Why UX design skills enhance your career as a developer

November 24, 2020
min read
Why UX design skills enhance your career as a developer
Victoria Domenica Devecsai

What some years ago was the hype around developers now concerns the user experience designers. More and more companies realize that they can gain a substantial competitive advantage by having people on their team capable of creating user-oriented designs and products. This is also reflected in the salary: 50,000 Euro is the average annual salary for a UX Designer in Austria.

But don't worry, you don't have to question your career choice. Development and UX design are much more related to one anther than you think, and both areas can be perfectly combined. Being a developer who can design solutions or considers the design part is a skill that is hard to beat, and these skilled professionals are even higher in demand.

What is UX design?

Let us first take a look at what user experience and user interface design are. The name says it all: user experience design is all about the user’s experience. “How can we deliver an experience that solves the users’ problem smoothly and satisfactorily?” is the fundamental question UX designers are asking themselves daily, considering the user in every step along the journey. Their job is to conduct a lot of user research to understand what users want by diving into psychological patterns and creating wireframes and prototypes that finally lead them to a product that answers all these needs.

And how is UI design different?

The user interface design concerns creating the interfaces that offer ease when navigating the app or website, efficiency in searching for content, and appreciation in the visual aspects to show the users and visitors. It includes all graphical elements, like colors, fonts, white space, icons, even the size and spacing of headlines, text, and image-ratios.  

Still, UI design does not necessarily have the user in mind, focusing more on the aesthetics, not the experience itself. The magic lies in the combination of both areas.

And this is where the developers come into play.

Know how a site works – and how it feels

Developers are trained to build a product that makes their clients happy. As a developer, you know how to build apps or websites and how it works – you are product-oriented. It is what you do every day. 

Designers, on the other hand, are trained to create products that make the users happy. They know (or at least should, if they do their job well) how an app or a site feels for the user and also how it behaves – they are user-oriented. 

Can you recognize how connected these two areas are, so why do we still consider them as separate divisions? Wouldn’t it be amazing to build bridges and fill this gap by gaining some design knowledge?

Five reasons why developers should gain UX/UI design knowledge

1. You’ll improve cooperation between teams

If you know what you are talking about, you can turn your ideas into words and later into action. Gaining a basic knowledge of user experience and user interface skills will help you communicate at eye level with designers, developers, and other stakeholders. It will improve collaboration between teams, and you will be more effective when working with designers.

2. You’ll create an even better product

UX designers and developers share the same goal: creating a successful product that users want to use. And knowing what makes a good user experience will make you a better developer. Just have a look at the laws of UX for a start. When you understand what users want – typically a simple, minimalist, easy-to-use design – you will be able to deliver just that without wasting valuable time and effort on features that are of no use.

3. You’ll let your creativity run free

The common perception that developers are not creative is wrong. Solving problems and bugs require a lot of creativity. UX/UI design’s big difference is that the creative process is simply more visible to the end-user. If you are that kind of developer who wants to show the world more of the creative greatness in a developer’s brain, then UX design is a skill you should add to your stack.

4. You won’t leave your comfort zone

The entire business world would be more effective and efficient if we all had a more holistic understanding of what we do and achieve daily. The same goes for developers. The good news is that as a developer who dips a toe into the unknown waters of UX design, you will realize that you do not have to swim so far out of your comfort zone. Of course, UX design is not limited to web design, but still: according to Brainstation more than 74 % of UX designers have devoted themselves to web design, which is an easy transition for developers preferring to take it slow but still offers excellent potential for others in areas like VR or AR, where only 5.6% of UX designers are active.

5. You’ll be irreplaceable

It may be hard to admit, but UX designers are among the most sought-after tech professionals. Given that most companies haven’t even realized the importance of user experience and the benefits that come with it. It is even more astonishing that the demand is already skyrocketing. So, this is your chance. Gaining these skills makes you vital at the office – regardless of working in a small company where your knowledge will be highly valued or in a large organization where you will be the go-to person for thinking outside the box.

Ready for a career boost?

Don't wait any longer and grant your career the update it deserves. Not sure where to start? Talent Garden Innovation School offers interactive and flexible UX/UI Design Online Courses at a beginner to intermediate level, combining live and on-demand learning sessions, keynotes held by experts, real projects, and countless networking opportunities.

As a hard-working developer, the UX/UI Design Online Part Time Program is perfect for you. After the course, you will know the terms, principles, norms, and standards of usability. You will understand the importance of usability and UX within the product development process, analyze and specify user and business requirements, use different prototyping techniques and software tools and design coherent interfaces and universal visual systems for the various interfaces!

About the author: Victoria is the Marketing and Communications Manager at Talent Garden Austria, Europe's leading innovation platform and coworking network for the digital and tech community. Previously, she worked in the event industry for several years and gained more than three years of experience in a PR agency as a Senior Consultant in consulting clients from the technology and food & beverage industries. Victoria is a big fan of traveling, photography and art, innovation, and the sharing economy.

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