With the constant growth and demand for apps, games, and websites, it has become a modern-day cliche to start learning how to code in order to get a well-paying job in the tech world. But this approach misses out on many other options in the tech industry that don’t involve programming, not the least of which is UX design.
UX designers often work closely with programmers on software like apps. This creates false assumptions about what UX design actually entails. There are of course advantages to knowing how to code, but for UX design, it isn’t required.
What is much more useful to a UX designer is an understanding of responsive design principles. Responsive design is what makes an app or a website adjust to fit the size of whatever device you’re using. What is designed by the UX designer must then be coded by the developer, so a firm grasp on these principles will allow for efficiency and realistic expectations.
You may be surprised to find just how many non-tech skills are useful for UX design. UX designers have a wide variety of responsibilities before they can start designing anything. Coding is not going to help you communicate during a brainstorming session or ask the right questions when you’re researching your users’ needs.
The most important transferable skills for UX designers are ones a wide variety of careers can provide. In previous blogs, we’ve mentioned careers like teaching and nursing that develop soft skills for a UX designer. Here are some highlights:
An essential skill for any UX designer, empathy is transferable from many different jobs, including careers in the aforementioned education and health industries. A UX designer must understand how the product makes users feel in order to effectively improve the design. There’s even a name for that: user empathy.
Similarly to empathy, this skill is transferable from a wide variety of careers and is a must for UX designers. A huge part of the job is communication -- a UX designer must first and foremost communicate with and listen to testers and users, learning their needs and pain points.
But the communication and listening don’t stop there. UX designers must also translate feedback from the testers and users into design changes and then communicate these changes to the developers who will write the code. UX designers must also listen to the developers about the practicality of creating their designs. Needless to say, UX design includes a LOT of communication!
UX designers work within many limitations, especially time limitations. This is why workflows like Agile are so popular. Coming to a UX environment with solid time management skills will allow you to hit the ground running and thrive in this fast-paced environment.
A popular path UX designers take to break into the industry is through bootcamps, not unlike coding bootcamps! That’s where the similarities end, however — UX design bootcamps almost never teach coding.
Bootcamps are precise and short-term; they focus on the most essential practical skills and career advancement. UX design bootcamps, such as Avocademy, cover topics much more important to UX designers, including design thinking, synthesizing research, and wireframing. Coding is not an essential skill for UX designers — design-specific skills will take you farther.
At Avocademy, we focus on teaching the necessary skills for UX designers. If you want to see what a job in tech that doesn’t require coding is like, then schedule a free UX mentoring session!