'My Digital Job' in the Spotlight: UX Designer
The growth of the technology sector has created many new career pathways, not all of which are strictly related to coding and computational thinking. Consider the example of UX design (User Experience design) in web development; while of course the code in the backend is what makes a website actually function, other important considerations are the aesthetics and usability of the website. Laurent is a UX designer in France. Here he explains how he got into this line of work and why variety is the spice of life for a UX designer.
On any given project, Laurent says there are three main phases: discovery, experience design and development. “Discovery is all about understanding the business, the client and their users. The next stage, experience design, requires defining new users’ journeys based on the discovery findings and testing the prototype with real users. Finally, during the development phase, the UX designer works closely with the design and technical teams to clarify the requirements, check on development and perform user testings.”
Due to these various stages of a project, every day can be different, explains Laurent. “During the discovery phase, I might be talking to the client a lot while in the later stages, I will be liaising with the project development team to get feedback on a complex part of the project or testing a prototype.”
The variety is the part of the job Laurent likes the best – “talking and dealing with lots of different people – clients, project managers, designers. The various types of work these interactions produce make this the best part of the job for me”.
However, Laurent loves the creative side of the job too. “My job also involves moments of pure creativity – I regularly start projects with a pencil and a blank sheet of paper”. Hand in hand with creativity goes attention to detail. “This is essential in my job”, Laurent explains.
When asked about what other skills are required for a UX designer, Laurent says the list is quite long: “you need empathy with the users, listening skills, to be able to communicate with people at all levels and of course a love of technology!”
Laurent’s career started as a webmaster, then a functional consultant before venturing into UX design. He says curiosity mixed with experience helps to break into this world – “you need to be curious, aware of technology and work on lots of projects. The more you do, the better you will become.”
“If you like solving complex issues, can listen, like technology and enjoy being in contact with all sorts of different people, maybe UX is the job for you.”
If you are you interested in working in the digital economy and want to know more about the types of roles that are available you can discover more in the Digital job profiles page.