Four signs you should major in user experience (UX) design

User experience (UX) designers impact our daily lives in ways many don’t recognize. These design professionals build websites and curate digital experiences that are both functional and aesthetically appealing, with the goal of cultivating a positive user experience.

Join us as we explore the world of opportunity that awaits professionals who major in user experience design and outline some of the personal competencies that can help you flourish in this in-demand field.

Join the growing field of UX design

The field of UX design is experiencing significant growth, presenting opportunities for those with creative and logical minds to break into tech and make a huge impact. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects job openings for UX designers to grow 13 percent by 2030.

Because their work is highly desired in the workplace, graduates who major in user experience design are often well compensated. According to the BLS, web and digital interface designers earned a median annual salary of $79,890 in 2021.

Francesca Mason, a faculty member in Mount Mary University’s new UX program, notes that a UX degree is a sound investment with a pathway toward a fulfilling career, thanks to the combination of competitive wages and long-term employability.

Skilled UX designers are needed in a range of different industries. Most commonly, they find work with software publishers, computer and peripheral equipment manufacturers, and financial companies. For those who prefer working from home, it’s also worth noting that much of this work can be performed remotely or in a hybrid work environment.

Diverse voices are needed in tech 

Mason explains that the most effective UX designers are the ones who are committed to building the products of the future with people in mind — all people. UX is built on empathy, she notes. Without a diverse team, the world will be designed for majorities and not minorities.

However, just 26 percent of the computing workforce were women in 2021, according to the National Center for Women and Information Technology. Within the small number of women in tech, the lack of cultural diversity becomes even more apparent. The same study found that just seven percent of the computing workforce were Asian women, three percent were Black women, and only two percent were Latina.

Because the Mount Mary program is designed for women, the program is committed to creating brave spaces that inspire innovation and creativity while also fostering community with peers. Students can walk away from the experience confident and ready to take on a role in the rapidly growing world of tech.

Four signs you should major in UX design

It’s clear that the tech world is in need of skilled UX designers who can take web experiences to the next level. But it takes a certain type of professional to thrive in this industry. Let’s explore some of the personality traits and values that are key indicators of a successful UX designer.

1. You want to make an impact

Many UX designers enter the field because it aligns with their skill sets – but they stay because of how it makes them feel.

Working as a UX designer means that you’ll spend your days creating the systems that people use on a daily basis. This means the impact of your work will be far-reaching. From making it easier for someone to navigate the web page they use to pay their bills to curating the perfect user experience for a person who’s finally booking the vacation they’ve been saving for, the work UX designers do behind the scenes can make a big difference in the lives of users.

2.You are curious

Have you ever taken something apart just to figure out how it works? That’s a lot of what a UX designer does: they figure out how things work and reimagine ways to make them better.

Being a UX designer takes constant curiosity. These professionals are problem-solvers by nature, often finding as much satisfaction in the hunt for answers as they do in producing the final product.

3.You are a good listener

If you have strong active listening skills and a keen ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes, UX design could be the perfect career path to put your compassionate nature to use alongside your technical skills.

UX designers design products using a human-centered approach. This requires them to immerse themselves into the user experience so that they can effectively improve it. Qualities like empathy, strong observational skills, and a detail-oriented approach are sought after in these roles.  

4. You are a storyteller

If you know how to make an emotional connection with an audience and leave them with a thought or idea they may not have considered previously, you likely have the natural storytelling abilities of a strong UX designer. After all, in this role, you’ll often be tasked with translating complex information into digestible and memorable takeaways for a specific audience.

UX designers have the gift of communicating their ideas in a way that helps people understand the meaning behind what they are building. In the words of Apple founder Steve Jobs: “The most powerful person in the world is the storyteller. The storyteller sets the vision, values and agenda of an entire generation that is to come.”

Make a career of building digital experiences

If you’re eager for a career path that will allow you to use your technical skills, creativity, and interpersonal abilities to make an impact in the lives of others, you can find what you’re looking for when you major in user experience design. Because user experience is a key element of so many different industries, you’ll encounter ample opportunities for growth once you launch your career as a professional UX designer.

You can learn more about how Mount Mary University’s hands-on learning experiences, small classes and emphasis on innovation can prepare you for a career in the dynamic field of UX design by visiting MMU’s User Experience Design program page.