What does a UX web designer do?

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    • 28th August 2018

    Whether you're deciding which career is right for you, looking for a brand new career route or you're at an agency and looking for what skills to expect from future talent, find out what a UX web designer does.

    In a nutshell, a UX/UI web designer builds a fully functional and aesthetic website that takes website visitors (users) on a clear path towards an action (conversion), whether this is purchasing a product, requesting a service or downloading content or training information.


    UX or UI?

    User experience (UX) and user interface (UI) go hand in hand. One is how something looks and the other is how it works, but both are often referred to as UX web design. UI is usually seen as an important aspect of UX designs, but the industry is still debating both terms frequently.

    The core things to keep in mind for UX and UI is that you’re aiming to create a rich user interface for a website by focusing on three things:

    • Look
    • Feel
    • Usability

    If you approach a website with these three core things in mind, your design will be a success.

    html and css book with laptop and headphones
    essentials for web designers – headphones!

    The most common job spec requirements

    Each individual job has its own skill requirements. Here are some examples from previous UX web designer job specifications that can help you see what’s expected:

    • Being familiar with HTML, HTML5, Javascript, CSS design, Joomla and content management systems like WordPress
    • Responsive design skills
    • Knowledge of PHP and ASP.Net
    • Wireframing and UI prototyping
    • Being familiar with Adobe products particularly design tools

    UX web designer basic skills

    The ability to code is a must for any web design role, but there’s a bit more to it than that.

    • Coding
    • Front-end and back-end development skills
    • Creating a positive user flow with clear navigational structure
    • CRM and Intranet development
    • E-commerce know-how including Magento and/or Epicor
    • API Integration
    • Data analysis and user behaviour research
    • SEO including Google Analytics

    Web designer soft skills

    While a core chunk of a web designer’s time is spent coding and designing a website, there are some vital soft skills that differentiate the good web designers from the fantastic ones.

    Problem solving – If a coded path doesn’t work, it’s vital that you work out why not. Keep in mind that problem solving is like breathing to a web designer.

    Communication – Many digital pros believe that they don’t need to communicate what they’re up to. But to create a rich user interface you need to understand the user and that involves talking with your client. Good communication skills are also important for pitching ideas and designs to clients.

    Research – Knowing where to find the most relevant user behavioural data and integrating core data into design models are all a key parts of web design jobs. Moreover if you’re integrating an app that you’re unfamiliar with, you’ll need to be able to find out the best way to go about this. With the fast-paced world of web design, you should never underestimate the power of good research skills.

    office team shaking hands
    teamwork is the dreamwork after all

    Career-changer routes

    Learning to code is the first and most important step if you’re looking to change careers to web design. Having a good eye for design and a good understanding of people’s behaviour online is also vital, which is why most web design career changers come from roles in design or digital marketing.

    Graphic designers often pursue a career in web design, as do data analysts and SEO consultants.

    The popular design website Creative Bloq has created an interesting article that highlights what Graphic Designers need to know about UX. It also includes advice on which of your current design skills match-up with UX needs.


    The future of UX web design jobs

    Web design and web development roles are often used interchangeably despite being different jobs. What we’ve noticed is an increase in demand for web designers who offer the full web package.

    Fewer agencies are looking for just front-end developers or only website wireframe designers. Nowadays, there’s a need for a web designer to be able to develop, design, build and optimise a website.

    The online experience is evolving and we’re already witnessing websites and apps being connected with the real world more and more. Marketing agencies in particular are after new ways to integrate bricks and mortar with online functionality.

    The Ikea Place app is a prime example of how online experiences are being used to engage with customers in their own home. With this app Ikea customers can see what their potential purchases will look like in their own homes.

    This is just one example of Augmented Reality (AR) being used within marketing campaigns. There are also new films like Star Wars or TV series like Stranger Things using AR stickers as promotional tools.

    Today’s web designers are improving their skills within Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality to stay competitive in their roles and to match the changing needs of how we as consumers interact with technology.


     How to find web design jobs in Leeds

    Leeds is an ever-expanding digital job hub. The city encourages entrepreneurs and these often need digital services (unless these entrepreneurs are offering digital services in a new way, in which case they’ll looking for skilled staff – hint, hint).

    Both marketing and specialised agencies are supporting brands to stand out from the crowd. As there’s such a wide variety of digital agency specialisms in Leeds, there’s always a need for skilled web designers who can create a rich and successful user experience.

    Leeds Library
    creative commons pic by Lad2011

    Agency news website of the North, Prolific North, has an annual top 50 list of agencies. Of the top five usually at least three of them are typically from Leeds. This is more evidence that Leeds is seen as the digital hub of the North.

    The majority of Leeds agencies source their staff via specialist recruiters like Gloss Recruitment. Some offer their roles on their websites, but general practice is to outsource recruitment to creative recruitment specialists.

    If you’re a web designer looking for a new opportunity or a career changer wanting to get into web design, now’s a great time to start talking to Gloss Recruitment about current roles that best match your skills.


    Looking for web design jobs in Leeds?

    Give us a call on 0113 209 5705 or submit your CV via our contact page here.

    Our team also helps graduates take their first steps into the workforce. If you’re a graduate or soon-to-be-graduate looking for agency opportunities in Leeds, take a look at our Killer CV video here.

    Or if you’re an agency looking for new talent to join your team, submit your latest vacancy here or give us a ring to discuss your role.