User Experience (UX) Designer

Job Description:

UX (user experience) designers ensure that applications and websites look good and are simple for people to use.

Job Category:
IT Industry

What you will do:

Typical duties include the following:

  • Talking to clients about what they want for their app/website
  • Sketching ideas for the look and flow (which pages/screens link to which other pages/screens) of the product
  • Using specialist software and tools to translate concept sketches into prototypes
  • Collaborating with other designers, product development teams, and software engineers to improve the product
  • Running tests with real users interacting with the app/website to identify any issues
  • Using online accessibility tools like screen readers or colour contrast checkers to gauge and increase the accessibility of the app/website
  • Liaising clients at each stage to ensure that your designs meet their requirements


You’ll need:

  • knowledge of computer operating systems, hardware and software
  • maths knowledge
  • to have a thorough understanding of computer systems and applications

As well as:

  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • complex problem-solving skills
  • persistence and determination
  • analytical thinking skills
  • to be flexible and open to change (adaptability)
  • the ability to use your initiative (drive)
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

To become a User Experience (UX) Designer, specific subjects aren’t typically required. However, certain subjects can provide a strong foundation and skills that are relevant to UX design. Here are some steps you can take, along with suggested subjects:

  1. Art and Design: Courses in art and design can help you develop your creativity, visual thinking, and design skills. While not necessary, these skills are highly relevant to UX design.
  2. Computing or Information Technology (IT): Understanding how computer systems work, basic programming, and IT skills can be beneficial in the UX design field. UX designers often work closely with developers and should have a grasp of technology.
  3. English: Good communication skills are essential in UX design. Take English courses to develop your writing, speaking, and presentation skills.
  4. Psychology: UX design is deeply rooted in understanding human behavior and psychology. Courses in psychology can provide insights into user behavior, decision-making processes, and human-computer interaction.

Post School

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • applying directly

You could do a higher national diploma, degree or postgraduate award in:

  • product design
  • digital marketing
  • graphic design
  • human computer interaction (HCI)
  • digital media and web design

You could do a college course, which may lead to more advanced qualifications or a higher apprenticeship, or help you to get a trainee position with a company. UK courses include:

  • A level in Computing
  • T Level in Digital Production, Design and Development
  • Level 4 Certificate in Digital Media Design

You could start by doing a digital user experience (UX) professional degree apprenticeship.

You may also find a digital accessibility specialist higher apprenticeship useful for this job.

After completing your apprenticeship, you could find work with a digital design agency or user research company.

You could get work experience by volunteering to help in research sessions, or by doing some user interviewing. You could also get involved in the online user experience community and find a mentor to help you.

Direct Application
You can apply directly to companies or go through an agency that specialises in providing digital design professionals to clients.

You’ll need qualifications and lots of relevant experience to do this.

Working Hours and Environment:

You’ll usually work traditional office hours: 9–5, Monday to Friday. You may sometimes need to work evenings and weekends if you’ve got to hit a tight deadline on a special project. You may also occasionally need to attend meetings or other events outside normal working hours.

Career Path & Progression:

Like other digital media roles, you can (and maybe should) learn a lot and develop many useful skills through downloading the relevant software and following online guides (and experimenting with the tools yourself). Keep a portfolio of anything you create so you can show potential employers.

Because UX design has many parts to it, you could enter the career through many different routes. You could start off by working in graphic design, marketing, data analysis, or programming, for example.

With experience in the field, you could become a senior UX designer or UX design manager, leading a team of designers and analysts and managing contracts with clients.

You could alternatively work on a self-employed basis, providing consultation to many different companies. As with all self-employment, there are advantages and disadvantages to this.