UX design
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What exactly is a UX designer and how can I be one?

10 May 2017

Applying for a job as a UX designer? If you’re feeling a bit confused about what that actually means, we’re here to help.

For designers looking for jobs, a career in UX might seem appealing. But if they’re not sure what the role entails or even if they would be able to do it, how can they apply for it?

Broadly speaking, UX design is all about marrying business and customer service together to create a user-friendly product.

There are a number of courses available in Ireland, with design colleges offering masters’ degrees in the field of UX design.

However, there are alternative routes, such as internships and workshops. For example, the UX Academy in Dublin will be running two one-day workshops in the coming months, which will equip potential UX designers with the practical skills they need for a successful career.

With companies under more pressure to provide user-friendly products, UX designers are becoming much more valuable, and while a certain level of design ability would be an advantage, the visual aspect is actually quite a small part of the job requirement.

For example, design researchers need to provide insights into what the customer using the end product would need, while interaction designers use the research to craft experiences and tools that will connect users to the products.

Front-end developers might sound like they do more of the visual design, but this is really all about making the early-stage design concepts technologically tangible.

If you want to be a UX designer, you should really be comfortable with programming, coding, design interfaces, site mapping and software development.

For the more visual learners among you, the video below from UX Mastery will give you a simple insight into what exactly a UX designer is and what they do.

If you want to make sure you stand out when applying for UX designer jobs, there are a few things you’ll need.

First, you must have skills for the job: an ability to design user-friendly interfaces, familiarity with the necessary programs and tools, and the organisational skills to manage complex information.

Secondly, you’ll need to have a portfolio. If you haven’t got a lot of design work to show, it’s time to create your own. Redesign products that are already out there and show your process on your own website.

Finally, you have to immerse yourself in the industry and get to know people who are already working in UX design. Attend meet-ups, introduce yourself to people, make connections. Whether this leads to your next job, or just some friendly wisdom, these connections are worth having.

Jenny Darmody
By Jenny Darmody

Jenny Darmody became the editor of Silicon Republic in 2023, having worked as the deputy editor since February 2020. When she’s not writing about the science and tech industry, she’s writing short stories and attempting novels. She continuously buys more books than she can read in a lifetime and pretty stationery is her kryptonite. She also believes seagulls to be the root of all evil and her baking is the stuff of legends.

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