How to become a user experience designer: Stephen's story

Meet Stephen and find out about his life as a user experience and user interface (UX/UI) designer at Shop Direct. Part of our Bitesize world of work series.

When I‘ve designed something that not just looks good, but works well… it's just a great feeling.

  • A UX/UI designer stands for a ‘user experience and user interface designer’. Stephen and his colleagues work out how the screens on a company’s apps and websites should look, and how they should work once a customer presses buttons and goes through to different products
  • A typical day for Stephen will include sketching and drawing out designs for the apps. He’ll work with the research team - who speak to customers directly to understand what they want - and he’ll work with the web developers to get the products built
  • Stephen studied Games Design at university. He transferred into a graphic design job before moving into web design. He decided to focus on the design side of things - as opposed to web development – to become a UX/UI designer
  • Stephen’s top tip if you want to become a designer is to practise. He also says it’s important to have customer empathy. That means understanding what a customer wants from an app or website, and what will make it easy for them to use.

What to expect if you want to be a UX/UI designer

  • UX/UI designer salary: £23,000 to £40,000 per year
  • UX/UI designer working hours: 37 to 39 hours per week

What qualifications do you need to be a UX/UI designer?

  • Typical entry requirements: You'll usually need one to two A-levels (or equivalent) for a national higher diploma or two to three A-levels (or equivalent) for a degree in related subjects like Product Design, Digital Marketing, Digital Media and Web Design or Human Computer Interaction (HCI).
    You could also get into this job through an advanced apprenticeship with five GCSEs (or equivalent) at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), including English and Maths or a degree apprenticeship with four to five GCSEs (or equivalent) at grades 9 to 4 and A-levels (or equivalent qualifications)

This information is a guide (sources: LMI for All, National Careers Service)

Find out more on the Prospects website about the role of a UX designer.

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