The UX designer career path requires a lot:
Lots of knowledge, experience, abilities, and skills, but above all: empathy. Empathy is the key competence to become a corporate leader as a UX designer via the intermediate station of a manager ("Team-Lead UX").
Most Important Skill Required for UX Professionals = Empathy.
It starts, as it should be with the subject of "skills and abilities", with hard skills.
Hard skills of a very good UX designer
Good UX designers have a wealth of experience and knowledge that they have built up in different roles and various activities: as a user researcher, concept developer, UX tester, and in at least one creative field as a user interface designer, interaction designer, or information architect.
After 10-15 years of professional experience, good UX designers can build, lead, and hold project teams together. Knowledge and understanding of UX process and thought models is a necessary prerequisite. But still, this is not enough. It takes more.
Very good UX designers recognize the tension between user requirements, economic efficiency, and technical possibilities – and can resolve it. This enables them to place the value of their work and that of their teams in direct relation to business success.
Successful UX designers are also open-minded, quickly find access to new techniques, technologies, and tools, and love to try new things. They are creative. They like to present and moderate. They have strong verbal and non-verbal communication skills.
All of this requires a high degree of adaptability in terms of topics, people, technologies, and changes. And all of this justifies very high salaries, a lot of influence in companies, and ultimately the claim to run a company.
To take the path from a good, through a very good and successful UX designer to the management or board of directors, one skill is crucial: empathy.
Key competency skill – empathy
Are you empathic? Are you motivated and able to recognize feelings, thoughts, and intentions in other people?
Compassion is a good foundation for being perceived as personable. So that doesn't do any harm. The ability to “feel with others” is only part of empathy. The subject of empathy in a professional context is about much more.
The more motivation and ability to empathize with the UX designer has, the more successful UX designer can be.
Central goals in the professional context of a UX designer with the will to make a career:
- Develop successful products.
- Motivate, encourage, satisfy employees (team members).
- Make stakeholder groups (superiors, colleagues, owners, partners, customers) happy.
With all of these goals, empathy is the central success factor.
"Put yourself in the shoes of others" - empathy for users!
In-depth knowledge of guidelines and standards, usage contexts, and usage scenarios are a necessary prerequisite for UX evaluations by experts to work out optimization potential. However, these “hard skills” are not sufficient to achieve findings that are similar to those from tests with users.
The ability to adapt the points of view, perspectives, and attitudes of other people is the key to successful heuristic evaluations. Reliable and valid findings, comparable to findings from a user test, are only available from empathic UX experts.
Empathy also helps when doing testing for users. Empathic UX testers transform what is initially a pure questioning situation into a conversation, into a dialogue. The ability to build a good relationship quickly will help them. This gives you deep insights into the values, attitudes, and motives that determine the behavior and assessments of the test persons. This is a very important prerequisite for obtaining reliable and valid knowledge for optimization from user tests.
UI designers, interaction designers, and information architects are especially good at empathy. Especially when they have no direct contact with users. Empathetic UX designers can put themselves in the shoes of the represented users based on persona and customer journey descriptions, adopt their perspectives and points of view and take them into account during the conception and design.
Whenever we prepare a menu, it is convenient to know its ingredients, that way we can find the best pairing. Eska recommends that for our menu today, the main ingredients are: empathy and user experience.
In our case, we will base the UX on the construction of websites.
So, it seems that we have found the perfect pairing, a UX puts all her empathy on the stack to be able to offer a product or service designed exclusively for you as our client.
But how do we do it?
A good UX uses various resources to offer the best and easiest navigation to the user, this is known as usability.
Talking and developing all of them in one article is impossible, so we will focus on five of them.
1. SWOT ANALYSIS: Study of the situation of a company, project, or person analyzing its internal characteristics (Weaknesses and Strengths) and its external situation (Threats and Opportunities).
2. LEAN CANVAS: Business model visualization tool. Generates new prototyping ideas that provide solutions to current market needs which you will find out from point number 3.
3. INTERVIEWS: Surveys with a maximum of 10 questions addressed to potential users. They must be simple and expanded, so you don’t allow your clients to answer in a way with a simple yes or no.
4. PEOPLE: Creation of profiles of people of different tastes, ages, personalities ... Who represent future users of our website. We will put ourselves in their place to raise doubts and possible solutions that will be found when browsing our website.
5. USER JOURNEY: Imagine all the phases that a current or potential user follows in their interaction with our website from beginning to end.
Well, we already know the ingredients with which we are going to prepare our menu.
From ESKA, we take care of combining all these ingredients and some others so that your users can have the ultimate experience on the websites that we develop.