How Different Companies Define the Role of UX When Hiring
As the demand for UX designers increases, so too does the range of job possibilities. Like many other design roles, no two UX roles are the same. They share similarities of course (an innate sense of empathy for your users being a key consistency), but depending on the size of the company and its corresponding design team, the city you live in, the demands of the business, the company’s familiarity with UX, the constraints and opportunities of the product itself, and other variables, one UX designer’s job could look very different from another’s.
We took a look at some of the job listings currently posted online to paint a picture of what different companies are looking for in UX designers.
You’ll find that larger companies with established design teams expect UX designers to have a voice and opinion on design matters. As such, they expect several years of experience (in this case, 4+ years is required) as well as, “a burning desire to create the best design & customer experiences the auto industry has ever seen.”
According to Tesla, a UX designer is “by definition an innovative thinker, a driven product owner, and a skilled advocate for the user—all simultaneously. Our designers leverage strong internal connections to design, create, and orchestrate truly engaging customer experiences.”
Opportunities like this are ideal for UX designers that also consider themselves thought leaders, or have a keen interest in developing leadership skills in the realm of UX design. The title for this particular opportunity is “UX designer” and the position is based out of Fremont, California.
Another national organization, but one that takes a different approach to UX design. A recent job listing seeks a UX designer with either:
- A Bachelor’s Degree and at least one year of design experience “with focus on software, web applications, and mobile apps,” or,
- A high school diploma/GED and at least three years of design experience (with the same focus)
This posting shows that the company is aware that there are many different routes to a career in UX design and that designers come from various backgrounds and education levels. If you’re self-taught or took an unconventional path, don’t let this stop you. You may find numerous employers are open to UX designers from all kinds of backgrounds.
Related Read: The Many Pathways to UX
In this particular posting, Walgreens is looking for somebody to be responsible for “creating, developing, and executing quality designs for core elements of our pharmacy business and system applications.” This person will work “closely with other team members to ensure designs align to an overarching vision and strategy to deliver the best user experience.”
This is a collaborative opportunity that also mentions working with the user research team to “validate concepts and design solutions.” If you’re interested in the research side, look for opportunities that mention this in the job description or be sure to ask once you’re further into the application process.
This position is based out of Deerfield, IL.
A recent post for a Jr. UX designer based out of either Arlington, Texas or Milford, Ohio shows that some companies want UX designers that come from more traditional backgrounds, in this case a degree in computer sciences and experience in programming.
This role requires a UX designer who also wears the hat of a UI designer. Responsibilities include everything from creating personas to designing mock-ups. It’s a hybrid role that seeks someone to “analyze and resolve UI design alternatives and issues” as well as “collect and action UX feedback from customers/end users and manage changes to UX deliverables throughout the project lifecycle.”
This is one of many roles that combines UX and UI. If this is something that interests you, pay attention to opportunities that reference the interface of the product often, but don’t forget to pay attention to the importance placed on the user experience itself.
This role also appears to involve some more administrative/business objectives, which may appeal to designers seeking a more traditional office/work environment. Not everyone feels at home in trendy design roles and its perfectly fine to seek out opportunities that align with your lifestyle and preferences.
Some additional things for UX designers to keep in mind:
While we were searching through listings we saw many consistencies and variations across different postings, some of which included:
- UX designer jobs have various other titles including interactive designer, product designer, UX/UI designer, website designer/UX, and so on. Review roles carefully to see which opportunities peak to your interests and skillsets
- Many require experience, but some offer opportunities to prove your skillset in other ways, which is great for beginner UX designers and those transitioning into UX roles
- Many opportunities expressed interest in designers who come from a visual background. If this is you, check out our video on how graphic designers can transition into UX and learn more about the shift in mindset that is often required
- On the contrary, many, like the Siemens job listed above, look for a developer/programming background
Depending on your background, you may find yourself applying for some UX jobs but not others and you may be surprised by how different the opportunities are. Don’t be. As more companies broaden and enhance their UX offerings, you’ll see there are opportunities out there that are as diverse as you are.