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The branches and mini branches of User Experience

There are so many job titles in the market which starts with and has a fancy sounding word accompanying it. What do those words mean? What kind of tasks would I be performing? Am I a designer, researcher or a strategist?

I did have these questions before entering Design and I just thought it would be fair enough to share it with you.

If you’re currently working as a let’s say UX Designer and you’re still confused about what you’re doing, this is a must read for you. Or, if you’re interested in pursuing a career in UX and you do not know where you fit, this should help you out.

Firstly, what the hell is UX?

Simply put, a UX person is responsible for creating a usable and wonderful experience for a user who is using their product.

A product here generally refers to a web/mobile/wearable application which can be interacted through tapping, touching and sliding the screen.

The primary job is to make the users understand the technology used by the product and ensuring it meets the user’s expectations.

The description can go on and on but the whole idea is just that.

This is how a UX designer would look like at work

Primary branches of UX

There are three broad categories which fall under this huge umbrella.

  1. Design
  2. Research
  3. Strategy

I’ll take you through the different mini branches with simple, clear and concise words. No intimidating stuff here.

Note : All the titles mentioned below have overlapping tasks.

Design

Interaction Designer

They are responsible for creating efficient and effective interactions between users and interfaces (screens).

For example: If a user has clicked on ‘add to cart’, is it visible on the same screen itself or does he/she navigate to another screen to find out.

Information Architect

Organizing the flow of the website and the information accompanying it in a presentable way to the user will be their primary task.

For example : A subway map is a great example of organized information.

Visual Designer

A Visual Designer is someone who plays around with colors, typography, images and space.

Simply put, it’s an extended version of Graphic Design.

Visualising buttons, it’s form and color is a key part of visual design

Information Designer

Some websites showcase a lot of complex information (graphs, data etc.). Not everyone understands such information quickly. That’s where information designers come into play. Their role would be to design information in an understandable and clear way.

Charles Joseph Minard’s 1861 diagram of Napoleon’s March — an early example of an information graphic.

UX writer

Quite new in the market, it’s an extension of copyrighting with phenomenal focus on the users. The focus would be on creating important information such as text in buttons and forms understandable by the intended audience groups.

That explains it all

Service Designer

Their job is to make sure that the complete interaction between a customer/user and the company is of the highest quality.

Research

User Research

A User Researcher would find out more about users by interviewing/talking to them or by doing field study. Using those datas, they would come up with personas and scenarios which would help the designers understand their usage and interaction with the products.

Accessibility specialist

Is my product accessible by everyone? Is it universally designed? The best person to answer these questions would be a Accessibility specialist. Some products might face certain constraints which are country or user specific. They ensure that the products are usable by everyone, regardless of their disability.

Human factors and ergonomics

They’re mostly together, sometimes a little apart. Both these roles are designed to make sure that intended audience (which are decided by User researchers)can use their products easily and safely.

Strategy

UX strategist

Every company/start-up has their own set of business goals. A person who is responsible for aligning business goals with the User experience of products is referred to as a UX Strategist.

Content strategist

This person aligns business goals with the content which accompanies their products. They help plan, develop and deliver clear, relevant content that brings the two together.

Customer experience

At times, the UX field jumps a little beyond screens and wearables and directly hits the customers/users. This person, helps in making the interaction between users and the business, healthier.

You’ve reached the end of the article. If you liked it, do clap. How else would I know?

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Careers in UX was originally published in UX Planet on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.



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