"As a UX Designer, I make sure that digital products, such as websites or mobile apps, are user-friendly, so users spend more time interacting with them, eventually resulting in conversions."
What do you do?
As a UX designer at Bravand, my primary responsibility is to assist clients in developing digital products that are user-friendly and attractive. I achieve this by examining the user's current experience with the product or comparable products and creating more effective solutions.
As a UX designer, conducting user research is a crucial aspect of my job. This research allows me to identify existing problems that users may have with the product and discover opportunities for improvement.
Additionally, I design user flows, navigation systems and create mock-ups of key pages to ensure that the final product is intuitive and seamless.
Initially, I had aspired to become a social media manager or content creator, which motivated me to pursue media and communication studies at Kingston University. After completing my first year, I secured an internship in a fintech company in London as a social media manager during the summer break. However, after two months in this role, I realised that it didn't bring me happiness or satisfaction. So I gave up on my dream of making a career in social media.
A year later, I secured another summer work opportunity, this time with Vodafone, where I had a three-week shadowing experience. During that period, I worked with a variety of teams, including the UX team, which piqued my interest and began my passion for the UX field.
In my final year, I devoted my time to self-educating on UX, communicated my goal to my professors, and remained open to opportunities for work experience, free courses, and other UX-related activities. I also worked on building my portfolio, and my final major project focused on UX.
Graduating during the pandemic made it challenging to find employment initially, so I freelanced to gain experience. During that time, I signed up for a free mentorship programme that aimed to promote IT jobs to women. My assigned mentor reviewed my work, CV, and portfolio every week, providing invaluable guidance based on her experience. This program proved instrumental in securing my position as a freelancer at Bravand and later a full-time position.
What does my day to day job look like?
Phase 1: Project Kick-Off
When clients approach us, they typically request a redesign of their outdated website.
At our initial meeting, we strive to grasp the underlying motivation behind their desire for change, beyond just the aesthetic aspect. For instance:
- Is the website underperforming in terms of generating sales?
- Do users have difficulty understanding the product?
- Are customers struggling to complete purchases?
Our objective is to recognise the issues that our clients are facing and advise solutions to enhance the functionality of their product for their benefit.
Phase 2: User Research
Now it is time to gather user feedback regarding the product.
We can assume a lot of things but it is only through discussions with current or potential users that all issues become apparent. To begin, I write down a list of research questions and select individuals who match our user profile, such as the following example:
- Client: Kitchen Design Company
- User profile: Professionals aged 25-40, residing in England, and who have purchased bespoke kitchen design within the past three months.
I then conduct user interviews with them to gain insight into their actions, motivations, requirements, and any difficulties they encounter while using the online services that match our description.
Phase 3: Designing
After identifying the primary obstacles confronting our digital product, it is time to develop solutions.
To facilitate the iterative design process following feedback, I create wireframes, starting with pen-and-paper sketches to help me plan out the navigation and the appearance and behaviour of each screen. This ensures a consistent and efficient user journey.
Once the designs are finalised, I proceed to create interactive prototypes that are later tested with potential users, allowing us to refine them further before going live.
Phase 4: Developing the product
Following the feedback received, I make final decisions and refine the design to prepare it for the next stage, which involves adding aesthetic elements to it.
The wireframes are handed over to a UI designer, who enhances them by incorporating colours, visual elements, fonts, and branding.
The designs are then passed on to the development team for implementation, and as a UX designer, I remain in constant communication with both teams to ensure that all criteria are met.
Why do I like this job?
- Digging into the core of the problem and making a meaningful difference to people’s lives and experiences.
- Working in an ever-evolving tech industry that doesn't allow for boredom!
- Being able to get creative and generate a lot of ideas.
- Working with a diverse range of clients means that I get to meet people from across a range of sectors and develop a better understanding of their work.
Soft skills needed:
- Communication skills
- Time management skills
- Analytical skills
If I have piqued your interest in the world of UX and you would like to discover more, I invite you to check out these free resources.
- ‘Product Design Consultant | What I do & how much I make’
- Vloggers sharing their life as UX Designers:
- A day in the life of a UX Designer - what I do day to day (ChunBuns)
- A week in my life as a UX Designer (Charli Cheung)
- Abstract | Season 2: Ian Spalter: Digital Product Design
- ‘The Playlist’ - The origin story of Spotify
- productdesign on TikTok