What Qualities Make a Great UX Designer?

What makes a great UX designer? It’s an important question, not just for current and aspiring UX designers, but also for those looking to hire or working with UX designers.

Firstly, there are the fundamental technical requirements needed to function as a UX designer. An understanding of information architecture, research, useability, accessibility, wireframing, prototyping, and visual communication.

But…

UX is a consistently changing field. Technic, approaches, tools, software, methodology – it shifts over time, project to project, a client’s needs, a company’s goals, or a products outcome.

So, there is another essential set of skills that can help a UX designer flourish.

Curiosity

Great designers regularly question things. If something doesn’t make sense, we’ll ask the question why. This curiosity leads to asking insightful questions, actively listening, doing research, and engaging more deeply with problems in meaningful ways.

Empathy

UX design, as the name suggests: is designing for the users and their experience. Therefore, our ability to understand and feel the emotions of others is key. A deep understanding of the end users allows us to create products that truly engage and delight.

Communication

UX is no longer about creating deliverables, it’s about meaningful conversations. Therefore, it is essential for us to convey product ideas and explain our thinking behind a design. Our work also requires elements of storytelling. Effective communication skills allow us to create, collaborate, adapt, and improve things with ease.

Collaboration

Good UX design means incorporating the ideas of others (developers, clients, and team members). We need to effectively give and receive feedback, explore solutions, and incorporate the expertise and needs of everyone involved in a project to create the best products possible.

Overall, a UX designer needs to continually seek out interesting new design examples and ideas and share their expertise and know-how with others.

However, also having the ability to learn from other design disciplines, such as architecture, industrial design and software design is also key. Attending UX design talks, conferences and get togethers will help you learn from other UX designers.

This will help you continually build and refinine the skills and characteristics that make a great UX designer.

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