- It's time to take a step forward and deepen our understanding of the framework that comprises pretty much all UX jobs. In this video, we'll talk about the three primary types of UX careers: those that involve design, those that involve research and evaluation, and those that involve strategy. It would be most simple to explain individual career tracks if every type of UX job fell purely into one of those three buckets. While admittedly this is not the case, it is still possible to generally group types of UX jobs. Design is often the first thing that people think about when they think about user experience work.
Not just design for the sake of beauty, but design for the people that will be interacting with a product. As of now, UX careers are largely focused on things with screens. This means that design is often related to websites or apps, although it can involve wearables and the Internet of Things. At a high level view, we have a number of design related careers. First, there is interaction design, which focuses on the elements of a screen and how a user interacts with those elements to manipulate the website or application.
Then there is information architecture, which centers around the organization of information, both parts that a user sees on the screen and elements that are organized behind the scenes. Next, we have visual design, which focuses on the creation of polished, attractive designs through the use of color, imagery, space, and typography in whatever way will be most appreciated by product users. Then we have information design, which includes the construction of web content along with any associated visualizations that are used to provide better meaning for the content.
And when the content is very technical, but needs to be explained to be understood appropriately by users, we have what is called technical communication. As I said before, these design career tracks as of today are largely screen based, although it's possible that any one of them can extend beyond the screen. One design career track that most openly goes beyond the screen is service design, which focuses on the design of the entirety of the customer experience, looking at all interactions that a customer has with the company. The second thing that people may think of when they think about UX work is research and evaluation.
Research tends to refer to activities that involve interactions with and observations of actual and representative product users, while evaluation tends to refer to activities that look at a product with respect to general standards and best practices. Research and evaluation careers could include an explicit user research role and may also have evaluation activities too. Another research and evaluation role is as an accessibility specialist. Accessibility is focused on making sure that products adhere to international and country specific standards for universal usability and can be used by everyone regardless of any kind of disability.
Finally, within the research and evaluation bucket, but often beyond just the screen, we have human factors and ergonomics. This career path way is associated with the relationship between people, products, and environment, and it is often related to safety and physical comfort in the use of technology. The third bucket is strategy. While there is most certainly a strategic aspect to basically every type of UX career, there are three career tracks that are specifically couched in strategy. UX strategy ties business goals to the use of products by the people who the products are intended for.
Content strategy makes sure that content and its message are consistent across a product or products, meet the needs of intended audience groups, and align with ultimate business goals. And finally, within our strategy bucket, but again, often falling beyond the screen, we have customer experience, or CX, which works to improve the way that a company does business, working towards an improvement in both the experience of those who interact with the company and often towards improvement of the bottom line as well. While these various UX path ways do largely fall into one of three tracks, design, research, and strategy, no UX oriented career can be purely categorized into a single bucket, and there is most certainly overlap to be found.
In this course, UX expert Cory Lebson breaks down the sub-disciplines of user experience (the trifecta of design, research, and strategy), so you can learn about the different jobs that align with your strengths and passions. Cory helps you understand job responsibilities as well as the benefits of working full-time for a company vs. consulting or freelancing. With his guidance, you can create a more compelling resume and portfolio package and make sure that you properly brand yourself as a UX professional.
This course offers focused career advice for job seekers, tips for recruiters and employers who want to better understand UX, and a necessary framework for grad/undergrad students exploring the next step in their career. Along the way, Cory highlights training in the library to build specific UX skills.
- What is UX?
- Should you be a UX generalist or a specialist?
- Available UX career types: design, research, and strategy
- Working in-house, consulting, or freelancing
- Telling a story with a portfolio and resume
- Working with recruiters