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Key roles and how to get there

This article outlines the key roles in the fields of UX, UI and accessible interface design.
A paper mock-up of a digital device with people placing paper features onto it.

Over the course of the last two weeks you have been introduced to the field of UX, UI and accessibility for digital interfaces.

In the previous step you also heard how the experts featured on this course got to where they are today. So where do you go from here? How do you further your knowledge and get your foot on the first rung of the UX ladder?

Some companies are now advertising specifically for UX/UI designers. These roles involve:

  • creating innovative new apps
  • designing interfaces that are easy to use and provide a high level of accessibility
  • being able to direct the design of an app or interface according to the accessibility standards of W3C
  • ensuring that any products are being designed according to UCD principles with a focus on accessibility.

Another role that companies advertise is ‘Accessibility/Usability Consultant’. As you can imagine, this role would require in-depth knowledge of accessibility and usability guidelines.

Many companies also look for ‘Front End Web Developers’ to design the look and usability of their website or online service. These roles would require learning how to code with web technologies such as HTML, CSS and Javascript.

Getting your start in UX and UI may be simpler than you think. Here are some achievable steps you can follow:

  • Read books and articles on UX/UI design
    There are many online resources for reading up about current practices in UX and UI design. This includes comprehensive resources such as the Interaction Design Foundation. There are even free introductory courses on UX offered on FutureLearn.
  • Master a prototyping tool
    A common thing for employers to look for is knowledge and experience in using prototyping tools. There are many to choose from, but it is worth familiarising yourself with at least one of the most popular ones as it will show you understand the importance of prototypes in the design process. Some popular prototyping tools include InVision and Adobe XD.
  • Learn how to code for web development
    Online platforms like w3schools have made it easier than ever to learn the coding skills needed with a vast array of tutorials, exercises and a map of the web technology ecosystem.
  • Build an online portfolio site
    A portfolio website is a great way to share your skills. Services such as Wix and Squarespace offer quick and easy ways to get a site up and running, but they will cost you a monthly fee. WordPress and Github Pages are a great way to get a website going for free. Github Pages might be a bit more complicated than WordPress but they are both excellent options.
  • Gain a qualification in web development or UX/UI
    Another great way to ensure success is to commit to a course that will give you the credentials needed to land a job. To prepare you for that you could browse a selection of longer in-depth courses on accessible interface design in the program A Practical Guide to Essential Creative Technologies. You’ll be able to participate in more practical activities to extend your knowledge of this key area.

Have your say

If you were to make a portfolio website showcasing your UX knowledge and experience, what would be your bio?
How would you describe your interests and how they relate to digital design?
Share your answers in the comments section.
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Introduction to UX and Accessible Design

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