If the idea of becoming a UX Designer has piqued your interest, but you lack experience in the field, it's essential to familiarize yourself with the job's daily routine and challenges before making any career moves.
Understanding the responsibilities and day-to-day operations is critical in making an informed decision.
This article aims to shed some light on the daily life of UX designers and how they apply theory to their work.
Gaining a solid understanding of theory is crucial, but applying it in real-life situations can be challenging due to the obstacles that come our way.
Keep reading to learn more about a UX Designer's daily routine and responsibilities.
First of all, what is the difference between UX and UI Design?
It is imperative to fully comprehend the role and responsibilities of a UX Designer to understand their daily routine.
A UX Designer's primary objective is to create designs that cater to the user experience, addressing the end user's specific need or problem when using a particular product or service.
By adopting a User-Centered Design approach, UX Designers put themselves in the shoes of the end consumer to understand how they interact with a product and how it can be optimized for an optimal experience.
On the other hand, UI is responsible for developing the interfaces that will integrate the UX work.
Therefore, it is important to note that UX and UI go hand in hand, with UI being a component of the overall UX process.
Reading Tip: 10 Reasons Why UX Design is an Amazing Profession
What is the day-to-day life of a UX Designer like?
As a UX Designer, you'll face the challenge of managing multiple projects simultaneously, each with its own unique timeline. This makes establishing a routine challenging, but it's not impossible.
To help you navigate this, we've compiled a list of the processes involved in a project, giving you a clear idea of what to expect when working on a UX team.
Remember, with dedication and perseverance, you can overcome any obstacle and achieve your goals.
What are the activities within a UX project?
The UX Design project development process generally consists of the following stages:
- Understanding the project objective and its impact on the business;
- Testing the old Design;
- User research;
- User definition;
- Prototyping solutions;
- Measurement/testing of usability.
Understanding the strategic elements of a project and its impact on business
UX Design is a multidisciplinary field, so one of the concerns of a UX Designer is to think about how their work affects the company's business and vice versa. Therefore, it is important to recognize that UX Design is a strategic area of the company.
As a UX designer, it's vital to remember the impact of our work on the company's outcomes and ensure that it aligns with the appropriate product strategy.
Every project briefing is an opportunity to ignite a spark of creativity and innovation that can lead to groundbreaking solutions for businesses:
- What result does the company want to achieve?
- What objectives need to be met?
- Which indicators require improvement in the current results?
- Moreover, what is the necessary budget to make this happen?
- Finally, why is the company investing in this project?
As a UX Designer, it is crucial to consider such questions in order to create solutions that cater to both the users' needs and the company's objectives.
Incorporating business expertise into every stage of the UX design process is absolutely crucial. When developing a project, it is important to take into account the costs of any necessary modifications, research, and user testing that may need to be conducted.
It is the responsibility of the UX Designer to comprehend the business, especially in companies that lack a strong design culture.
Designers should also promote the value of UX design within the company. This requires raising awareness among all stakeholders about the pivotal role UX plays in achieving success.
Reading Tip: How Can UX Design Add Value To Business?
Testing the current Design
Before starting any research and development, it's important to take a look at the current product design.
This helps designers figure out what's working well, what's not, and where they can make improvements.
Conduct the appropriate user surveys
After understanding all the company's objectives and testing the current design, it's time to spring into action: start researching and studying users.
At this stage, the UX Designer needs to understand who the user is that will consume the final product. To do this, they need to perform activities such as:
- Field studies;
- Longitudinal studies (observing behavior and characteristics of elements over time);
It is important to note that it is not ideal to directly ask users about their difficulties. People may not be able to accurately express their needs. Instead, UX Designers should observe the user's daily life to understand their behaviors and identify ways to improve their interaction with products.
At the end of this stage, the UX Designer will have enough information to move on to the next step:
Defining the Users
In this phase, the UX Designer is responsible for defining the scenarios and personas, as well as the prioritized activities and key performance indicators (KPIs) that will be used.
This is also the phase in which User Journeys and stories are created.
Reading Tip: Outcomes and Outputs: Know the Difference
One of the UX Designer's activities, within projects, is to research competitors' solutions and test them. This way you already have a base on what works and what doesn't work with your users and how you can improve.
Also, look for best practices from other companies/competitors to apply in your processes and products.
With all the research and definitions done, the UX Designer must generate solutions and create prototypes to test these solutions with users.
In this phase, several tests and comparisons are made to understand the project's flaws and be able to correct them.
After correcting the errors, it is time to test again. This process is repeated to improve the product in each round.
Reading Tip: Usability Test: How To Prepare And Conduct One?
Measuring / usability testing
It is up to the UX Designer to measure the performance of the new product, in comparison with the old design and with the company's goals.
It is important to collect feedback and perform analysis on the indicators, to measure the success of the project and be able to communicate and sell it to stakeholders.
In addition to operational activities, UX Designers can also perform managerial activities such:
- Involvement in research and user definition: integrating their knowledge into the process;
- Schedule management: plan the intervals between design and development, when possible, to allow for iteration rounds;
- Follow the research, improvements and work of the areas;
- Follow up on requests for new research and iterations;
- Relate the results measured with the KPIs and company goals.
The above activities are important to maintain the organization and productivity of the UX team. In some cases, the team is small and there is no official project manager, so it is necessary that the UX Designer is able to take this position.
Reading Tip: Why Are Balanced Teams So Important To UX?
Applying theory and tools
For UX designers, maintaining a consistent approach to their work is crucial. To achieve this, many UX designers rely on methodologies such as Design Thinking and Agile philosophy.
This approach facilitates regular meetings, feedback sessions, and validations to ensure that everything runs smoothly.
The primary objective for UX designers is to conduct user research and testing to gather data for development.
After collecting the data, it is critical to analyze it carefully and employ Storytelling techniques to present it effectively during meetings.
Soft skills and challenges
UX Designers require more than just technical expertise; they must also possess essential behavioral skills, commonly referred to as Soft Skills.
Examples of such skills include effective communication, empathy, and teamwork, all of which are critical for success in this field.
Soft Skills are particularly important for UX Designers as they face numerous daily challenges that often require more than just technical knowledge to overcome.
In theory everything works perfectly, but in a practical professional environment situations can be a little different.
The UX Designer may face several challenges, such as:
- Excessive pressure in delivering a project;
- Stakeholders who do not believe in the importance of UX Design;
- Unmotivated/unqualified staff;
- Poor communication between teams;
- Difficulties in team management;
- Lack of human or financial resources in the project;
- Work environment that is not conducive to the culture of Design.
It's crucial for a UX Designer to be adaptable in their company's environment, since there may not always be enough time or money to complete all UX processes perfectly.
Flexibility and the ability to handle adversity are key qualities in this field.
The majority of challenges in UX Design are not technical, but rather managerial and behavioral, which is why soft skills are highly valued.
Good communication skills, empathy towards team members, informal mentoring for new designers, and the ability to persuade other departments to support your project are all essential skills for success in this role.
Reading Tip: 5 Soft Skills to Make a Difference as a Designer
The daily routine of a UX Designer extends beyond the theoretical and practical tools commonly associated with the field. They are often faced with both managerial and behavioral challenges, as well as technical obstacles.
However, each of these moments presents an opportunity for growth and development. By approaching each challenge with an open mind and a willingness to learn, valuable experience and maturity can be accumulated.