What Is UX Design?
UX stands for ‘User Experience’. It’s the design philosophy that governs interactions between users (like you) and everyday products (like websites, apps or even your car). “What is UX Design?” is a complicated question, because UX Design combines a bunch of technical fields. It’s a mix of market research, psychology, data science, design and business strategy.
A UX Designer’s job is to look at a product or service, and figure out how it could be faster, simpler and more intuitive. It’s all about solving user problems.
So why learn UX Design? Two words: career potential. Despite being around since the 1990s, UX Design has exploded with the recent proliferation of apps and web-based services. Most companies now need talented UX Designers, and job growth is expected to hit 14% over the next 10 years.
UX vs UI Design
What is the difference between UI and UX? In the simplest terms, UI (which stands for User Interface) is an important part of the broader UX (User Experience) discipline. They aren’t in competition with each other at all – They work in conjunction with, and inform one another.
UI refers to all the elements that would allow someone to interact with a product or service (Think of the design or layout of buttons in an app, or the placement of the images or prices on your favourite online store). UX on the other hand, is a much broader term that refers to the overall experience of the user while using the entire product or service, and what they take away from that experience.
To dive deeper into the differences between UX and UI check out our blog on the topic here: UX vs UI: Understanding the difference
What Is UX Design Used For?
UX Design is really an umbrella field that encompasses User Interface (UI) Design, usability, web design and many other disciplines. UX Designers, however, have to worry about the entire customer journey, from purchase all the way to troubleshooting. Every time you use a phone or browse a website successfully, you’re enjoying the benefits of good UX Design.
Here are a few fields where UX Design skills might come in handy:
- Customer mapping
- Web development
- Brand strategy
- Information architecture
- Visual design
- User research
- Product testing
This is really just scratching the surface of UX’s potential. It’s a discipline that forces you to empathise with the customer – what we call user-focused design. And that’s a philosophy that’s valuable everywhere.
Why learn UX Design?
Learning UX Design isn’t as hard as you might think. All you really need is curiosity, creativity and an analytical mind. The field itself has a lot going for it. For one thing, UX Design is a human-centered discipline: you’ll be chatting to customers, asking questions, doing user research and working with various business stakeholders. It also pays well: the average UX Designer salary is AU $101,000, with experienced professionals earning upwards of $170,000.
Here are some UX Design careers you might not have considered:
- UI Designer
- Interaction Designer
- Information Architect
- UX Writer
- User Researcher
- Content Strategist
- Customer Experience Manager
5 Reasons Why You Should Learn UX Design
It’s in demand
There’s never been a better time to jump into UX Design. UX Design careers have been trending steadily upwards for years. In fact, SEEK is projecting 13% job growth in Australia over the next five years, with hundreds of positions available right across the country.
It’s a growth area
According to Indeed, the average UX Designer salary is AU $101,000 per annum, which is much higher than the national average. Senior UX Designers can average even more, around AU $111,000 per annum. The career potential is enormous.
It’s a broad discipline
There’s a lot of job satisfaction in UX Design, because it draws on so many professional skills: empathy, creativity, validating products and ideas, data analysis and research, user interviews, visual design – the list goes on. It’s a broad field with endless possibilities.
It makes people’s lives better
The whole point of UX Design is to put the user at the centre of the business. This can be really rewarding: your work will literally be making people’s lives easier, simpler and less complicated. It’s your job to improve the way people live and work every single day.
It’s crucial for business
Research from Forrester shows that, for every dollar invested in UX Design, you get $100 back. Businesses understand this, and there’s been a huge surge, not just in acquiring talented UX Designers, but in general company engagement. UX Designers can really drive business decision making.
UX Design Careers
Why learn UX Design? Because there are plenty of options out there. Talented UX Design graduates are in high demand, and you’ll have the ability to work across various industries, roles and disciplines during your career. According to LinkedIn, UX Design is the most sought-after hard-skill in 2020. UX salaries have also been steadily increasing for years. There’s never been a better time to learn UX Design.
Here are just a few UX Design careers you might consider:
How to learn UX Design for beginners
Learning UX Design might seem a bit daunting, particularly if you have no design experience. But UX is really less about visual creativity than analytical curiosity. If you have an enquiring mind, if you can look at business problems upside down, and if you can empathise with customers, UX Design is for you.
Our learning content is purpose built for online study and our curriculum is divided into easy-to-follow units. Each unit combines interactive webinars, 1-on-1 tutorials, group work and practical research tasks. The ultimate goal is to give you the skills you need for a career in UX Design.
Here’s a taste of what you’ll need.
- Commitment. Our course content is divided into bite sized chunks, and designed to fit in around your schedule. We recommend studying a few hours every day to stay committed and on track.
- Notes. Your RMIT Online mentors will encourage you to take lots of notes. It’s a good way to flag any potential problems or questions.
- Collaboration. As part of your course, you’ll be working with other UX Designers, including industry experts. You’ll also have access to an online peer community.
- Knowledge. UX best-practice is always changing. We’ll help you stay up-to-date with the latest industry knowledge.
- Resources. RMIT Online will provide cutting-edge UX Design resources. These tools and forums can be used during the course, or even after completion.
UX Design also has a fantastic (and very friendly) global community. You can jump on forums, attend UX meet-ups and conferences, and ask questions online. RMIT Online experts are also on stand-by to help you work through the curriculum.
Learn about UX Design
Want to learn UX Design? This is the best place to start. Read as much as you can. Ask questions. Contact one of our RMIT Online course counsellors. You can find all our UX Design news and coverage below.
UX Design blogs
Interested in reading more about UX Design? Check out our blogs and videos featuring UX below.
What is it like working in Service Design?
The unstoppable rise of service design
5 UX trends you'll want to watch
UX vs UI: Understanding the difference
Video: Discover UI Design with RMIT Online
Video: What is UX Design? RMIT Online
RMIT Online UX Design courses
Want to learn UX Design? RMIT Online offers a range of UX Design courses, depending on your career goals and experience. You can learn UX Design online, at your own pace, and get support from expert industry mentors.
Topics and courses similar to UX Design
As you can probably tell by now, there’s a lot more to UX than meets the eye. There are dozens and dozens of related fields. If you’d like to learn more about User Interface Design, Digital Marketing, Marketing Analytics or Data Science, you can browse our related courses below.