August 2, 2023
UI/UX Guide
3 MIN READ

What is User Experience (UX)? What is a UX Designer?

UX Design (user experience design) represents making sure our product design is easy and intuitive. Learn more about UX design and what does a UX designer.
By
Gabriel Pana
August 2, 2023
Learn more about UX design, user experience, and what does a UX designer do and the UX design salary.

UX design is becoming more and more popular

‍Although people who work in specific industries know what a UX designer is, not everyone knows what UX is or what a UX designer does. Well, that’s why we’re here! 

“Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.” – Steve Jobs.

Most of the time, when we think of design, we immediately think of how it looks like. The pretty websites, the animated visuals, the cool logo. But design is much more than that. As Steve Jobs said – it’s not only about looking good (although this represents a good part of it as well). It’s how it works, too. 

In UI UX design, there are two aspects: aesthetics – user interface (UI) design – and functionality – user experience (UX) design. And while these two are often mixed up since they are interconnected, they have different roles in the design process. This article will answer all your questions regarding what UX design is, what a UX designer does, and a UX designer salary while also explaining the difference between UI and UX design. 

What is UX Design?

UX stands for User Experience. And as the name implies, it represents the experience our users have when interacting with us. UX Design is all about making sure that when someone uses our products, apps, services, and so on – not only do they enjoy using them, but it’s easy to use them. 

Although the term “user experience” might be a new concept for most of us, it was actually introduced back in 1995 by Don Norman, a designer and cognitive scientist. In fact, he was an innovator, becoming the first person to hold the "UX" job title when he joined Apple. 

“I invented the term because I thought human interface and usability were too narrow: I wanted to cover all aspects of the person’s experience with a Industrial design, graphics, the interface, physical interaction, and the manual are all part of the system.” said Don Norman. 

Indeed, the term came to life only in the mid-90s. But long before Don Norman, there was Walt Disney, considered one of the first actual UX designers ever. Yes, UX and UX design are currently mainly used in tech. But UX is everywhere around us. Think about it! Disney is all about providing magical experiences for everyone. Theme parks, animated films, storytelling – everything Disney does is about focusing on giving us unforgettable moments and putting us at the center of everything they do. 

Walt Disney was a master at understanding the needs of his audience. And that’s what UX is all about. UX and UX design represents the relationship between our users and our products. Can they use it easily and efficiently? Do they feel excited when using it? Well, yes, they should. But maybe there were times when you did not understand where to find a specific section on a website. That’s not your fault – not you as a user, at least. 

For example: Let’s say you’re shopping online for clothes. How easy is it to find that blue T-shirt you really want? Does the checkout process give you a headache? Or is it straightforward? All of these represent the user experience. 

The goal of UX is to create products that leave a positive impression when it comes to functionality. But in order to achieve all these, we must also understand what our customers want. Their wishes. Their wants. And most importantly – their pain points with their current products. 

The bottom line: just like Walt Disney, we have to make sure people feel the same way when using our products as after leaving Disneyland Park or the cinema. 

What Does a UX Designer Do? 

In short, a user experience designer is the one creating an enjoyable experience for our users. A UX designer's purpose lies in creating easy, efficient, fun, and logical flows for our users to complete the entire customer purchasing cycle. In other words, a UX designer is like a storyteller.

And while this might sound easy, the job description of a UX designer is much more complex. 

So, what skills do UX designers need to have? 

What exactly does a UX designer do? Well, a lot. It includes strategy, creating a customer persona, creating a story for our product, testing, prototyping, and especially – implementing. 

But just like any other job, a UX designer has to start somewhere: research. Interviews, surveys, focus groups – anything that will make us, as designers, understand our user’s desires and frustrations. In fact, we always have to design with our customers in mind. That’s why a UX designer doesn’t just design. He has to do customer analysis, decision and content mapping, competitor analysis, and sometimes even copywriting. But he also has to deal with designing wireframes, creating user flows, testing, and iteration. 

The bottom line: A user experience designer is a part-time designer and part-time marketer. They don’t focus on making the product look pretty – they focus on the interaction of our customers with the product. 

What Is the UX Designer Salary?

Of course, the salary of a UX designer depends on the country you are in, your experience level, and even the company you are working for. However, due to the high demand, both UI and UX design are high-paid jobs. According to Glassdoor, in the US, the average UX designer salary in 2023 is $99.117/year. 

But how much is a UX designer's salary based on experience? 

As previously mentioned, the salary varies based on experience – we all know that. So, based on a CareerFoundry article, here’s a list of the salary ranges of a UX designer based on multiple levels of experience.

  • UX Designer Intern – $83.000/year
  • Junior UX Designer – $89.000/year
  • Middle UX Designer – $100.000/year
  • Senior UX Designer – $111.000/year
  • UX Designer Manager – $126.000/year

What Is the Difference Between UX and UI Design?

“UI is the saddle, the stirrups, & the reins. UX is the feeling you get being able to ride the horse.” – Dain Miller. 

Dain Miller explains the difference between UI and UX design perfectly. UI design represents the visuals, the elements of a product, the buttons, the images – everything that we can see. All of these in order to create an aesthetically pleasing product. On the other hand, UX design represents the interaction we have as users with the product – everything we experience when using that specific product. It’s the seamless flow, the ease of navigation, and in a nutshell – it’s the product architecture. Not how a product looks like, but rather how it works. 

uinkits – Our Figma Design System and UI Kits

We at uinkits understand the importance of inputs in great user experiences and creating amazing UI designs. That’s why we’ve developed a Figma UI Kit with design components that include these essential UI elements that enable you to design intuitive and user-friendly interfaces effortlessly.  

“You press the button, we do the rest.” – Kodak.

Inspired by this iconic tagline from Kodak, we believe in simplifying the design process for you. Our Figma UI Kit, uinkits, is a complete design system with UI components that allows you, as a UI UX designer, to create your products as quickly as pressing a button. 

Our design system includes UI components, icons, variables, cards, buttons and everything you need for your design process. All you have to do is take your UI design component needed, and you’re ready to use it in your designs!

By
Gabriel Pana
August 2, 2023

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