UX Design in Egypt

True story

Few days ago

we started to look for a UX Designer to join our team, someone who can do design or at least have the sense of design, someone who can write some front-end code to make A/B Testing and demonstrate his ideas through an interactive HTML mockups. but the most important thing that we were looking for is the user experience design skills, knowledge and creativity. A superb listener who is dedicated and passionated about helping users and really wants to make the users life easier and fun.

We received a lot of CV’s and recommendations for a lot of UX Designers, but after checking the CV’s out we found that there is 2 type of applicants:

  • Graphic designers or flash animators — yes Adobe Flash — who knows a little bit of HTML and CSS but no Javascript.
  • Front-end developers who opened the Photoshop before to edit some images.

Here I found that almost every graphic designer or front-end developer in Egypt decided to change his title to “UX Designer”! you don’t believe me? make a simple search for Egyptian UX Designer on Linkedin and see the skills or the job description of everyone in that search result.

Why did they do that?

It is all started when the IT companies — or companies with IT departments — adopted lean / agile development process. And somehow they started to ask the Graphic Designers to make wireframes and low fidelity mockups and call them UX Designers.

Gradually from this point the “changing title syndrome” started, then you can figure out the rest.

What UX Designers Do?

I will not do this fight about defining the UX Designers role, here is a great article about this topic on Smashing Magazine. but lets agree that the UX Designer is not the only person who design the user experience, everyone involved in the project is responsible. And also not every type of projects needs a UX Design, for example:

  • Complex Systems — Here you need the user to do the complex task in an easy and fun way, decreasing the mistakes rate and maintain the information flow.
  • Startups — they need a great user experience, because it is a differentiator and this is a core factor to make your idea/business survive in the market
  • Online Business/Products — In this type if you don’t made a great user experience you are risking your business. Imagine that the marketing will do his best to bring the users to your website and they will never come back because of the bad user experience.

So what about other types of projects? like online portfolio or a small website for our new energy drink, Here I can tell you that most properly you will not need a UX Designer, you need a creative graphic designer that can be able to deliver your message and express it to the website visitors.

isn’t UX Designers better than Web Designers ?

It is not like that. what you do and how you do it is the factor. both professions is needed in the market and both complete each other. if you think that as UX designer you will find more opportunities thats wrong because not everyone sees the value of having a UX designer on the team, and some clients sees it as an expensive process that can be removed from the project time frame.

Dont misunderstand me on this, I’m not saying that you should stop learning and stuck to whatever you do now, on the other hand if you want to be a UX Designer you should practice, read and learn about it. The good news is I’ll keep posting about this topic (UX Design in Egypt) so brace yourself for it.

Final thoughts

If you now asking yourself should I change my title back? let me tell you something:

This is our market and we are the web makers in Egypt. It will not be great if we all became UX Designers, Graphic Designers or Front-end Developers, we need different specialities. We need Ninja Front-end Developers, talented Graphic Designers and creative UX Designers, at this point we can grow our community bigger and powerful. This will generate more opportunities, will make us gain more experience and of course will set the quality bar higher.

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