Creating a great user experience is critical to keeping your customers happy. No matter how useful an app or website may be, if the design is frustrating or confusing, no one will want to use it. Truly, the accessibility and understanding of a digital platform will dictate its success. But, whether you're hiring a UX Designer or becoming one, what makes someone a successful user experience pro?
The top traits of a successful UX Designer
- A capable visual designer who is a continuous learner. UX design is as much an art as it is a science. Hire someone who has a great idea of what looks great and appeals to your target customer base. UX designers need to be experts at using a variety of design tools. Being comfortable with learning new tools and staying on top of the industry is also a plus.
- Someone who recognizes great UX design trends, but knows how to choose the right approach to UX for your project. It’s not enough that they are simply aware of what’s being designed in the field. You want to know that the designer is able to know what a great UX experience looks like right now and also tries to anticipate where UX design is headed next.
- A person who knows the customer well and leads with empathy. The deeper the insights a UX designer has into motivation, goals, and the way future users will use the software, the easier it is to create a great user experience. Hiring someone who has worked on other projects in your industry is a real asset. The way they display empathy throughout their interview will give you insight here, too.
- A genius at gathering, analyzing, and utilizing feedback from users on their experiences with the software. A good UX designer is able to conduct usability tests and run focus groups to assist them in creating a better UX. They don’t force the data to adhere to their notions about the design, either—they will listen and problem-solve along the way to get the UX right for future users.
- Knowledgeable about technology. Although UX designers don't have to get their hands dirty with coding, it makes everyone's job easier if the UX designer has a basic understanding of the technology required for the project. This way they can help avoid designing a UX that is not practical to implement.
- Able to work independently, but still play nice with others. Most UX designers work alone, but they still need to communicate effectively with everyone else on the team. Along with listening to feedback from users, they need to be willing to accept criticism from teammates and look for ways to problem-solve together. This also means they need to be willing to experiment, whether alone or together with peers, to try and arrive at the best outcome possible.
- A passionate professional without an ego. Believe it or not, this is a tough one for some because, when you’re a rockstar that creates ongoing greatness, it can be tempting to let it all go to your head. A great UX designer stays humble and can balance their boundless creativity with the requirements of working in a business environment. That is to say, they are clear on their role, are respectful to other professionals for their knowledge, and are a good team player overall. They don’t quit when it gets tough and are energized by the challenges great UX design brings.
Do you want to learn more about what makes a good UX designer? We can help!
Editor's Note: This blog was originally published in 2015 and updated in 2022 to reflect the importance of user experience design in the creative industries.