Outlook : User Experience Design & Careers

UX is really an umbrella of a whole host of careers that all focus on the needs and experiences of the users of a product or products. This umbrella is largely centred at the point where people meet technology. Specifically, the most common UX jobs currently focus on people and their use of things with screens, be it desktop or laptop computer, or mobile devices, or perhaps wearables. Regardless of the exact technology that you may find yourself focusing on in your UX career, your broad mission will remain the same. You’ll be focusing on ways to improve the interaction that people have with technology, in order to make sure that they can do what they want to do and need to do without difficulty and without frustration.

User Experience is mainly divided into 3 different fields which again can be classified furthermore. It would be most simple to explain individual career tracks if every type of UX job fell purely into one of those three buckets. While admittedly this is not the case. As of now, UX careers are largely focused on things with screens — websites, apps, wearables and Internet of Things.

Pic Courtesy: UX Planet

High level overview of different discipline and career paths.

DESIGN

1. Interaction Design focuses on the elements of a screen and how a user interacts with those elements to manipulate the website or application.

2. Information Architecture centers around the organization of information, both parts that a user sees on the screen and elements that are organized behind the scenes.

3. Visual Design focuses on the creation of polished, attractive designs through the use of color, imagery, space, and typography in whatever way will be most appreciated by product users.

4. Information Design includes the construction of web content along with any associated visualizations that are used to provide better meaning for the content. when the content is very technical, but needs to be explained to be understood appropriately by users, we have what is called technical communication.

RESEARCH&EVALUATION

1. Research tends to refer to activities that involve interactions with and observations of actual and representative product users, while evaluation tends to refer to activities that look at a product with respect to general standards and best practices

2. Accessibility Specialist is focused on making sure that products adhere to international and country specific standards for universal usability & can be used by everyone regardless of any kind of disability.

3. Human factors and Ergonomics is associated with the relationship between people, products, and environment, and it is often related to safety and physical comfort in the use of technology.

STRATEGY

1. UX strategy ties business goals to the use of products by the people who the products are intended for.

2. Content strategy makes sure that content and its message are consistent across a product or products, meet the needs of intended audience groups, and align with ultimate business goals.

3. Customer Experience, or CX, which works to improve the way that a company does business, working towards an improvement in both the experience of those who interact with the company and often towards improvement of the bottom line as well.

While these various UX path ways do largely fall into one of three tracks, design, research, and strategy, no UX oriented career can be purely categorized into a single bucket, and there is most certainly overlap to be found.