Written by Robyn Collinge.
As desktop and mobile platforms continue to amplify in both relevance and innovation, user experience has never been such an essential element of design. As a result, a UX design skill set is a great asset to have – unfortunately, it’s also a common asset among today’s young professionals, meaning it can be difficult to get noticed.
You might have the hard skills down and the UX knowledge in the bag, but when it comes to standing out from the crowd, we think it can actually be your soft skills that give your work the necessary flare. So, here at Usabilla we’ve rounded up the characteristics that count when it comes to setting yourself apart as an exceptional UX Designer.
A Connection to Users
Anyone who’s familiar with UX design will no doubt have had the word ‘empathy’ drilled into them from day one. That fact of the matter is, it’s actually a pretty important quality to nail if you’re seeking success. You can’t build great products without understanding people, and, you guessed it, you can’t understand people without empathy.
You need to understand what the user needs while identifying how they want to achieve it, even when it means swallowing your pride and letting your ego take the hit. UX design is about creating a purpose for your user, and acknowledging their emotions, goals, and motivations is a sure fire way to achieve this.
See The Bigger Picture
While the user is your number one priority, an important skill is the ability to step back and take a look at the bigger picture. Not only is this a way to ensure your clients and stakeholders are satisfied, but removing yourself from the task at hand can be a great way to challenge the status quo and keep things fresh. A wider perspective can prevent you from jumping to solutions too early and help uncover any hidden inspiration.
You can’t get enough when it comes to staying up to date with the latest trends, not only across design but in human behaviour too. Be an explorer, never stop learning, and aspire for nothing less than perfect.
Know How to Use Data & Insights
It might not be in your job description but understanding how to perform research and interpret the results can give your designs some serious edge.
It’s a cliche, we know, but as a UX Designer, it’s important to have your communication skills well and truly mastered. This includes verbal, written, physical, and visual and is not only exclusive to your client relationships but within your team as well. You’re not afraid to bounce your ideas off other people and you understand that being challenged can actually inspire you to produce your best work.
And there we have it. The characteristics that we think are important when it comes to standing out from the UX Designer crowd. They might not be the qualities that stand out on your resume, but we believe they can be the difference between an effective user experience and an exceptional one.