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Industry outlook for UX Designers 2022

By Academy Xi

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Are you curious about a career in UX Design and keen to find out what’s going on in today’s industry? We’ve put together this industry outlook to bring you all the latest UX Design insights, statistics and trends.

As the title suggests, User Experience Design is all about optimising how users experience a product, service or system. This covers everything from the first sign up form, to the first use of a product, or even the help received from a chatbot.

UX Designers build a detailed understanding of their target users’ wants, needs and ambitions, helping businesses and organisations to solve user problems and deliver seamless experiences. 

If you’re contemplating transitioning into a UX Design career, it’s handy to have a clear picture of what’s going on in the industry right now.

Is UX Design a growing field in Australia?

The recent rise of online shopping, social media and tech has seen the Australian eCommerce market break $45 billion in revenue. The market is anticipated to grow 13.27% by 2025, resulting in a value of more than $66 billion.

The shift toward eCommerce has given consumers greater purchasing power and higher expectations when it comes to dealing with digital products. Web Design now relies heavily on UX Design to deliver user-friendly websites and increased sales and conversion rates.

The Australian Web Design industry now accounts for $1.2 billion and is expected to grow much faster than the economy as a whole, forecast to increase 3.5% in value by 2023. All this means that the demand for UX Designers is destined only to expand.

Is there demand for UX Designers in Australia?

The demand for UX Design is increasing globally and Australia is no exception. The demand for skilled UX Design professionals in Australia currently outweighs supply, which is reflected in the 1,492 roles advertised on Seek.com.au (as of June 2022). Breaking these numbers down by state:

  • New South Wales offers 663 roles 
  • Victoria offers 490 roles
  • Queensland offers 209 roles

The rest of Australia offers a combined total of 153 roles (Seek, June 2022).

It’s also worth keeping in mind that many UX jobs can be fulfilled remotely. Advances with online work systems mean a remote UX Design role can be every bit as collaborative and engaging as working face-to-face.

The Australian Financial Review has predicted the shift toward remote work will continue into 2023, while Seek is currently advertising 254 remote UX Design roles throughout Australia. 

What industries most commonly hire UX Designers?

UX Designers have the capabilities to improve the interactions that just about any business has with its customers, and are highly sought after in most industries. 

Some of the industries that most frequently hire UX Designers include:

Software development

By far the most UX Designers work in the tech industry, which is no surprise given this is where the field of UX Design got its start.

UX Design is no longer just a ‘nice-to-have’, but now a crucial consideration even in the earliest phases of software development.

Companies developing customer-facing software use UX Design to ensure a functional, satisfying end product, while applying UX can improve user acceptance when developing new applications for enterprise.

Web and app design

As a subcategory of software development, web and app design is a booming industry that’s increasingly guided by UX. 

UX Designers will enhance the experience of using a website or app by making navigation intuitive, information easy to find and transactions beautifully simple. 

By placing the customer’s needs first, UX Designers can drastically improve usability and impression, which has made their skills a bedrock of the industry.

Marketing

This one’s a match made in heaven – both Marketing and UX Design are concerned with making a product as desirable to the customer as possible. 

The UX Design process offers marketers the chance to connect with their customers’ needs and the solutions they crave most, which helps them target the right audience with the right product. 

UX research takes the guesswork out of marketing, and the industry now relies on the insights of UX Designers to stage high-impact campaigns.

How much is the average salary for a UX Designer in Australia?

The latest stats from Talent.com record the average UX Designer salary in Australia as $110,000. Entry-level positions start at $90,000 per year, while the most experienced UX Designers make an average of $139,812 per year.

The average salary per year in each state is as follows:

What other titles do UX Designers go by?

When you’re on the hunt for UX Design roles, it’s worth remembering that UX Design roles often go by different titles. The following job titles are interchangeable with UX Designer:

  • Experience Designer
  • Interaction Designer
  • UX Researcher

Also based on UX Design skills, the following roles tend to be more senior and focus on business strategy:

  • UX Strategist
  • UX Architect
  • UX Product Manager

Finally, Visual Designers use UX Design to maximise the aesthetics of a user’s experience.

What are the top skills a UX Designer needs?

Today’s UX Designer needs to draw on a wide range of capabilities, including a mix of both soft skills and hard skills.

What are the top 5 hard skills needed to design seamless user experiences?

UX research

UX Designers need to begin with an intimate understanding of their customers’ expectations, behaviours and motivations. From analysing feedback, to creating empathy maps and user personas, you’ll use a variety of research techniques.

The insights that UX research brings about are used to ensure that any subsequent design decisions serve the best interests of the user.

Wireframing 

Just as an architect starts with the blueprint of a new building, UX Designers will use wireframes to lay out the overall structure and functionality of a website or app. 

Wireframing is a crucial UX Design skill, helping to ensure that the user flow is optimised, long before any visual design or content is added.  

Prototyping

UX Designers often build a simulation or sample version of a product, called a prototype, which can be used for testing before launch. 

Prototyping helps UX Designers validate their ideas before sharing them with stakeholders and passing the finalised design to development teams.

  • Low-fidelity prototypes are normally sketched onto paper and don’t offer user interaction. 
  • High-fidelity prototypes are digital and often allow for mouse and keyboard interaction.   

Information architecture

When UX Designers create apps and websites, they plan each individual page to ensure that information is quickly and easily locatable, and that the user’s attention is focused on the most important actions. 

Beyond the digital space, UX Designers use information architecture when planning signage in large spaces (airports or department stores, for instance), helping people understand what’s around and where to go to perform certain tasks. 

Whether it’s on a website or in a shop, information architecture makes sure your customers are kept well-informed, oriented and on track to make a purchase. 

Visual design

UX Designers often use visual design software like Figma, Miro, Photoshop, and Illustrator to plan and create the visual elements of a design. 

Besides getting to grips with the tools, you’ll need to build your understanding of how typography, colour, shapes, layout and icons can enhance the usability and aesthetic appeal of a product.

What soft skills does a UX Designer need?

As well as technical capabilities, UX Designers need a variety of soft skills. These include:

  • Curiosity – UX Design is all about being inquisitive, digging beneath the surface and getting to the bottom of problems. 
  • Empathy – Working with the principles of Human-Centred Design, a good UX Designer will aim to connect with their users on the deepest levels. 
  • Communication – UX Designers need to clearly and concisely convey what a product can do for its users and why they should care about using it.  
  • Collaboration – UX Designers hardly ever work in isolation, and need to be capable of working effectively with peers in design, development and product teams. 
  • Networking – UX Designers need to build a network of seasoned professionals, which enables them to draw inspiration, stay on top of industry trends and even find work opportunities.

The 5 latest trends in UX Design

With tech and software advances always pushing the boundaries of UX Design, it’s an exciting time to be involved in the industry. Here are five UX Design trends to watch out for throughout the rest of 2022 and beyond.

Immersive 3D designs

UX Designs are increasingly being integrated with the latest tech, including Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR). This allows UX Designers to create hyper-realistic 3D visuals that keep users fully engaged. With UX Design preparing for the shift into the metaverse, expect to see immersive 3D elements with greater regularity.

Motion graphics and animations

Today’s UX Designers use motion graphics and animations to increase the interactivity and functionality of their web designs. Animated graphics can guide users, notify them of changes and even translate a complex process into a clear motion graphic. Most importantly, colourful animations bring a brand to life and make websites and apps more fun to use.    

Personalisation

In its essence, UX Design is all about closing the gap between what any user wants or expects and what they experience. Expect to see UX Design become even more personalised, with dynamic designs serving up tailored content based on people’s locality, age, gender, nationality (to name a few), as well as their behavioural data.

Creative scrolling experiences 

If this one seems a little niche, take a moment to consider how much time people spend performing this simple act daily. UX Designers are now focused on maximising the scrolling experience, with elements appearing in the background and content moving with the user through the page, transforming scrolling into an immersive UX journey.

Data visualisation  

The ability to quickly and easily grasp crucial information has long been a crucial step in the user journey. Going way beyond traditional pie charts and graphs, modern UX Designers have to build original, interactive data visualisations that not only keep users informed, but encourage them to actively engage with a product or brand.

Entry points and career pathways in UX Design

Entering the world of UX Design might seem intimidating, but getting started in the industry is simpler than you might think. 

There are many ‘feeder roles’ which entail transferable skills. If you already work in Marketing, Graphic Design or Software Development, for instance, you’re already well placed to smoothly transition into UX Design. 

Whatever your current role happens to be, don’t underestimate the value of your work experience. You might be a journalist, which means you can gather research, ask probing questions and build compelling narratives – all of which are vital skills as a UX Designer.       

To launch a career in UX Design, regardless of your starting point, you’ll need to:

  • Get educated – you’ll need to master the essential tools and practical skills.
  • Identifying your area of interest – UX Design is a broad discipline and you’ll need to establish your niche.
  • Find a mentor who can share the tips and tricks of the trade. 
  • Create a portfolio of UX Design work – many employers will value this as much as experience.
  • Connect with professionals – building an industry network is the best way to get your foot in the door.

When searching for your first role, it’s not uncommon to start as a junior UX Designer, which will entail:

  • Conducting user research and usability testing.
  • Organising and analysing research findings. 
  • Reporting research insights.
  • Assisting with wireframing, prototyping and creating user flows.

Once you’ve built up experience and a more extensive portfolio, you’ll have the chance to apply for mid-level roles. At this stage, you’ll also have the option of becoming a Freelance UX Designer

As you gain more exposure, you can apply for senior UX Designer roles. Senior UX Designers can also go freelance, providing UX consultancy services for different clients.

There are normally chances to lead projects and teams, and you could even land a formal management role, which involves overseeing budgets, timelines and team development. 

If you’re keen to manage, it’s never too early to start shadowing senior staff, and you should deepen your knowledge of leadership skills (Julie Zhou’s management book and blog are great places to start). 

Given enough time, continuing on the management path can lead to executive roles, such as VP User Experience, or Chief Design Officer.

Ready to bring the power of UX Design to your career?

Academy Xi offers a range of UX UI Design courses that are built and taught by industry experts. 

All our courses combine the best of UX and UI, enabling you to create well-rounded user experiences that bridge businesses and customers in all industries.

Upskill and revamp your role with our UX UI Design: Elevate course:  

  • Get a toolkit of UX UI templates and techniques – use it on the job straight away.
  • Go beyond case studies – work on personal projects and solve a UX UI problem you’re passionate about.
  • Elevate courses come in two flexible options – part-time, or self-paced.   

Change careers with our UX UI Design: Transform course: 

  • Go beyond case studies and impact real businesses by completing projects for live clients. 
  • Receive insider tips, tricks and advice with our Designer-in-Residence mentorship program. 
  • Join a Career Support Program that helps 97% of graduates land their dream role, with tailored CV, job and interview advice.  

Want to discuss your transferable skills and course options? Speak to a course advisor today and take the first step in your UX Design journey.

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