Top 10 Essential Skills Every UI/UX Designer Should Have

22 Sep 2017 Author : Harnil Oza
ui/ux designer
Building a career in UI/UX design can be frustrating. This is because many people erroneously think that User Interface and User Experience are the same concepts. Although these two are closely related, they are quite distinct fields. For instance, a top-notch UI designer may have a hard time understanding UX design, the same way a UX designer would with photoshop or sketch. 
 
However, the two aspects of design overlap. This justifies why Indian app developers and others desirous of making themselves indispensable prefer to get the best of both worlds. Designers with proficiency in both fields have more job security than others who are focused on either of the two.
 
This article would highlight the essential skills every app development company expects from UI/UX designers. 
 
1. Communication (visual and non-visual):
One viable skill required of designers is visual communication. As a designer, you are a storyteller. As such, you should be able to explain the goals of your product and the reasons why you chose a particular design in clear and concise terms. If the initial plan fails, you should also be able to provide an alternative. 
 
How can an individual claim be an artist when they don't know how to paint? Designers are proficient in the use of tools, software, and programming languages like CSS, JavaScript, Python, Processing, Photoshop, Sketch, Illustrator, and many others. All these are meant to provide solutions to the problem of users. 
 
Designers have to be skilled in the art of transforming ideas into wireframes, and interactive prototypes. They also need to be able to sketch. It doesn't matter what tools they use (Photoshop or wireframing), as long as they are able to communicate their ideas to the app development company visually, they are good to go! The guiding principle here is ‘show and not just tell’
 
Explain your UX idea and plan to the designer, development and marketing team in simple and unambiguous terms, so that going forward, everyone can be on the same page. 
 
A great designer understands the needs of the users and applies them to his designs. 
 
When there is a difficulty in effective communication, the result will be a flawed product. Hence, being able to communicate is the hallmark of every good designer.
 
2. Agile and Lean Software Development Skill:
Many organizations have abandoned the old school waterfall methods of building and designing software (that UX Designers are accustomed to) for Agile and lean software development. As a result, UI/UX designers have no choice other than to work in an agile environment amidst the challenges. Within an agile environment, they are not just designers, but design facilitators and conductors who rapidly conduct research. A good designer needs to be able to brace up for the new environment. 
 
3. User Advocacy:
User experience experts tend to be closer to the users than other employees of the company. User Interaction and User Experience are focused on the user, the needs, expectations, perception-behavior, etc. A good UI/UX designer should be able to interact with users and get feedback on what they like or dislike. They should identify and effectively tackle the root cause of the issues.
 
Every good UX/UI designer is an advocate of what the users want. As they go about their business of app development, they are willing to drop their mind-bugging idea for suggestions and ideas from the users. 
 
4. Rapid Prototyping:
It used to take a few years before new versions of software are released. Now, they are released in a spate of a few months or weeks. You are expected to be able to evaluate and iterate a design quickly. Iterating a design without a prototype is as frustrating as the word gets. So, rapid prototyping is an important skill. UX designers are expected to be able to rapidly create prototypes that would help them communicate and evaluate designs. They could create simple paper or coded prototypes using ‘Axure.'
 
5. Participatory Design:
Participatory design is more than just making the design process open to users although this is quite important. It is opening up the process to as many interested and concerned parties as possible. As more organizations become aware that to achieve a great UX, all hands (not just the designer’s) must be on deck. Many people should be allowed to play active roles in the design process. 
 
Thus, UX designers need to be able to carry everyone along in the design process. This can be achieved by organizing collaborative design workshops and sessions.
 
6. Persuasion:
It is not enough to create apps that are easy to use and great to view. App development companies are looking for experts in persuasive design. Designers who are skilled in the art of using psychological techniques like social proofing, scarcity, and reciprocity to persuade users to carry out the desired action.
 
7. Business Skills:
Times are changing. Gone are the days when UX designers were only concerned with ensuring that the customer has a great user experience. Today, UX designers find themselves immersed in the murky waters of business. They attend strategic business meetings, deliver presentations, write business cases, and are responsible for a host of other responsibilities. As a designer, you must, therefore, possess business skills.
 
8. Revising Skills:
Revising is a skilled designer should have. It helps them grow and mature. As UI/UX designers communicate and test their ideas, they receive feedback. It propels them to use the feedback to create a better product and improve their work. It is not out of place for organizations to ask you what you would have done differently if you had the chance. Your answer would show what you think about design. Organizations want to know that you are flexible enough to fix, adjust and improve certain aspects of your design when the need arises. 
 
9. Crowd Sourced Design:
Crowd sourced design leverages participatory design. UX design experts should know how to use the Internet to collect and collate ideas and inputs from a wider range of users to improve the design. With UX tools at their disposal, they should be able to collect feedback through usability testing. 
 
10. Responsive Design Skills:
Responsive design is one skill every success-bound UX designer must possess. This entails creating modular designs; moving from sketching to prototyping and also ditching reframes for photoshop. 
 
Designs are becoming more fluid and responsive. Thus, UX designers need to be versed in the technical side of app development. They need to know and grasp the mechanisms through which content is transformed and delivered. For instance, they need to know about breakpoints, CSS media queries, etc. 
 
Indian app developers and other experts in the field of mobile design that are armed with these skills will have a jolly-ride in the world of UI/UX design. 

Mr. Harnil Oza is the founder and CEO of Hyperlink Infosystem. He is a very disciplined, soft spoken and enthusiastic person. Being the founder of the company, he takes care of business development activities and maintains relations with clients. His charismatic and result driven approach has benefited the company to grow and achieve this height where the company stands right now. His vision, long term planning and sharp knowledge on latest technologies made this organization so successful and profitable in such a short period of time. Harnil ensures that the company gets up-to-date & latest knowledge on different technologies and trends in this competitive market. His problem solving skills and co- ordination abilities makes him favorable among clients and team members. His areas of interests are captivating which includes reading technical articles, sports, adventure and exploring new places and technologies.

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