What Is UX Design? (With Definition, Importance, and FAQs)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published June 19, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

UX designers help ensure consumers have a positive and enjoyable experience with a product or service. Implementing UX design in business operations can help companies create better products that uniquely cater to their target audience. Learning about UX design and its importance can help you determine whether to follow this career path. In this article, we answer the question "What is UX design?", discuss its importance, explain what a UX designer does, describe how to become a UX designer, and answer FAQs about UX design.

What is UX design?

Knowing the answer to the question "What is UX design?" can help you make a more informed career decision. UX, a common abbreviation for user experience, refers to any interactions that a user has with a product or service. It includes all aspects of an offering, including the visual elements, usability, information architecture, interactive features, and overall interface as experienced by a user.

UX design focuses on understanding users' wants, needs, abilities, and limitations with a product or service. It also considers business goals and objectives to create functional offerings that satisfy company goals and users' needs. UX design aims to provide users with a relevant, efficient, and intuitive experience. Typical processes in the UX design life cycle include:

  • Research

  • Planning

  • Presentation

  • Technical coding

  • Usability analysis

  • Graphic design

  • Search engine optimization (SEO)

Why is UX design important?

UX design is important because it helps brands create products that fulfil users' needs. UX design helps develop user-friendly experiences on websites, applications, and other digital platforms that provide positive experiences for consumers and keep users loyal to the brand. Meaningful user experience can also enable companies to define customer journeys on the website that generate the most success. Here are more benefits that indicate the importance of UX design:

  • Improves quality of life: Companies can help improve consumers' quality of life by creating offerings that specifically address the customers' needs. Companies collect user feedback and use it to develop products that simplify tasks or solve user challenges.

  • Improves brand reputation: UX design analyzes the full context of end-user experience with an offering rather than convincing them to make purchases. This helps to design more functional offerings that end-users can appreciate and use successfully for a long time, helping to improve brand loyalty, trust, and reputation.

  • Helps in marketing and advertising: When customers are happy and satisfied with a product, they're more likely to promote the brand on social media or share their positive experiences with their friends, family, and colleagues. This can help increase the brand's marketing efforts and attract more potential customers.

  • Saves costs: Effective UX design also helps companies save costs long-term by catching bugs in the design before product launch. The bugs can be easier and cheaper to fix in the testing stage than after launch.

  • Enhances engagement rate: Excellent UX design can help develop offerings with meaningful experiences that connect customers to a brand. This can facilitate more positive interactions and engagement with the brand on social media, the company website, and other platforms.

  • Increases revenue: Another top importance of implementing UX design is to increase company revenue. Companies can generate more sales, attract more customers, and increase revenue by developing products or services that consumers can use effectively.

What does a UX designer do?

UX designers conduct user research, write UX copies, validate and test with users, and present design solutions to the company. A UX designer advocates for users' needs during product launch and business goals discussions in the company. UX designers strive to make the technology, product, or service created as user-friendly as possible. While a UX designer's duties can vary depending on the company or position in a company, here are the typical responsibilities to expect:

  • Communicating specifications: Specifications are a list of requirements that details the necessary functions of a product. UX designers communicate these specifications to developers and help transition products from design to development.

  • Monitoring user analytics: UX designers make decisions based on analyzed user data. A UX designer uses digital analytics software to track user visits, exits, navigation, purchases, time spent, and other important actions on the company website relating to the developed product.

  • Creating reports: UX designers create reports to organize user data, share user analytics, and predict possible uses.

  • Conducting user surveys: At different stages of the product development process, UX designers conduct user surveys to gather relevant information on end-users' preferences.

  • A-B Testing: A UX designer can test two different systems against each other to determine which works better or gets better responses from users. They can also test two different versions of a system in development for the same reason.

  • Prototyping: UX designers create prototypes of products to showcase the intended look and feel and create working models of new products and existing products revision.

  • Developing personas: To create effective design solutions, a UX designer can create user personas to identify and empathize with user challenges.

How to become a UX designer

You can follow these steps to start a career as a UX designer:

1. Learn the fundamentals

First, learn as much as possible about the fundamentals of UX design. Consider learning about its history and role in different industries to help you prepare for the career ahead. There are several resources available online to help you learn the fundamentals of UX design. You can also research key design tools to become familiar with the field.

2. Continue your education

Many tech-related degrees offer UX design as part of the program. Consider pursuing a program in related fields, such as software development, information technology, or computer science, and earn a degree. Earning a degree can give you a competitive advantage during your job search, especially when advancing to higher-level positions related to UX design. You can also enrol in certification programs to earn relevant credentials and increase your qualifications. Many certification programs also enable you to meet mentors that can help guide your career.

Related: Best UX Design Certifications for Your Career (With Details)

3. Practise working on projects to develop skills

You can apply for internship opportunities to gain more UX design experience. Consider accepting opportunities that can enable you to practise your UX design knowledge to improve your skills. You can also accept freelance jobs or engage in individual projects if you need more experience before getting hired for a full-time position. Freelance and volunteer opportunities are also great for building a list of personal references.

4. Build a portfolio

Consider building a portfolio to showcase your UX design skills and proficiency to prospective employers. Your portfolio can detail examples of your best student work, personal projects, or volunteer and freelance work experiences. Volunteer work can be highly effective in enhancing your work portfolio.

Read more:

  • What Is a Career Portfolio? Definition and How to Make One

  • How to Build an Effective UX Portfolio (With Steps and Tips)

5. Apply for roles

Next, you can start applying for UX design entry-level positions. Aside from having a work portfolio, consider creating an effective resume and cover letter specific to each job application. Search various job sites to find open UX designer positions and apply. You can also regularly check the latest tech-related trends and tools for UX design to remain relevant as the tech industry advances quickly.

Related: How to Create a UX Designer Resume (With Tips and Example)

Frequently asked questions about UX design

The following are common questions about UX design:

What is the average salary for a UX designer?

The national average salary for a UX designer is $73,512 per year. This can vary depending on your UX design skills, abilities, and level of expertise. Consider negotiating more pay or employee benefits if you have the necessary qualifications and experience to excel in that role and can offer more value to the company.

What is the difference between UX design and UI design?

UX and UI design have many similarities, but the concepts are different. UI design stands for user interface design. While UX design focuses on designing user-friendly experiences for consumers, UI design focuses on a product's aesthetics and functions. UI designers apply their knowledge of aesthetics to improve a product's visual elements, such as typography, images, buttons, diagrams, colour palettes, and animation.

In contrast, UX designers apply knowledge of users' wants and needs to improve the functions and actions of an offering. A UX designer can collaborate with a UI designer to create a highly efficient product meeting both form and function needs.

Related: Examples of User Interfaces (With Tips for Developing UI)

What skills are essential for UX designers?

UX designers usually use soft and technical skills to complete daily tasks. Soft skills help in collaborating effectively with other designers and developers in the company, and technical skills facilitate the effective completion of personal tasks and duties. Here are a few skills UX designers use at work:

  • Research

  • Communication

  • Organization

  • Prototyping

  • User empathy

  • Analytical thinking

  • Coding

  • Interactive design

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at the time of writing. Salary figures may vary depending on a hiring organization and a candidate's experience, academic background, and location.

Related articles

What Are UX Writing Skills? (With Examples)

Explore more articles