmers;
- Project Managers;
- Directors and Investors;
- Product Users;
Therefore, it is important to establish good communication to avoid misunderstandings and improve the flow of work and relationships.
The benefits of good communication include:
- Ability to clearly convey ideas;
- Good presentations of reports and projects;
- Better results in interviews;
- Self-promotion to gain clients;
- Better understanding and interaction with other team members;
- Development of more assertive products/services;
- Agility in project development;
- Reduction of errors due to communication failures.
2) Research and Analytical Skills
The UX Designer works very closely with the end-user since the beginning of the project. One of the first things the professional should do is conduct a research with users to understand their needs and pains.
Through these researches, the UX Designer defines the problem to be solved and begins to develop possible solutions to these needs.
Then, the UX Designer tests the product to understand if it is efficient or not and if it is actually solving the user's problem.
In this sense, usability tests are essential to measure results and verify what can be improved before and after the product is delivered to users. It is an iterative stage that should be done constantly.
Thus, professionals work with data analysis tools, such as Google Analytics, to find insights about the product.
With data about the end user, obtained at the beginning of the project, and data about the product, obtained through usability testing, it is possible to develop a more assertive final product/service and improve the journey based on this information.
Even if the designer does not have the knowledge to analyze the data in depth, it is important that they have at least a general knowledge of research and tools that can be used.
Reading Tip: Usability Test: How To Prepare And Conduct One?
3) Visual Design Skills
Visual Design and UX Design are often put side by side, and sometimes even confused with each other.
Although not all UX roles require visual skills (such as UX Research, for example), it is important for the designer to understand some basic principles of this field.
This is because the visual part of an interface is not just an aesthetic matter, but it also relates to usability.
Therefore, some necessary basic knowledge about Visual Design includes:
- Typography rules;
- Color theory;
- Visual hierarchy;
- Usability principles and heuristics.
These subjects improve the user experience and are therefore important concepts for every UX professional.
Basically, one of the objectives of a UX Designer is to ensure user satisfaction and that their need is solved in the best possible way.
To understand what these needs are, it is important for the UX Designer to develop empathy. That is, the ability to identify with the user and imagine themselves in the same situation as the user.
Therefore, empathy is essential for UX Design. All work is focused on solving real people's problems. Thus, the professional needs to have empathy in order not to prejudge or raise unreal hypotheses about the user and end up developing ineffective solutions.
Reading Tip: Why Is Empathy Essential For UX Design?
5) Programming and Project Management Knowledge
It is very common for the UX Design team to work closely with development teams. Thus, having a basic knowledge of programming can help in communication between the two teams. But it is not the UX Designer's job to know how to program.
But again, the UX Designer does not need to know how to program or have in-depth knowledge of the field. A basic understanding is enough to establish good communication with the development team.
Additionally, having Project Management skills can be useful for the UX Designer who wants to become a Lead. With these skills, the professional can:
- Plan and execute a project;
- Incorporate the UX flow into the project development process;
- Apply Agile Philosophy during project stages.
6) Strategic mindset
More and more companies are recognizing the importance of using Design in user experience and its impact on business growth.
Successful companies value a Designer who thinks holistically and understands business needs.
This combination of skills (Design + Business) is essential to work in larger companies, interact with the team, develop more profitable solutions and still stand out in the company.
Reading Tip: Business Design: Why Is it Important to Know About Business?
7) Critical thinking and humbleness
The Designer needs to be able to differentiate between what looks good and what really is good. This can be the difference between an average product and a successful one.
Critical thinking helps the professional to conduct research for the various UX/UI projects they will do throughout their career, and also to filter people's opinions and suggestions to the project.
In addition, the Designer needs to be able to listen to criticism and apply the suggestions received to their project. Having the humbleness to let go of your own ideas and accept others' ideas is essential.
Another skill for a career in Design is curiosity.
Being curious is fundamental for a designer to stay on top and explore new ways to solve problems.
Even more so in the UX and technology market, the evolution of processes, products and methodologies is very fast. Therefore, the designer must always keep up to date and curious about what's new in the field.
Reading Tip: The Importance of Curiosity in UX Design
For you to become a top UX/UI Design professional, it is crucial that you work hard, improve your soft skills and technical skills. We hope this article has helped you better understand the main skills you need to develop or improve in order to achieve your goals!