The hot topics are user experience design, also known as UX design, and user interface design, UI design. These two concepts work hand-in-hand to create an overall user experience that keeps the user engaged, interested, and a positive impression of the brand, website, or company.
UI design refers more to graphic design, while UX design is more holistic and analytical. Suppose you want to understand what UX design does from a business perspective. In that case, its goal is to improve customer loyalty and overall satisfaction through ease of use, utility, and connection through the interaction with end-products.
As we mentioned, UX design is a much more holistic and wholesome process. It looks at human-computer interaction, visual design, information architecture, interaction design, usability, accessibility, and other tangible and intangible aspects.
Here, we will mention the primary skills you need to be successful in UX design and to get hired into a San Francisco UX design agency (some of the best ones in the world):
Technology moves fast, really fast. That is why creating prototypes as fast as you can is a skill set every UX designer should have. Prototypes are what will allow you to evaluate and iterate designs. The quicker you can do them and test your progress, the faster you’ll be able to correct anything that isn’t going according to plan–that saves you both money and time.
In UX design, everything is about interactions. That is why instead of just explaining an idea, you need to show it. Whether they are on a piece of paper or a coded piece of software, prototypes are required to give a clear idea of what your solution is looking like and how it will behave in the real world.
Great Wireframing Skills
Wireframing has become an essential skill for any UX designer. It allows you to clearly understand how the information hierarchy of your web design will work and how it will be in each device.
Using wireframes also helps designers keep the project’s purpose in focus because they can better see how the information will be structured and how it will work and be presented to the user.
A UX designer that can facilitate service design is priceless. This form of composition is mainly understood as organizing, planning, communicating, and improving the overall quality of the interaction between customers and service providers. Explained in other words, it is the ability to deliver outstanding services to your users.
However, UX design goes beyond the strictly UX side of things. That is why it is highly recommended for UX designers to look at the bigger picture. What’s going on with their customers, market, and technology. That’s why even the best designers fail to provide outstanding service if they are not looking at the other ‘pieces of the service puzzle.’
UX designers in San Francisco understand that you need to pay close attention to the end user’s journey to use service design techniques and tools–for example, customer experience mapping–to properly design the overall service.
Great User Research
UX design is all about the user. Understanding what the user wants and needs is not the cherry on top–it is the whole cake. Designers who know how to conduct user research before creating any design and test how their design is being received are the kind of professional designers that agencies want.
Important to notice the differences between user research and usability testing, the latter is a reactive process, and the former is a proactive process.
Understand Users Visual Needs
Many UX designers have the mantra “to delight the user” stuck in their heads. The problem with it is that they can often mention many reasons why they should be delighted but not as many as to how to achieve this goal. Without truly understanding how to delight the user while also letting them achieve what they want when coming to your website, it will be a waste of time.
Help the user solve the problems it needs to be solved, and then think about how to delight them with the visually appealing design you want to create. Achieving this is the skill designers should have in their repertoire.
Ability to Create Unique Paths via Data-Driven Design
Basing your decisions on data is the bullet-proof way of actually creating a design that will perform well in the real world. Successful designers are successful designers who can create unique and innovative designs while understanding how the real world works. Think about drop-down menus. Most designers will think that they are a good way of letting the user choose and find information. In reality, most users don’t perform well, thanks to well-known usability standards.
Make sure that you are being creative as a designer without losing your grasp on reality–especially if you want to work in San Francisco, where creativity and effectiveness are necessary.
Responsiveness in design is now mandatory. People are using various devices with different interaction options, screen sizes, and many other variables that designers need to consider. If someone logs in to a website from the desk and works well, that’s good news. Still, if they try to access it on their commute from their smartphone, and it just doesn’t work well, the elements are out of place, or the letter is unreadable, the user will leave with a negative impression of not only the site but also the brand.
Due to the high importance of responsive design, current and future UX designers must know how to design, keeping this in mind. Additionally, it will get more complex with time as many new devices (and different engagement systems) are coming into the market: laptops, smartphones, smartwatches, tablets, touchscreens, voice commands, virtual reality, etc.
UX design is all about being user-centric and having the creative and technical skills to deliver a beautiful and functional solution. There are many other skills to consider, but we decided to go through those that should be at the top of the list–the highest priority, the bare minimum.
Now that you know the skills, do you think you have what it takes to be a UX designer in San Francisco? Take this list, develop your skills and test your luck by sending your CV to SF agencies.