User experience (UX) designer

UX designers use research to understand their users and create websites, applications and software to meet their needs.

Average salary (a year)

£15,600 Starter

to

£65,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

37 to 39 a week

You could work

evenings occasionally

How to become a user experience (UX) designer

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • an apprenticeship
  • applying directly

University

You could do a higher national diploma, degree or postgraduate award in:

  • product design
  • digital marketing
  • graphic design
  • human computer interaction (HCI)
  • digital media and web design

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 1 or 2 A levels for a higher national diploma
  • 2 to 3 A levels for a degree
  • a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study

More information

Apprenticeship

You could start by doing an advanced or higher apprenticeship in creative and digital media.

After completing your apprenticeship, you could find work with a digital design agency or user research company.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent qualifications, for a higher or a degree apprenticeship

More information

Volunteering and experience

You could get work experience by volunteering to help in research sessions, or by doing some user interviewing. You could also get involved in the online user experience community and find a mentor to help you.

Direct application

You can apply directly to companies or go through an agency that specialises in providing digital design professionals to clients.

You'll need qualifications and lots of relevant experience to do this.

More information

Career tips

You'll find it useful to have:

  • knowledge of development tools like HTML and CSS
  • experience of using design software like Adobe Creative Suite
  • experience of creating wireframes and prototypes by hand and with software
  • an understanding of agile project development methods

It'll help if you have a portfolio to showcase examples of your work.

Further information

You can find out more about working as a user experience (UX) designer from

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • knowledge of computer operating systems, hardware and software
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to write computer programs
  • persistence and determination
  • analytical thinking skills
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • maths knowledge
  • to have a thorough understanding of computer systems and applications

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

On a daily basis you'll:

  • help your team define the UX strategy for its products and services
  • do stakeholder research to understand service and business needs
  • use personas and data to meet user needs
  • support software developers with the technical demands of your ideas
  • build user journeys, prototypes and wireframes that communicate your ideas to the team
  • write clear specifications and guidelines for developers or designers
  • work closely with visual designers to meet users needs
  • work with the research team to plan and carry out user research and usability testing
  • contribute to or run UX review sessions
  • analyse issues and recommend solutions

Working environment

You could work in an office, from home or at a client's business.

Career path and progression

With experience you could move into a management job and supervise other designers.

You could also move into a development role if you've got experience of programming languages.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

PR and Digital Media Apprentice

  • Wage : £190.00 - £220.00 Weekly
  • Location: Cirencester GL7 1BN

Graphic Designer Apprentice

  • Wage : £164.00 Weekly
  • Location: Wigan WN1 3AB

Courses In England

Computing & User Experience (UX) - Level 3 BTEC Diploma/Extended Diploma

  • Provider: WKCIC GROUP
  • Start date: 01 September 2019
  • Location: LONDON

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