One Size Fits All Designer Doesn’t Work In UX Design

If you’re like me or like the never ending list of of dope UX and product designers who are looking for a new opportunity, or even just a chance to showcase their skills, we all know what the typical application process is.

I’m not knocking it at all. I’m just saying that it often times, if not always, looks a little something like this.

What have you done? Who have you done it for? How long have you done it?What are you doing now?

Okay, show us. Interest portfolio link here.

And boom, just like that your fate as a candidate or even the chances of you still being in the running for a role, are decided.

Now, I’m not, by any means saying that User Experience Designers don’t have to have a killer portfolio. It kind of goes along with the title.

But what I am saying is that it has been made clear and clean, time and time again, that user experience design is different from user interface design.

Sure, you have the right and the choice as a designer to decided what you want to dive into and focus on.

And some people, bless them all, are amazing visual designers. It isn’t hard for them to take something like an idea or an image, and make something really beautiful in a couple of hours.

For those of us, and there are many, that don’t come from that kind of background, I want to say one little thing:

User Interface can be taught, learned and practiced. But there are some skills that are just as important in the design world that make good UX designer great.

Empathy. It cannot be taught. You can pretend, but if you don’t have it then you have to work on it. Day in and out and time and time again.

Collaboration. We all learned how to be a part of a team in the first grade, but when it comes to the design world, it’s always been my impression that to enjoy collaboration, you have to want to be a part of one. Play well with others.

Open Mindedness. This goes without saying, but not everyone has this kind of mindset or even knows how to turn off their opinions in order to effectively create or brainstorm. And it matters. So much.

Passion. This is, in my opinion, the most important one. You have to care about what you’re doing. You have to have a why, not just a list of skills and best practices memorized.

Purpose. You have to believe in what you are doing, and know that your heart is in it. At least for me, that has always gone along with UX design. I found my calling, and with that, I found my purpose in the professional world.

The list is small and I’m sure that you’ve heard it all before. But, I think it’s important to note that when you are applying for a job, through a site, talking sending out resumes and links with no end in sight, don’t forget to give yourself mad props for, in all reality, just being you.

There’s a reason you chose this path, and even if you don’t look the way that everyone else does on paper, it doesn’t mean that you are worse off or even less qualified.

It means that you bring a different, equally amazing, skillset to the table.

You have to wait, even though it’s hard, to find the perfect fit. A company that doesn’t want anyone, but who wants you and everything you have to offer.

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