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UX Job Descriptions Made Easy(er)

UX Job Descriptions ...
Source: molly stevens

Picture this: you’ve just qualified as a brain surgeon. Now do you: a) rock up to operating theatre, scrub down, pop on surgical gloves, and proceed to perform your first surgery without senior assistance? Or do you b) proceed to shadow senior and experienced surgeons until you have all the knowledge and practical experience required for such a feat?

We’re guessing you’d go for the second option.

The same applies when seeking work as a UX contractor. If you’ve gotten six months under your belt in the interaction design field, congrats! Unfortunately, it doesn’t mean that you can (or should be) considered for a senior role. Ultimately it will be your resume/CV, portfolio, work experience, and references that will show what you’re truly capable of.

Although job titles and descriptions can vary greatly from company to company, our UK team drafted this primer on some distinct differences among three disciplines from junior to senior.

  1. Interaction Designer / UX Designer / Information Architect
  2. Visual Designer
  3. User Researcher

(We’re using ID, UXD, and IA interchangeably as there is no standard naming convention among UX talent.)

We hope this adds some clarity to what can be a muddled playing field!



Junior Interaction Designer / UX Designer / Information Architect

Experience: 0-2 years

Responsibilities:

  • Executing design work consistent with design and brand standards, analytics insight, customer feedback.

  • Takes direction from a Senior UX team member and requires close guidance to deliver design work effectively.

Technical Skills:

  • Design - Sketching, concept creation and wire framing, producing sitemaps and user flows, creating clickable prototypes. Working with user research teams to plan usability testing sessions and delivers artifacts for testing. Using user insight, analytics, best practice, competitor analysis to inform design decisions.

  • Design Specification - Delivers appropriate level of specification needed to ensure high quality development on time.

  • Data interpretation - Required (with guidance) to document data from analytics sources.

  • Best practice and design consistency - Researching and sharing industry trends, competitors, and comparable experiences. Driving and documenting design standards and patterns across channels and products.

  • Technical Knowledge - Proficient in key software packages such as Axure and Photoshop. Sound knowledge of web and mobile technologies.



Interaction Designer / UX Designer / Information Architect

Experience: 2-5 years

Additional Responsibilities:

  • Delivers design work on programs of any size with minimal oversight.

  • Effectively negotiates trade-offs with product management and engineering.

Additional Technical Skills:

  • Design - Shares work to get feedback and iterates their thinking with continual review.

  • Design Specification - Collaborates as appropriate on creating user stories to define development tasks.

  • Planning - Plans own work executing against deadlines. Finds ways to maximise the efficiency in an agile process.

  • Working in a team - Collaborating with visual designers, developers, product owners, marketing, and content managers to define product experience and champion the user.



Senior Interaction Designer / UX Designer / Information Architect


Experience: 5-10 years

Additional Responsibilities:

  • Leads design work on major programs doing some of the design themselves and providing oversight/direction to other designers on the program.

Additional Technical Skills:

  • Design - Overviews work giving feedback and iterates their thinking with continual review.

  • Planning and mentoring the work of other interaction designers - Finding ways to maximise the efficiency of workflow between development and design in an agile process.




Junior Visual Designer


Experience: 0-1.5 years

Responsibilities:

  • Executing design work consistent with design and brand standards, analytics insight, customer feedback.

  • Takes direction from a Senior UX team member and requires close guidance to deliver design work effectively.

Technical Skills:

  • Skilled in using
 Adobe Creative Suite packages, mainly Photoshop and Illustrator.

  • Skilled in motion graphics using After Effects (desirable).

  • Strong sensibility of best design practices for production delivery across platforms, ie desktop and mobile.

  • Knowledge of interaction architecture practices in UX and the ability to take wireframes through to well executed visual designs with supporting annotations.



Visual Designer


Experience: 2-4 years

Additional Responsibilities:

  • Delivers design work on programs of any size with minimal oversight.

  • Effectively negotiates trade offs with product management and engineering.

Additional Technical Skills:

  • Full understanding of best design practices for production delivery across platforms, ie desktop & mobile.

  • Well versed in IA practices across UX and the ability to take wireframes through to well crafted visual designs with supporting annotations.

  • Ability to prototype designs using Axure and/or HTML/Motion graphics.



Senior Visual Designer


Experience: 5-8 years

Additional Responsibilities:

  • Leads design work on major programs doing some of the design work themselves and providing oversight/direction to other designers on the program.

Additional Technical Skills:

  • Wider knowledge of new interactive technologies and techniques across platforms and industries to draw from to influence approach.

  • Good working use of PowerPoint or similar tools for crafting presentations for presentation up to board level communicating ideas through visual design, prototypes and motion graphics.



Junior User Researcher


Experience: 0-3 years

Responsibilities:

  • Begin assisting in running research sessions.

  • Write up research notes, perform competitor analysis.


  • Takes direction from senior UX team.

Technical Skills:

  • Methodologies: Experienced in research methods - usability testing (lab), phone interview, focus groups.

  • Familiar with contextual/ ethnographical study, remote study (online), card sorting, diary study, eye tracking, intercept surveys, participatory design, A/B MVT testing.

  • Software
: PowerPoint, Word, Excel.
 Familiar with Photoshop, Morae, Userzoom.



User Researcher


Experience: 3-6 years

Additional Responsibilities:

  • Planning and executing smaller scale research projects, drawing on research from various areas of the business: analytics, customer insight, help desk.

  • Good presentation skills and able to present to senior stakeholders and good stakeholder management skills.

Additional Technical Skills:

  • 
Software
: Familiar with Final Cut Pro, Tobii eye tracking, Axure, InDesign



Senior User Researcher


Experience: 6-10 years

Additional Responsibilities:

  • Planning and executing any scale of research project.

  • Senior stakeholder management and presentation to the business at all levels including board level.

Anything we missed? Let us know in comments!

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