How to be a better UX designer in 7 steps


Want to become a great UX designer? These tips will help you grow in your career and help you stand out in future job interviews.

User experience (UX) design is becoming more important all the time, particularly in the last two years. From the start of the pandemic online activity soared and many businesses that had never had a strong online presence had to fully pivot.

In 2021, UX design companies such as Each&Other and Lucky Beard have been expanding in Ireland and looking to hire design talent.

But outside of the technical skills, what do you need to know to go from a good UX designer to a great one? How can you present yourself in the best possible way and stand out from the crowd?

Set personal learning goals

As with all careers, one of the most important parts of being successful is continuous learning. As a UX designer, you will always be working towards the goals of your client or your employer, but in order to push yourself, it’s important to set yourself personal goals to help you upskill.

Outside of your required work, make sure you’re flexing your creative muscles by challenging yourself to do something completely different.

Find your specialty

While it’s good to be more of a generalist early on in your UX career, it’s also a good idea to focus a specific area of expertise to set yourself apart from others.

Find a particular strength or passion and work towards being an expert in that area, be it in voice user interfaces, mobile design, UX writing or motion design.

Focus on inclusivity

One of the most important parts of UX design is that is user-friendly to all. Inclusive design is extremely important and accessibility should be baked into product and app design from the beginning.

In order to stand out as a UX designer, make sure you’re knowledgeable on all elements of accessible and inclusive design and make sure you can demonstrate that in your portfolio.

Know your ‘why’

Design can often be subjective. Sure, there are some objectively good and bad UX decisions but for everything else, there will always be a certain number of differing opinions.

This is why it’s always important to know why you made a particular design choice and to be able to explain that why with confidence. When it comes to job interviews, being able to explain your ‘whys’ when going through your portfolio will not only showcase how you work as UX designer, but it will highlight your communication and problem-solving skills.

Become a storyteller

While UX design should look attractive, it’s important not to lose site of the UX part of your job. Your role is to take the user on a journey. After all if your beautiful piece of work does not effectively communicate what it’s supposed to, then you haven’t done your job.

Before you launch into your visual ideas, become familiar with the message or story a certain brand or client is trying to convey. Then, map that out on storyboards to ensure the message stays threaded throughout.

Let go of perfectionism

For many UX designer, perfectionism is in their nature and it can be extremely hard to let go of that mindset. You might think that being ‘perfect’ or striving to be so, will make you a better UX designer.

But a 90pc perfect job in your eyes is better than a 100pc perfect job that may never get done – because perfection is so rarely achievable. It is a much stronger trait to be able to know when to put something to bed and deliver a quality project on time.

Leave room for creative thinking

Outside of your work and your own design projects, make sure you allow yourself the time and space to think, brainstorm and be creative.

This doesn’t mean trying to think of even more creative design projects. In fact, you should take yourself away from your work altogether. Go for a walk, doodle, browse the internet. The key is to leave space for your brain to be free to get inspired.

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