Media

User experience (UX) designer

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

Annual Salary

£23,000 to £40,000

Average UK salary in 2018 was £29,588
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

37 to 39 a week

You could work: evenings; occasionally

3%
Future employment

There will be 3% more User experience (UX) designer jobs in 2024.
In your local area

What's it all about?

Day to day tasks

On a daily basis you'll:

  • help your team define the user experience (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.

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college 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, or equivalent, for a higher national diploma
  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
  • a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study
For more information
College

You could do a college course, which may lead onto more advanced qualifications or a higher apprenticeship, or help you to get a trainee position with a company. Courses include:

  • A level in Computing
  • T level in Digital Production, Design and Development
  • Level 4 Certificate in Digital Media Design

Entry requirements

You may need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English, maths and computing
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths for a T level
  • 1 or 2 A levels, a level 3 diploma or relevant experience for a level 4 or level 5 course
For more information
Apprenticeship

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

You could also start with a digital user experience (UX) professional degree apprenticeship.

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), or equivalent, 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, for a higher or degree apprenticeship
For more information
Volunteering and work 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 fromUser Experience Professionals' Association; Tech Future Careers

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.

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 wire frames 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

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

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
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • to have a thorough understanding of computer systems and applications
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