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What Does A Lead User Experience Designer Do?

Lead User Experience Designers are responsible for providing strategy and direction in designing a user's experience for a digital product or service. They work with cross-functional teams such as user researchers, product design teams, and project managers to deliver a specified timeline. Their duties include developing information architecture, designing wireframes, prototyping, creating content, and performing usability testing of system interaction. Lead user experience designers must know Adobe Suites and specialist wireframing and prototyping design tools such as Axure, Marvel, Invision to translate the design to product. They also liaise with clients regularly to ensure the design meets the business goal.

Here are examples of responsibilities from real lead user experience designer resumes representing typical tasks they are likely to perform in their roles.

  • Lead UX/UI design, personas research and emphatic analysis, participate in user story creation.
  • Lead agile scrum meetings with design and development teams, arbitrating design and integration strategies.
  • Lead in-house interactive team overseeing online production.
  • Create HTML, CSS, and JavaScript assets for implementation into a broader MVC framework.
  • Code in W3C-compliant XHTML, CSS, and JavaScript.
  • Develop end-to-end design and help developers to integrate HTML, CSS code into Microsoft SharePoint server.
  • Provide stake-holders and developers with pixel perfect comps, CSS, HTML, prototypes and all digital assets.
  • Design, prototyped (in CSS) back-end reporting and monitoring system.
  • Define business objectives, user goals, strategies, interaction model, user task flow, scenarios and UI specification.
  • Generate clean and artful design, demonstrate superior UI skills, and translate high-level requirements into interaction flows and artifacts.
Lead User Experience Designer Traits
Artistic ability involves being able to design ideas in a way that makes them come to life.
Computer skills involves understanding how to operate a computer, as well as computer programs and applications.
Time-management skills is the efficient manner one is able to put their time to good use.

Lead User Experience Designer Overview

Between the years 2018 and 2028, lead user experience designer jobs are expected to undergo a growth rate described as "slower than average" at 3%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. So if the thought "should I become a lead user experience designer?" Has crossed your mind, maybe you should take the growth rate into account. In addition, the number of lead user experience designer opportunities that are projected to become available by 2028 is 8,800.

Lead user experience designers average about $53.55 an hour, which makes the lead user experience designer annual salary $111,391. Additionally, lead user experience designers are known to earn anywhere from $80,000 to $153,000 a year. This means that the top-earning lead user experience designers make $73,000 more than the lowest earning ones.

As is the case with most jobs, it takes work to become a lead user experience designer. Sometimes people change their minds about their career after working in the profession. That's why we looked into some other professions that might help you find your next opportunity. These professions include a graphic artist, design internship, designer, and visual designer.

Lead User Experience Designer Jobs You Might Like

Lead User Experience Designer Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 12% of Lead User Experience Designers are proficient in User Interface, Interaction Design, and User Research. They’re also known for soft skills such as Artistic ability, Computer skills, and Time-management skills.

We break down the percentage of Lead User Experience Designers that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • User Interface, 12%

    Developed and integrated QIWI advertising user interface guidelines & prototypes across all payment kiosks.

  • Interaction Design, 8%

    Created personas, scenarios, interaction designs, conducted usability testing on iPad prototype, and delivered final interaction specification.

  • User Research, 6%

    Lead qualitative user research to understand users behaviors and attitudes.

  • Visual Design, 5%

    Contributed significantly to visual design & prototype.

  • Personas, 4%

    Led UX/UI design, personas research and emphatic analysis, participated in user story creation.

  • Adobe Creative Suite, 4%

    Created graphics, Logo Design, and Photography, using Adobe Creative Suite.

Some of the skills we found on lead user experience designer resumes included "user interface," "interaction design," and "user research." We have detailed the most important lead user experience designer responsibilities below.

  • Arguably the most important personality trait for a lead user experience designer to have happens to be artistic ability. An example from a resume said this about the skill, "graphic designers must be able to create designs that are artistically interesting and appealing to clients and consumers" Additionally, other resumes have pointed out that lead user experience designers can use artistic ability to "helped to curate and manage old ui elements, to change them as the game changed artistic and ux direction. "
  • Another trait important for fulfilling lead user experience designer duties is computer skills. According to a lead user experience designer resume, "most graphic designers use specialized graphic design software to prepare their designs." Here's an example of how lead user experience designers are able to utilize computer skills: "developed computer-generated mock-ups, prototypes, and storyboards for communicating and testing user interface design concepts. "
  • Time-management skills is also an important skill for lead user experience designers to have. This example of how lead user experience designers use this skill comes from a lead user experience designer resume, "graphic designers often work simultaneously on multiple projects, each with a different deadline." Read this excerpt from a resume to understand how vital it is to their everyday roles and responsibilities, "managed a small team of ui developers to reach deadlines. "
  • A thorough review of lots of resumes revealed to us that "analytical skills" is important to completing lead user experience designer responsibilities. This resume example shows just one way lead user experience designers use this skill: "graphic designers must be able to perceive their work from their consumers’ point of view to ensure that the designs convey the client’s message." Here's an example of how this skill is used from a resume that represents typical lead user experience designer tasks: "helped analyze product and user requirements, develop user interface architecture, flow charts, wire framing, color palette/scheming. "
  • Yet another important skill that a lead user experience designer must demonstrate is "communication skills." Graphic designers must communicate with clients, customers, and other designers to ensure that their designs accurately and effectively convey information. This is clearly demonstrated in this example from a lead user experience designer who stated: "crafted and provided ui and ux for journal communications' clients from discovery, to planning, to launch. "
  • Another skill commonly found on lead user experience designer resumes is "creativity." This description of the skill was found on several lead user experience designer resumes: "graphic designers must be able to think of new approaches to communicating ideas to consumers" Here's an example from a resume of how this skill could fit into the day-to-day lead user experience designer responsibilities: "presented concepts, facilitated brainstorm sessions and workshops with internal clients and creative design teams. "
  • See the full list of lead user experience designer skills.

    After discovering the most helpful skills, we moved onto what kind of education might be helpful in becoming a lead user experience designer. We found that 63.7% of lead user experience designers have graduated with a bachelor's degree and 19.0% of people in this position have earned their master's degrees. While most lead user experience designers have a college degree, you may find it's also true that generally it's possible to be successful in this career with only a high school degree. In fact, our research shows that one out of every eight lead user experience designers were not college graduates.

    Those lead user experience designers who do attend college, typically earn either a graphic design degree or a fine arts degree. Less commonly earned degrees for lead user experience designers include a design and visual communication degree or a computer applications degree.

    Once you've obtained the level of education you're comfortable with, you might start applying to companies to become a lead user experience designer. We've found that most lead user experience designer resumes include experience from Lumina, Travelers, and Humana. Of recent, Lumina had 82 positions open for lead user experience designers. Meanwhile, there are 53 job openings at Travelers and 34 at Humana.

    If you're interested in companies where lead user experience designers make the most money, you'll want to apply for positions at Airbnb, Microsoft, and JPMorgan Chase & Co. We found that at Airbnb, the average lead user experience designer salary is $174,411. Whereas at Microsoft, lead user experience designers earn roughly $153,840. And at JPMorgan Chase & Co., they make an average salary of $153,755.

    View more details on lead user experience designer salaries across the United States.

    If you earned a degree from the top 100 educational institutions in the United States, you might want to take a look at Microsoft, General Assembly, and IBM. These three companies have hired a significant number of lead user experience designers from these institutions.

    The industries that lead user experience designers fulfill the most roles in are the technology and finance industries. But the highest lead user experience designer annual salary is in the professional industry, averaging $110,015. In the technology industry they make $106,932 and average about $100,358 in the telecommunication industry. In conclusion, lead user experience designers who work in the professional industry earn a 15.0% higher salary than lead user experience designers in the manufacturing industry.

    The three companies that hire the most prestigious lead user experience designers are:

      What Graphic Artists Do

      A graphic artist is either an illustrator or an animator who creates art work that will be used in graphic projects such as advertisements, posters, or even book covers. Although a graphic artist has his own style of artwork, he may be often commissioned to create art specifically for a particular project. A graphic artist may work with a graphic designer in order to convey the overall message of a project. The portfolio of a graphic artist includes cartoons, illustrations, and graphic novels.

      We looked at the average lead user experience designer annual salary and compared it with the average of a graphic artist. Generally speaking, graphic artists receive $64,770 lower pay than lead user experience designers per year.

      While their salaries may differ, one common ground between lead user experience designers and graphic artists are a few of the skills required in each craft. In both careers, employees bring forth skills like user interface, adobe creative suite, and graphic design.

      There are some key differences in responsibilities as well. For example, a lead user experience designer responsibilities require skills like "interaction design," "user research," "visual design," and "personas." Meanwhile a typical graphic artist has skills in areas such as "company website," "art direction," "photography," and "brochures." This difference in skills reveals how truly different these two careers really are.

      Graphic artists tend to make the most money in the technology industry by averaging a salary of $76,068. In contrast, lead user experience designers make the biggest average salary of $110,015 in the professional industry.

      The education levels that graphic artists earn is a bit different than that of lead user experience designers. In particular, graphic artists are 24.7% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree than a lead user experience designer. Additionally, they're 1.1% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      What Are The Duties Of a Design Internship?

      As the name entails, graphic design interns learn about the career in graphic design in a hands-on setting. They have varied tasks and duties, including taking part in every meeting of the design team, conducting client research, assisting with social media and design projects, and working closely with experienced designers. They are often paid little or nothing at all for their service, but the experience that they acquire from their field can be dispensable.

      Now we're going to look at the design internship profession. On average, design interns earn a $67,822 lower salary than lead user experience designers a year.

      A similarity between the two careers of lead user experience designers and design interns are a few of the skills associated with both roles. We used resumes from both professions to find that both use skills like "user interface," "user research," and "adobe creative suite. "

      But both careers also use different skills, according to real lead user experience designer resumes. While lead user experience designer responsibilities can utilize skills like "interaction design," "visual design," "personas," and "business process," some design interns use skills like "layout," "indesign," "revit," and "cad."

      It's been discovered that design interns earn lower salaries compared to lead user experience designers, but we wanted to find out where design interns earned the most pay. The answer? The technology industry. The average salary in the industry is $46,008. Additionally, lead user experience designers earn the highest paychecks in the professional with an average salary of $110,015.

      On the topic of education, design interns earn lower levels of education than lead user experience designers. In general, they're 17.7% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 1.1% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      How a Designer Compares

      A designer is someone who creates a master plan of the look or workings of something before it will be made. It could be tangible or intangible objects, products, procedures, laws, events, games, graphics, services, and even experiences. Designers are creative thinkers with a great eye to configure the skeletal and structural properties of the targeted output. They work in several fields, such as fashion, architecture, web graphics, and user experience. In spite of the variety of professionals in the design industry, all of them are artistic, passionate, inspiring, and emotionally connected to their projects and brands.

      The third profession we take a look at is designer. On an average scale, these workers bring in lower salaries than lead user experience designers. In fact, they make a $50,038 lower salary per year.

      By looking over several lead user experience designers and designers resumes, we found that both roles utilize similar skills, such as "user interface," "adobe creative suite," and "javascript." But beyond that the careers look very different.

      There are many key differences between these two careers as shown by resumes from each profession. Some of those differences include the skills required to complete responsibilities within each role. As an example of this, a lead user experience designer is likely to be skilled in "interaction design," "user research," "visual design," and "personas," while a typical designer is skilled in "layout," "customer service," "revit," and "construction documents."

      Interestingly enough, designers earn the most pay in the technology industry, where they command an average salary of $85,287. As mentioned previously, lead user experience designers highest annual salary comes from the professional industry with an average salary of $110,015.

      When it comes to education, designers tend to earn lower education levels than lead user experience designers. In fact, they're 19.9% less likely to earn a Master's Degree, and 0.9% less likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.

      Description Of a Visual Designer

      A visual designer is someone who creates designs for a variety of platforms such as Internet and intranet sites, games, and wearables. The duties of visual designers depend on the specific project or industry in which they are working. Duties include creating user-centered interaction models, working with information technology and business teams to resolve complex issues, and designing logos, icons, and infographics. The qualifications to become a visual designer include possessing strong problem-solving, communication, and negotiation skills and obtaining a bachelor's degree in design.

      The fourth career we look at typically earns lower pay than lead user experience designers. On average, visual designers earn a difference of $32,594 lower per year.

      While their salaries may vary, lead user experience designers and visual designers both use similar skills to perform their jobs. Resumes from both professions include skills like "user interface," "interaction design," and "user research. "

      Each job requires different skills like "personas," "design principles," "product owners," and "business goals," which might show up on a lead user experience designer resume. Whereas visual designer might include skills like "online," "photography," "multiple platforms," and "project management."

      In general, visual designers make a higher salary in the telecommunication industry with an average of $109,356. The highest lead user experience designer annual salary stems from the professional industry.

      The average resume of visual designers showed that they earn lower levels of education to lead user experience designers. So much so that the likelihood of them earning a Master's Degree is 14.7% less. Additionally, they're less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree by 1.3%.