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Become An User Experience Designer

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Working As An User Experience Designer

  • Thinking Creatively
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization
  • Mostly Sitting

  • Repetitive

  • Stressful

  • $101,000

    Average Salary

What Does An User Experience Designer Do

Graphic designers create visual concepts, using computer software or by hand, to communicate ideas that inspire, inform, and captivate consumers. They develop the overall layout and production design for various applications such as for advertisements, brochures, magazines, and corporate reports.

Duties

Graphic designers typically do the following: 

  • Meet with clients or the art director to determine the scope of a project
  • Use digital illustration, photo-editing software, and layout software to create designs
  • Create visual elements such as logos, original images, and illustrations that help deliver a desired message
  • Design layouts and select colors, images, and typefaces to use
  • Present design concepts to clients or art directors
  • Incorporate changes recommended by clients or art directors into final designs
  • Review designs for errors before printing or publishing them

Graphic designers combine art and technology to communicate ideas through images and the layout of websites and printed pages. They may use a variety of design elements to achieve artistic or decorative effects.

Graphic designers work with both text and images. They often select the type, font, size, color, and line length of headlines, headings, and text. Graphic designers also decide how images and text will go together on a print or webpage, including how much space each will have. When using text in layouts, graphic designers collaborate closely with writers who choose the words and decide whether the words will be put into paragraphs, lists, or tables. Through the use of images, text, and color, graphic designers can transform statistical data into visual graphics and diagrams, which can make complex ideas more accessible.

Graphic design is important to marketing and selling products, and is a critical component of brochures and logos. Therefore, graphic designers, also referred to as graphic artists or communication designers, often work closely with people in advertising and promotions, public relations, and marketing.

Frequently, designers specialize in a particular category or type of client. For example, some create the graphics used on retail products packaging, still others may work on the visual designs used on book jackets.

Graphic designers need to keep up to date with the latest software and computer technologies to remain competitive.

Some individuals with a background in graphic design teach in design schools, colleges, and universities. For more information, see the profile on postsecondary teachers.

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How To Become An User Experience Designer

Graphic designers usually need a bachelor’s degree in graphic design or a related field. Candidates for graphic design positions should demonstrate their creativity and originality through a professional portfolio that features their best designs.

Education

A bachelor’s degree in graphic design or a related field is usually required. However, those with a bachelor’s degree in another field may pursue technical training in graphic design to meet most hiring qualifications.

The National Association of Schools of Art and Design accredits about 320 postsecondary colleges, universities, and independent institutes with programs in art and design. Most schools include studio art, principles of design, computerized design, commercial graphics production, printing techniques, and website design. In addition, students should consider courses in writing, marketing, and business, all of which are useful in helping designers work effectively on project teams.

High school students interested in graphic design should take basic art and design courses in high school, if the courses are available. Many bachelor's degree programs require students to complete a year of basic art and design courses before being admitted to a formal degree program. Some schools require applicants to submit sketches and other examples of their artistic ability.

Many programs provide students with the opportunity to build a professional portfolio of their designs. For many artists, including graphic designers, developing a portfolio—a collection of design ideas that demonstrates their styles and abilities—is essential because employers rely heavily on a designer’s portfolio in deciding whether to hire the individual.

Graphic designers must keep up with new and updated computer graphics and design software, either on their own or through formal software training programs. Professional associations that specialize in graphic design, such as AIGA, offer courses intended to keep the skills of their members up to date.

Other Experience

Graphic designers often gain their initial experience through internships. It provides aspiring graphic designers an opportunity to work with designers and experience the design process from concept to completion while completing a design program.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Certification programs are generally available through software product vendors. Certification in graphic design software can demonstrate a level of competence and may provide a jobseeker with a competitive advantage.

Advancement

Experienced graphic designers may advance to chief designer, art director, or other supervisory positions.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Graphic designers must be able to look at their work from the point of view of their consumers and examine how the designs they develop will be perceived by consumers to ensure they convey the client’s desired message.

Artistic ability. Graphic designers must be able to create designs that are artistically interesting and appealing to clients and consumers. They produce rough illustrations of design ideas, either by hand sketching or by using computer programs.

Communication skills. Graphic designers must communicate with clients, customers, and other designers to ensure that their designs accurately reflect the desired message and effectively express information.

Computer skills. Most graphic designers use specialized graphic design software to prepare their designs.

Creativity. Graphic designers must be able to think of new approaches to communicating ideas to consumers. They develop unique designs that convey a recognizable meaning on behalf of their clients.

Time-management skills. Graphic designers often work on multiple projects at the same time, each with a different deadline.

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User Experience Designer Career Paths

User Experience Designer
Senior User Experience Designer
8 Yearsyrs
Senior User Experience Designer Creative Director Marketing Director
Director Of Communications And Marketing
9 Yearsyrs
Senior User Experience Designer Creative Director Vice President
Chief Technology Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Senior User Experience Designer Creative Director
Marketing And Creative Director
6 Yearsyrs
Product Designer Design Engineer Project Manager
Senior Product Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Product Designer Design Engineer Senior Designer
Design Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Product Designer Senior Designer Senior Graphic Designer
Creative Services Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Lead User Experience Designer
7 Yearsyrs
Design Consultant Project Manager Marketing Manager
Digital Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
User Experience Architect User Experience Manager
Director Of User Experience
10 Yearsyrs
Design Consultant Senior Designer Senior Graphic Designer
Creative Manager
6 Yearsyrs
User Experience Architect
User Experience Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Design Consultant Owner Art Director
Designation Marketing Director
5 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Owner Art Director
Chief Creative Officer
8 Yearsyrs
Lead Designer Production Manager Product Development Manager
Product Design Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Co-Founder Digital Marketing Manager
Digital Director
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Graphic Designer Studio Manager Traffic Manager
Freelance Project Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Interactive Developer Systems Administrator Web Developer
Web Content Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Creative Designer User Interaction Designer
Creative Lead
5 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as an User Experience Designer?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Interface Designer 2.4 years
Visual Designer 2.3 years
Digital Designer 2.2 years
Web Designer 2.1 years
Top Careers Before User Experience Designer
Designer 5.4%
Internship 4.5%
Top Careers After User Experience Designer
Designer 3.4%
Internship 1.9%

Do you work as an User Experience Designer?

User Experience Designer Demographics

Gender

Male

50.2%

Female

33.8%

Unknown

16.0%
Ethnicity

White

50.0%

Asian

22.6%

Hispanic or Latino

14.3%

Black or African American

8.9%

Unknown

4.1%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

29.9%

Chinese

12.8%

Mandarin

11.6%

French

10.4%

Russian

6.7%

Japanese

4.9%

Korean

3.7%

Cantonese

3.7%

German

3.7%

Italian

2.4%

Portuguese

1.8%

Arabic

1.8%

Hindi

1.2%

Ukrainian

1.2%

Hebrew

1.2%

Swedish

0.6%

Gujarati

0.6%

Danish

0.6%

Indonesian

0.6%

Igbo

0.6%
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User Experience Designer Education

Schools

University of Washington

12.2%

Academy of Art University

9.4%

University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

8.9%

New York University

7.2%

Savannah College of Art and Design

6.8%

Carnegie Mellon University

5.5%

Rochester Institute of Technology

4.9%

University of Texas at Austin

4.8%

DePaul University

4.4%

Georgia Institute of Technology -

4.0%

Indiana University Bloomington

4.0%

School of Visual Arts

3.4%

University of California - San Diego

3.4%

Pratt Institute-Main

3.2%

San Francisco State University

3.1%

University of California - Los Angeles

3.1%

San Jose State University

3.1%

Parsons the New School for Design

3.1%

Seattle University

2.9%

Northeastern University

2.6%
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Majors

Graphic Design

32.2%

Computer Applications

9.0%

Human Computer Interaction

7.5%

Fine Arts

6.5%

Design And Visual Communication

6.1%

Computer Science

5.1%

Business

4.2%

Information Technology

3.9%

Psychology

3.7%

Communication

3.2%

Computer Information Systems

2.9%

Marketing

2.4%

Information Sciences

2.1%

Photography

1.9%

Digital Media

1.8%

Architecture

1.6%

English

1.6%

Engineering And Industrial Management

1.5%

Animation

1.4%

Computer Engineering

1.2%
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Degrees

Bachelors

48.9%

Masters

29.0%

Other

11.6%

Certificate

4.5%

Associate

4.0%

Doctorate

1.1%

Diploma

1.0%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$101,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$69,000
Min 10%
$101,000
Median 50%
$101,000
Median 50%
$101,000
Median 50%
$101,000
Median 50%
$101,000
Median 50%
$101,000
Median 50%
$101,000
Median 50%
$146,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Facebook
Highest Paying City
San Bruno, CA
Highest Paying State
Washington
Avg Experience Level
1.7 years
How much does a User Experience Designer make at top companies?
The national average salary for an User Experience Designer in the United States is $101,174 per year or $49 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $69,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $146,000.

Real User Experience Designer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
User Experience Designer Netflix, Inc. Los Gatos, CA Jul 11, 2015 $225,000
Principal User Experience Designer Thoughtworks, Inc. Chicago, IL Nov 25, 2015 $205,000
Principal User Experience Designer Thoughtworks, Inc. Chicago, IL Mar 20, 2016 $205,000
User Experience Designer Netflix Los Gatos, CA Nov 25, 2016 $205,000 -
$245,000
User Experience Designer Google Inc. New York, NY May 08, 2016 $190,000
GIM Distribution UX Design Jpmorgan Chase & Co. Jersey City, NJ Jun 20, 2016 $180,000
User Experience Designer Google Inc. New York, NY Dec 16, 2015 $175,000
Principal UX Designer Appdynamics, Inc. San Francisco, CA Apr 27, 2015 $168,000
Ux/Ui Designer Kwamecorp Us, Inc. Palo Alto, CA Aug 04, 2016 $165,000
User Experience Designer Specialist Successfactors, Inc. South San Francisco, CA Sep 14, 2016 $158,931
User Experience Designer Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Aug 24, 2016 $157,000 -
$191,000
User Experience Designer III Amazon Corporate LLC Seattle, WA May 23, 2016 $155,000
User Experience Designer Linkedin Corporation Mountain View, CA Sep 19, 2015 $109,762 -
$155,000
User Experience Designer Linkedin Corporation Mountain View, CA Sep 08, 2015 $109,762 -
$155,000
User Experience Center Designer Cisco Systems, Inc. San Jose, CA Sep 12, 2015 $109,762 -
$135,000
Experience Designer Adobe Systems Incorporated San Francisco, CA Jan 14, 2016 $108,680
User Experience Designer Cisco Systems, Inc. San Francisco, CA Jan 09, 2016 $90,334 -
$122,500
User Experience Designer Sap Labs, LLC Palo Alto, CA Jan 09, 2016 $90,250
User Experience Designer Futuresimple Inc. Mountain View, CA Jul 20, 2015 $90,000
UX Designer Logitech Inc. Newark, CA Jun 09, 2015 $90,000
Product UX Designer Elementum SCM, Inc. Mountain View, CA Aug 16, 2016 $90,000
User Experience Designer II Godaddy.com, LLC Cambridge, MA Aug 16, 2016 $90,000
User Experience Designer Crossbeat New York LLC New York, NY Apr 01, 2016 $90,000
User Experience and Visual Designer Dots Technologies Inc. New York, NY Aug 15, 2016 $90,000

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Top Skills for An User Experience Designer

  1. User Interface
  2. Company Website
  3. Web Application
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Translate abstract concepts into simple and elegant user interfaces, following user-centered design approach.
  • Redesigned internal company website for better organization of their documents and training resources.
  • Designed a proprietary web application for project managers to collaborate on schedules, presentations and executive dashboards.
  • Documented informational design and translated user needs analysis into site map, wire frames, and functional specifications.
  • Designed a digital poster for an Art & Talent show for the Church of Christ using Adobe Photoshop in April 2014.

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Top 10 Best States for User Experience Designers

  1. Washington
  2. Rhode Island
  3. California
  4. Wyoming
  5. Arizona
  6. Idaho
  7. Delaware
  8. New Hampshire
  9. Maryland
  10. New York
  • (543 jobs)
  • (32 jobs)
  • (1,660 jobs)
  • (7 jobs)
  • (106 jobs)
  • (25 jobs)
  • (22 jobs)
  • (45 jobs)
  • (150 jobs)
  • (674 jobs)

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