On our website, in our vacancies, or in social media posts, we often don't just talk about designers or graphic designers... We always talk about UX/UI designers. (Sounds cooler, no? 🤓)
But seriously, what do we mean by it really? What does a UX/UI designer do & how do you become one? Well, in this blog, we're gonna give you an answer to all these questions! So, if you are interested in a career in tech & have a design background, you’ve come to the right place because it may be a good fit for you!
The term UX means User Experience & UI stands for User Interface. These two terms are often used interchangeably, but they actually refer to two different aspects of design.
💡 UX design focuses on the overall experience that a user has when interacting with a product or service. The way it looks feels or functions, as well as the emotions & perceptions that the user has while using it. UX designers want to create products that are easy, efficient & enjoyable to use. Products that solve the user's problems in a meaningful way.
💡 UI design, on the other hand, focuses specifically on the visual design of the user interface. This includes the layout, structure & visual elements of the interface, such as colors, typography & icons. UI designers are concerned with creating a cohesive & aesthetically pleasing design that enhances the user experience & makes the product easy to use & navigate.
In short, while the two disciplines are closely related, they have distinct goals & focus on different aspects of design. But together they play a crucial role in creating products that people love to use. Whether it's a website, mobile app, or a piece of software, a well-designed UX & UI can make all the difference in how people perceive & interact with a product.
To give this article a little more depth and hands-on experience, we asked Pierre (our most experienced UX/UI designer at Nightborn) to share his experiences & give some advice. Based on a few questions, we'll go over what his profession entails & how it works at Nightborn.
PS: He's also a motion designer, but we already covered this subject in a previous blog post 😉
👉 Motion design is an essential step in the development of an app
💡 You can find more details about Pierre De Moor's qualifications, employment history, education, skills, and experience on her 👉 LinkedIn profile 👈.
In my opinion, there's no specific educational requirement to become a UX/UI designer. Many enter the field with a variety of educational backgrounds. Some UX/UI designers have a bachelor's degree in graphic design or a master's degree in user experience design. Others have a background in a related field, such as computer science or marketing. 🤷♂️
I have obtained a bachelor's degree in multimedia & infography with a specialization in 3D at the Institut des Arts de Diffusion (iad-arts).
This being said, having a formal education in design or a related field can be helpful in developing the skills & knowledge needed to succeed as a UX/UI designer. You should, for instance, be familiar with design software & wireframe tools. If you also have a portfolio of professionally designed projects that features work on online & mobile applications, you're good to go!
🎬 In this video we’ve compiled a list of 7 tools for creating & testing wireframes.
In addition to traditional academic programs, there are numerous online courses & boot camps that can offer training in UX/UI design. These programs can be a good way to gain the skills & experience needed to break into the field.
Ultimately, the most important thing is to have a passion for design and a willingness to learn & constantly improve. Even without a formal design education, you can still succeed as a UX/UI designer by staying dedicated to your craft & keeping up with the latest trends & techniques!
This varies of course depending on the specific job & needs of the client. But in general, I'm responsible for conducting user research, creating wireframes or prototypes, designing graphic elements, building navigation components for an app or website & testing the designs.
I work closely together with teams of marketers, developers & other designers to understand the needs of our clients and their users & create designs that meet those needs.
That being said... Ultimately, my goal is to design products that help our users achieve their goals & solve their problems. 😇
There are sooooo many qualities you need to have to become a successful UX/UI designer. (DUHHH it's not easy 😉).
Where do I begin... Let's start with technical expertise! You need to have up-to-date knowledge of design software tools like Figma, Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, etc... Think that's pretty obvious. 🤷♂️
💡 At Nightborn we use Figma because it offers:
The second thing that's super important is having good communication skills & a great team spirit. Yes, these two skills are essential for a UX/UI Designer. It's important to clearly communicate my ideas & designs, but also be open to feedback from others. Because finding a solution together, while integrating a wide variety of user constraints, requires a genuine team effort. So, being a team player is key! 🗝️
At Nightborn we use Slack & ClickUp as communication tools, which enables us to ask for direct feedback from our colleagues on certain designs or projects. These tools also help to optimize your time-management skills. Yes! Don't underestimate time management, because a design is never "finished". Staying within the client’s schedule & budget, and knowing when to challenge yourself, are crucial to the role.
💡 Check out our Project management Tools here ⚒️
Next, you need to be a good listener! As mentioned before, you need to understand your users, so you can develop solutions that solve their problems. Being able to analyze what they say objectively, without making a personal interpretation. As a designer, you have to be able to tell a story or paint a picture that helps your clients to understand the work being done. A good UX/UI designer is able to put themselves in the shoes of the user & their clients!
Something that is harder to learn, yet unquestionably crucial is having a creative mindset & a lot of curiosity. In my profession, you have to try to think outside the box & come up with unique & creative designs that solve users' problems in new & interesting ways. What helps is paying close attention to details, I think I can say of myself that I have a keen eye for detail & that I'm able to create designs that are polished & refined. My colleagues sometimes find me too critical when I spot and correct errors and inconsistencies in their designs... 😇
Finally, for the more technical side of the job, you should have a good understanding of "the Internet", its best practices & design. You should be up-to-date on current trends while being capable of reflecting on them critically.
Never stop learning! Cultivate your UX/UI mind with podcasts, books & platforms such as Dribbble. Try to constantly strive to improve & broaden your skills, that is a surefire way to shine. 😎☀️
The first thing that comes to mind is the variety of projects. Every day is different, depending on the type of project or phase in the design process. Some days may be more technical, while others may be more focused on creativity.
As a UX/UI designer, I am constantly in contact with people from various roles, such as developers, marketers & project managers. I serve as a kind of link between all these different roles.
I have to say, I love my job! Because I have the unique opportunity to combine my passion for design with my love of technology. 😍
💡 Whether you are a designer yourself or just curious about the world of UX & UI design, I hope you found this interesting. Thank you for joining us on this journey!
Get in touch.
Get in touch
Maxime : + 32 494 90 36 65
David : + 32 468 10 07 97
Rue Notre-Seigneur 11, 1000 Brussels, Belgium