The difference between working in China and USA as a UX designer(1)
#1 Job Descriptions
I’m a person who’d like to check job descriptions of a company. By reading qualifications I can learn how’s the design culture in this team, how design developed for their products.
I just found some job descriptions about UX designer, especially interaction design side, both in China and USA, which are interesting to read.
1. Coding skills
Although it depends on project by project and team by team, or even level by level, American companies are more likely to hire people who can code.
Experience with front-end programming
Some experience with front-end programming (you should be able to code up a simple web site and/or an application)
Excellent knowledge of CSS and HTML and demonstrated expertise with Adobe CS products.
While in China, none of them mentioned about coding skills. Tencent has a little call for computer science background:
BS or above in Industrial design, Computer Science, and Psychology
2. Senior level
For some American companies, senior level means more than 5 years of experience. From my previous internship experience, usually Google will consider to level up after 18 months. And senior level means two level upper than the entry level. Becoming a senior level designer means you got to work very hard in this 3 years. For most people, they’ve already have many years of working experience before Google, which doesn’t mean they can be senior. This really depends on the score from your interview. You can come to entry even you have 3-year working experience. So I would say average should be 5–7+ years of experience.
At least 7+ years of professional experience designing /implementing interactive, data-rich, Internet applications with strong information visualization skills, prototyping skills, and usability knowledge.
Sounds like cruel? While I found most requirements for senior level designers in China is lower.
For example, Eico design said, which is a famous design agency in China
5+ years of working experience in UX area (In Chinese: 五年以上用户体验设计相关工作经验.)
5+ years interaction design experience in IT and software industry. Familiar with product design process. Have successful case study. (In Chinese: 5年以上的互联网、软件行业交互设计工作经验，熟悉互联网产品设计相关流程，并有成功案例)
Tang UX and Ark design, are both design agencies. They said:
2+ years of UX design working experience (In China: 2年以上从事用户体验设计工作经历)
3. Problem-solving skills VS Innovation
Seems like American companies mentioned more about problem-solving skills. While Chinese companies tend to say innovation.
Most of Chinese companies emphasized their teams were innovative team, not only Internet companies, but also design agencies. While Internet companies in the US are more likely to talk about problem-solving, design agencies said more about innovation.
I didn’t mean that these two are two different sides. It’s just interesting to see how innovation is important for China.
4. Absent UX writers
I didn’t see any of Chinese companies were hiring copy writers (AKA, UX writer). During my two-year of experience in Baidu, I had never seen a UX writer in UX team. Usually product managers or editors will decide the copy writing. While copy writers are pretty normal in the US. They work for tweaking languages in the UI, or website.
5. Prototyping skills
All companies love users. They all talked about user-centered design and user research. A skill that Chinese companies didn’t mention was prototyping.
6. Interaction designers & Visual designers
Sometimes in the US, visual designers in the Internet companies also means he or she has interaction design skills. Interaction designers don’t mean they never touch visual design area or they don’t create hi-fi mocks.
However, in China, mostly, interaction design means just wireframes, low-fi mocks, and flows. Visual design means UI design.
In the last, let me list some commons:
- Both talked about deliverable assets, which includes wireframes, user flows, mocks
- Communication skills with PM, engineers,
- Knowledge of design tools, user research