There is a huge need for talented user experience designers in the US now. We should grasp the opportunity and practice ourselves a lot. But what makes a good UX designer and how can we prepare for that? There are several skills and qualities which is very important in my opinion to be a good UX designer.
1. Passion and curiosity to learn about people and technology
As a user experience designer, we should always keep our eyes open to the world and see different things instead of adapting to the environment. We have passion for learning more about people when they interact with digital products. We are very curious about the way things are going on and how we can make stuff better. The passion and curiosity drives a lot of the creative thinking in the user experience area. Without curious, energetic and creativity, new ideas can not emerge. Remember that we are focusing on real person. We observe users’ behavior, talk with them, ask them questions, spend time with them and have a purpose to enhance their lives. What a wonderful thing! We use technology to make things better and even better. Everytime, ask why, why things goes like this, why we need to change that, etc. Everywhere, we have a desire to know about potential users. By doing so, creative ideas are around us.
2. In depth knowledge of user-centered design techniques and principles
Instead of only being familiar with user-centered design, we need to have a deep knowledge and understanding of these guidelines and principles. On one hand, we should have the ability to design the products like website and IPhone app with Adobe PhotoShop, Illustrator or other design tools. On the other hand, we have the ability to apply cognitive psychology and human computer interaction techniques to evaluate and test these systems. For example, we can choose the most appropriate personas, scenarios and create storyboards, wireframes and rapid prototyping. With implementing user interface guidelines and standards, we collect data, analysis data and interpret results to meet business needs. The qualification is that we should have a strong understanding of the design process and deliver results that satisfy product goals best.
3. The ability to conduct scientific research
We are proficient with various tools and we know user-centered design guidelines. Why do we need to be a researcher? To answer the question, it is necessary to learn that UX designer is not just a designer, it is more like a versatile person. You are good at many things, especially conducting qualitative research to think about what user are thinking about. If we go through some UX design positions, we can find that many requirements are a combination of graphic design skills, wireframing, rapid prototyping, designing researches such as user interview, usability testing, ethnographic research and so on. A good user experience designer should be familiar with these researches and skilled in planning research, choosing the right qualitative method, collecting and analyzing data. Moreover, a good presentation of your findings and results is the key skill too. This is what we are doing in our CGT 512 class now. These things are closely related to our professional growth. Hopefully, we all can do a great job!