12 UI / UX Career Paths to Consider
So you want to be a UI or UX Designer? Great decision! But which career path should you take? There are many options, and it can be tough to decide which one is right for you. In this article, we will explore some of the most popular career paths for UI and UX Designers, and we will discuss some of the benefits and drawbacks of each. We hope that this information will help you make the best decision for your future.
The most popular career paths for UX and UI designers are:
- Staff UX Designer
- Freelance UX Designer
- Solo Consultant
- UX Researcher
- UX Strategist
- UI Designer
- Product Designer
- Service Designer
- Information Architect
- Interaction Designer
- Usability Analyst
- Content Strategist
Let’s take a closer look at each of these options.
1. Staff UX Designer
A staff UX designer is a full-time employee of a company, and their job is to design user experiences for that company’s products and services. The benefits of this career path include a stable income, a good work/life balance, and the opportunity to work on a variety of projects. However, the downside is that you may be limited creatively, and you may not have as much control over the design process as you would like. It may provide upward mobility, however, with the potential to advance into a principle design role at some point.
2. Freelance UX Designer
A freelance UX designer is someone who works independently, on a contractual basis. The benefits of this career path include the flexibility to work on your own schedule, the ability to choose your own projects, and the freedom to be creative. There are some drawbacks, however. You may not have a steady income, and you will need to be good at marketing yourself in order to find work.
3. Solo Consultant
A solo consultant is a UX or UI designer who works independently, but also offers consulting services to clients. You may not always do design work; rather, you may assist and guide others in the completion of their work. The benefits of this career path include flexibility and variety but it carries similar drawbacks to the freelance path.
4. UX Researcher
A UX researcher is someone who studies the way users interact with products and services, in order to improve the user experience. The benefits of this career path include the opportunity to work on a variety of projects, the chance to make a real impact on the user experience, and the potential to earn a good salary. You may find yourself working long hours though and you may need to have advanced research skills in order to be successful.
5. UX Strategist
A UX strategist is someone who helps companies create and implement user experience strategies. Someone in this role can expect to be responsible for things like conducting user research, developing UX plans, and working with teams to implement the strategy. A role at a company in this position can provide a stable income and a rewarding work environment, however, the hours can be long and the work can be challenging.
6. UI Designer
A UI designer is someone who designs the user interface for products and services. For instance, they may design the layout of a website or the way an app looks and feels. Their daily responsibilities might include things like creating wireframes and prototypes, testing designs, and working with developers to implement their designs. UI designers can expect to have a good salary and the opportunity to work multiple unique projects but there can be long hours expected when under deadline.
7. Product Designer
A product designer is someone who, as you might expect, designs products and services. Someone in this position may be expected to conduct user research, create prototypes, and design the final product. A career in product design can be very rewarding, as you have the opportunity to create something that people will use and love. However, you will need to have competence with working in teams and have strong project management skills as this career requires overseeing the design process from beginning to end.
8. Service Designer
Someone hired as a service designer is expected to think about how a service should work, from start to finish. This may include designing the service process, creating prototypes, and conducting user research. If you’re looking for a creative and impactful way to help people, service design may be the right field for you. However, it’s important to note that the role can be quite demanding, as successful designers need to think holistically and have strong research skills.
9. Information Architect
An information architect is someone who designs the structure and navigation of websites and apps. This career offers you the advantages of being able to work on many different types of projects, making a real difference in the user experience, and earning a great salary. However, some possible disadvantages are working long hours and needing advanced design skills for success.
10. Interaction Designer
An interaction designer is someone who designs the way users interact with products and services. Examples of what this sort of work looks like in a finished product includes the flow of a website or app, how a user would input data, and how someone would navigate through the content. A career in interaction design can be very creative and offers the opportunity to work on a wide variety of projects. However, it can also be difficult as you need to have a strong understanding of the underlying technologies as well as design principles.
11. Usability Analyst
A usability analyst is someone who studies the way users interact with products and services, in order to improve the user experience. A typical day for someone in this role might involve conducting user research, analyzing data, and making recommendations for how to improve the usability of a product. If you’re interested in helping to make products more user-friendly, then a career as a usability analyst could be a great fit for you.
12. Content Strategist
A content strategist is someone who helps companies plan for and create content that is both useful and engaging for users while fitting within an overall user experience. This may involve conducting user research, creating editorial calendars, and working with teams of writers and editors. It also requires strong project management skills, as content strategists often need to oversee the creation of large amounts of content.
Skills and Qualities to Possess for a Successful Career as a UX or UI Designer
Any of these options would serve as a fantastic career path to pursue. If you’re unsure as to which would be suited to you, let’s review the qualities and skill sets you need to bring to the table to achieve success.
- A passion for design.
- A deep understanding of user needs and behaviors.
- The ability to think creatively and solve problems.
- Strong communication, collaboration, and presentation skills.
- Proficiency with design tools such as Photoshop, Sketch, and Invision.
- A portfolio of previous work samples.
These are only a few examples, but they should give you a good idea of what you need in order to be a successful UX or UI designer.
Pursue the UX / UI Career Path of Your Dreams
If you have a passion for design and a desire to help improve the user experience, then a career in UX or UI design may be right for you. With the right skills and qualifications, you can achieve success in this field and earn a good salary.
So what are you waiting for? Start pursuing your dream career today!