User Experience Design has been gaining popularity as the demand for designers grows. UX Design focuses on the user-product relationship and on creating efficient designs. Another profession that might not be quite as well known is User Experience Research.
Similar to UX Design, UX Research is a well-paying position in the tech industry. UX Research positions have an average salary of $100,778. If you are interested in the analytical side of UX Design, UX Research might be right for you.
What is UX Research?
We often do not think about how much planning goes into the design of everyday things. When building a website, every element has a specific rhyme or reason behind it. Or at least it should. This is where User Experience (UX) Research comes into play. UX Research plays an essential role in the design process. Research finds problems and solutions through data collection, observation, and testing. These problems and solutions are then communicated to the rest of the design team to make beautiful websites that serve a purpose. Therefore, UX Research reveals users' needs, motivations, and behaviors.
What Does a UX Researcher Do?
UX researchers aim to improve the design of websites by researching user needs and trends. They specialize in interface testing and market analysis.
The day-to-day responsibilities of a UX Researcher usually include:
What Are The Steps to Become a UX Researcher?
Option 1: Bootcamps Bootcamps have become increasingly popular due to their ease of entry, strong support network, job assistance, self-paced opportunities, efficiency, cost, and mentorship. Bootcamps can range in cost from around $300-$15,000. Make sure you research and read our article on the best UX design bootcamps.
Option 2: Self-taught This option is best for those with a lot of time and a strong work ethic. Teaching yourself an entirely new career can be worthwhile if you have the right resources and want to save money. There are a lot of free materials online to help you learn UX Design, although it can be tricky to cover everything yourself. Read our previous article to learn more.
Option 3: University A formal university can be a good fit for those who have not started a career or had a formal education. However, you can get a UX design job without a degree. Universities are often very expensive, time-consuming, and have varying amounts of job support. If you go the university route, you will get an in-depth education in UX Design as well as many other topics.
What is the difference between UX Design and UX Research?
It can be tough to distinguish UX Research roles from UX Design roles. This is because UX research is a part of the overall UX design process. There are some UX Design roles in which the designer will carry out the entire process, from research to prototyping to user interface (UI) design elements. In other cases, there will be separate positions for UX Research and UI Design.
A UX Researcher will do the first stage before the design process begins. They will conduct initial research using methods such as surveys, market research, focus groups, and usability testing. After this, a UX Designer will focus on completing the design of the project. They will create initial layouts of the website, called wireframes, work on the placement of certain elements, and create graphics. The role of the UX Researcher makes the design process much more efficient because both the designer and the researcher can focus all their attention on their positions instead of carrying out the entire process themselves.
If you’re still not sure which UX path is best for you, we would suggest starting some hands-on learning to see what you like. At the end of the day, you will never know unless you try.
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Brynn is an aspiring UX designer who loves the beach, cooking, and meeting new people. She loves her avocados on a big salad or in a breakfast burrito.