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Customers or Users’ X Design Skills: What Skills Do We Need to Become a Better UX Designer?

Ulfah Alifah
Ulfah Alifah

Table of Contents

Becoming a better UX designer has increasingly grown in today’s digital business. According to CF, the demand for UX designers is steadily increasing. LinkedIn even ranked UX design as one of the top 5 in-demand skills as of 2020, while Glassdoor added it to their list of best 50 jobs in 2022. This is mainly due to the corporate world’s greater understanding of UX design and how investing in UX design teams can significantly affect their revenue and overall business goals. And CNN Money predicts the demand for UX designers to grow by 13% from 2017-2027.

As we are looking, this job focuses on the interaction between real humans and daily products and services. Knowing UX design is in high demand, we need more discipline combined with psychology knowledge and adequate market analysis. Simply put, we must fulfill our user’s needs by providing positive experiences and keeping the user’s loyalty to the company’s brand. Additionally, creating a meaningful user experience will boost customer journeys for our successful business in the best way.

It sounds great to be a UX designer. Ironically, this job title is such a gimmick for almost everyone. They proudly mention it on their LinkedIn profile or CV portfolios. The fact is, many of them barely know either what job descriptions look like or how they do for this role. And is that the actual thing most UX designers always act on? Of course, no.

If we plan to be a UX designers, this is perhaps the best jump-start. More importantly, we need to level our skills to be competent in this role. We will bring you back from the basics by acknowledging these five skill sets to begin.

1. Graphic design basic

Since graphic design is the fundamental skill in this digital business, we must get started from the basics. Indeed, a UX designer needs to be competent first in visual languages. We can learn how to be proficient in this field progressively by understanding these three concepts:

a. Visual communication

Visual communication is a UX designer’s primary key to planning the information and visualizing the design elements. It also creates easy navigation of the products for engaging potential users. According to CF, many of the population are visual learners and are more impacted by visual cues than auditory ones. Learning good visual communication, like making things look clickable, establishing effective visual hierarchy, using typography and color theory to your advantage, and limiting the need for written instruction are all essential skills for UX designers. Let’s look at these principles to influence the navigation of our content.

  • Size and Scale

We must learn about sizing and scaling if we want to draw the user’s eyes over a particular area. But, we have to be careful when doing this so that some mistakes can remove the importance of elements on the screen. Try to increase the elements’ scale to pull more focus.

  • Perspective

UX designers always play with perspective to create an illusion by focusing on an essential element in the area. Our design will be too rough to visualize if we play the details without proper depth, shadow, and effects. Learn from Youtube or ask a pro to give your a better sense of perspective and depth.

  • Motion Design

Animation brings full of life and excitement to viewers. We can apply a motion to attract them. Because according to Fudge, a recent study has shown that attention span is dropping ever further; from 12 seconds in 2000, we now only spend 8.25 seconds paying attention to something. Don’t add too many moving things, or it will confuse the users. Make your motion design sophisticated by making it simple and easy to follow.

  • Spacing

Of course, we will think about minimalist concepts when talking about UX design. But, we should be careful in utilizing the space to fit many elements. Adding a blank space is also crucial, like choosing the parts.

  • Patterns

Designing our content with the Z and F pattern will help the users have a better experience. The Z pattern is best used for floaty content like Apple’s website. It follows a path from top-left to top-right. On the other hand, the F pattern is more used for text-heavy pages, such as a blog posts. It helps the users to scan images and headlines.

b. Color and contrast

Choosing colors and contrast are similar to adjusting size and weight. So we know colors with higher contrast will appear bolder for the users. For instance, the brighter colors will look closer on a darker background and further away on a lighter experience. Importantly, we can attract our users by using one bright color as the primary point, no matter where many elements we put on the design. More brilliant colors can bring excitement to the users than non-saturated colors. 

c. Typography

The right font pairing can show our website’s personality in certain areas. Using typefaces with different sizes and weights can increase a hierarchy among the text elements. A UX designer must also know the heading sizes to run our design successfully. Use an H1 as the most important headline of a page. Then, use H2 and H3 for specific ideas.

On top of that, we can also use different font weights. For example, we can mix larger fonts with lighter weights and smaller fonts with heavier weights. Still, make your typeface readable and accessible for the users no matter how we do the pairing font.

See also: Why Animated UI/UX Concept in Virtual Presentations Matters

2. Storytelling

As a UX designer, creating a user-friendly product through storytelling is a must-have thing; storytelling will never be timeless to captivate audiences. To make storytelling in UX design is not about writing with long sentences. Still, we implement it using visual media, such as images, videos, graphics, and much more. When creating storytelling, we should use in-depth research to create the user’s personas to know the target users. To make it successful, we can implement these two essential things:

a. Be able to explain the “why”

Implementing storytelling in our design is impossible to do without a vision. We can avoid something mediocre and focus more on the purpose of the brand we produce. As a result, we all know where we want to start and end up. Once we start doing this, we will find countless ways for them to understand our product.

b. Spread our work in Medium and Behance

After accomplishing our hard work of crafting our design story, try to launch our project on some social platform for a reward. Then, we can use Medium or Behance as references to get more engagement or endorsement. Also, we can spread our work to strengthen our campaign and spread social awareness.

See also: How Can UX Design Improve Our Design Logo?

3. Research and analysis

User research and analysis are vital for UX designers to know some design decisions and customers’ recommendations. In this process, we can start to create user interviews, do observations, and use tests. But most of us tend to feel overwhelmed with much information and stuck on how to do it. We can practice these two points to overcome that issue.

a. Read every day

To familiarize ourselves with design knowledge, we can read many articles, design news, or newsletters related to UX design to improve our critical thinking. Make this thing an everyday habit to bring some insights. There are millions of inspirational articles about design trends. With it, we can broaden our perspectives on creativity, mostly when we get blocked and feel unproductive.

b. Evaluate existing works

Designers also need an evaluation process when selecting ideas or strategies for creative works. We must evaluate our methodology by asking our colleagues or professionals and giving feedback. Additionally, we need to examine our job by ensuring that our design ideas are qualified to accomplish our company’s target.

See also: Why is UX Important in Digital Marketing?

4. Interface prototyping skills

Prototyping has quickly become the best way for a UX designer this decade. The prototype itself is an essential part of designing user flows and interfaces. It will allow us to show our design interactively. Therefore, our target customers will be able to click on our product. 

a. using Figma

We can use Figma to create a better design and prototyping from start to finish. This platform is also supported by a robust community of designers and developers that share some plugins to increase functionality and speed up workflows. Here, we also can contribute and share our ideas.

b. Responsiveness

Regarding UX design, we should know about website responsiveness and its importance to our business product. Responsive website design means our web content or design layout is suitable for different screen sizes. As an example, we should create proper call-to-actions in a place. Indeed, optimizing website responsiveness can improve user experience yet create a positive perception of business and brand.

See also: 5 Reasons Why You Should Learn UX Design in 2022

5. Interpersonal Skills

Besides learning necessary design skills, UX designers must sharpen their interpersonal skills like collaboration and communication. When we work for a small or large company, there will be a great chance to interact with other companies or join some communities. By enlarging our networking, we can accomplish two essential things, such:

a. Conduct interview

Creating user interviews can be a great way to pull out the user experience, usability, and conception. Before conducting user interviews, we need to look at some drawbacks like our users are not designers, human beings have short-term memory load, and provide intuitive and straightforward step-by-step instructions to solve the problem quickly.

UX design should be as simple as possible, with accurate information, hierarchy, and recognition over recall. Indeed, it is vital to keep those drawbacks in mind when conducting our interview questions.

b. User testing

User testing is a primary part of the UX design process. It evaluates a product by observing it with potential users. This method enables us to get in-depth information about our user’s behaviors, preferences, and opinions for a successful outcome. We need to consider providing our users with all information and allow them to be the initiators of action to behave as they expect.

See also: Website Localization Is Important to UX Design

Putting it all together

Do you think you get what you need to be a UX designer? Suppose you are interested in pursuing your UX design career. The most remarkable thing we can do now is learning about UX design essentials. We are to learn about the necessary skills and improve our interpersonal skills and our better role.

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