Jun 03, 2022 12:50 PM EDT
Skills a User Experience Engineer Must Have
"What is a User Experience Engineer?", "What skills should a user experience engineer have?" - These are a few of the long-standing questions from developers and designers that have no definite answers. Still, let's try to demystify the concept of UXE, their roles, and the skills they need to own.
First, let me explain what a User Experience Engineer is. In simple terms, a user experience engineer is an individual who designs the actual interactions between users and products, which is a different skill-set than that of the front-end or back-end engineer.
The main job of a UX engineer is to design and develop websites or applications that are easy to use and simple. It is needless to mention that the user experience should be designed considering the end-users using it.
Fundamental knowledge of design (or ability to learn it quickly)
UX is a culmination of several disciplines like psychology, graphic design, information architecture, etc. Therefore, a UX engineer must have at least a basic understanding of the same.
The user experience engineer needs to be up-to-date on what's happening in the industry and where it's headed to keep up with evolving trends in user-centred designs and anticipate what's coming next.
Ability to read, write and discuss user experience research findings in an easy-to-understand manner
UX engineers must comprehend the needs and desires of their customers/users. They need to communicate with their team members and clients in a manner that is distinct enough to express their findings effortlessly.
Prototyping, wireframing, user flows, mockups
Envisioning what a product will look like is a huge part of product development.
The UX engineer can achieve this by:
Creating prototypes: A demo, sample, or simulation of what the final product might be like. It is done for the sole purpose of testing and collecting essential feedback.
Wireframes: Web page layout without visual design to prioritize page elements based on the user's needs.
Mockup: Visual depiction of the final product.
User flows: A flowchart-like diagram depicting the path a user resorts to while using a product or service. Prototyping is an essential part of the user experience design process. Prototypes allow you to test and iterate on your app or website before it's built, and they can save you both time and money.
Many prototyping tools are available today, but Figma, Adobe XD, InVision, and Sketch.app are four of the most popular ones among engineers.
Knowledge of agile methods and how they impact the product development process
As a user experience engineer, you must understand agile methods and how they affect the product development process. The agile approach is an iterative, incremental process that encourages constant feedback from customers and stakeholders. It has 3 core principles:
1) The team works together in short cycles with frequent deliveries of working software;
2) The team makes decisions based on actual customer feedback rather than guessing what customers want; and
3) Less work gets done at any point in time, but more gets done overall because of this focus on getting things out quickly and then improving on them as needed.
To sum it up
There are a lot of traditional user experience engineering skills required for the job. The truth is that UX is a multidisciplinary job, and there are often many different ways to achieve the same result. However, by incorporating these skills into your tool belt, you can increase your effectiveness and the value you provide to your employers and clients.
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