Early this year, I had a conversation with a student looking into the field of design. Here’s our conversation, to be used as a resource for others looking to learn more about the career opportunities as a UX designer.
Is the design aspect and the technical aspect of being a UX Designer split 50/50, or is one more prominent than the other?
It really depends on the company/specific role you work for. UX Designer is a general title but the project you work on might require more technical or more design skills. It all depends on the company. Here’s a guide to the field and titles/roles.
For smaller companies, you may be responsible for a variety of areas of knowledge (both on the technical/design side) while at a larger company, you are probably more specialized (doing either more technical or more of a strictly design role).
What is it like to work in a tech field with an Arts Degree? (Drawing, coding, presentations, etc.)
While my degree is in the School of Art, designers use a different skill set
day to day compared to artists.
In a tech field, I’d recommend you feel comfortable with coding or at least be exposed to it because it will help you understand the needs/constraints of the people you will be working together with.
How difficult was the application process for your degree and for your specific job?
My university has general career fairs which were helpful. The more specific the career fair, the more helpful I found it to be. For design related jobs, you are usually expected to have both a resume as well as a portfolio of works (usually a portfolio on a website).
What kind of classes did you take in university? (Technical/Computer vs Design/Art classes)
I took a basic programming class, 3d modeling class and several animation classes in addition to the design classes in my major. Visual Communication Design (VCD) major’s coursework has a lot of design related classes but not too many technical classes. I’ve heard that some other design majors has more technical classes in the major but then you may want to take design classes to supplement that.
Do you have any advice for someone interested in pursuing a UX/UI career?
I’d suggest looking for a job you really like and seeing what requirements they have. This will give you a good idea of what kinds of skills you’ll be expected to have once you graduate.
I switched from a science degree to design which was a big change but in the end I think pursuing what you’re interested in and passionate about serves you better in the long run.
Thanks for reading! Feel free to check out my design work if you’d like.
My handbook on UX is now available on Amazon.