Before talking about the qualifications required by a UX designer, let us first skim through what exactly is UX designing.
User Experience (UX) designing is the process of making a user friendly product for your target audience through a careful research on the frustrations, needs and wants of your consumer. UX design focuses on working excessively on a user centric design to get the best output through seamless composition of ideas.
So who exactly can be a Professional UX designer? The obvious answer would be a professional who has graduated in the field of design like: Graphic or Product Design or even Fine arts and Architecture. Every type of designer is welcome to this versatile field as the design thinking and flow for such fields is similar to that of a UX designer.
Professionals owning a degree in Computer Engineering are also most welcome as UX is most applicable to Human Computer Interaction.
Students who have graduated in psychology would also show some flair in this profession as the study of human psychology does help us in jotting down a human’s mental module while designing.
The biggest myth that people have about UX designing would be the misconception that a UX designer needs to be a pure DESIGNER by profession, needs to know how to sketch, colour and draw. But you’re mistaken.
A UX designer can be a programmer, writer, analyst or a psychologist! Any and every professional who is creative, imaginative, artistic and has a certain set of soft skills can excel in the field of UX designing.
Talking about soft skills, the one that is of utmost importance is EMPATHY. A UX designer needs to be empathetic towards a user. One can only design when one puts itself in the user’s shoes to figure out the problems faced. Only then could you come up with simple solutions.
Having said that, the second skill needed would be PROBLEM SOLVING skills. The focus of a UXer is finding and solving the user’s problems and coming up with better solutions by designing improved applications. Thus the keenness on knowing users issues and sorting them out is one needed skill by a UX designer.
Communication is the key to explain your design ideas to users and fellow Designers. Thus a UXer needs to have good communication skills in order to have fruitful discussions with the stakeholders, design teams as well as users.
Hand in hand goes the need for presentation skills. This includes technical as well as non technical. An eye catching design would go completely waste if not presented properly. Thorough knowledge about the product, good technical presentation coupled with excellent portrayal of the design through verbal communication can be summed up as a Presentation skill. It is a must have for every UXer.
A UXer also needs to be a good observer of all the current design trends going on and about. A designer always needs to be aware of every new innovation. One also needs to be a Tech savvy as that is a part of your job, designing for the tech world.
Apart from these soft skills, would be the pressing need of knowing a few design tools including Wireframing and prototyping tools (any of your choice), Photoshop and a micro-animation tool if needed. Nowadays, UX portfolios consist of a few micro animated screens done with Adobe after effects. But that again, would be a personal choice and not a need.
A plus point would be having some basic knowledge about the limitations of coding. This helps in bridging the gap between a designer and a developer.
To sum it up, this is pretty much what you would need to be a wonderful UX designer. Explore, evolve and excel- for a Designer even the sky is not the limit. 🙂