What is a UX designer? A UX designer can be thought of as a problem solver, and a travel guide. He/she is the person how makes sure (and cares) that the person using the website or app can easily move from point A to point B with no confusion and as little friction as possible. The more a customer/viewer needs to think about navigating a website, the poorer the experience. A UX designer knows their target market so well that they know how to navigate them through a site.
A UX designer does this by reaching out to both new and old users and finding out about the product or experiences to be able to create the best experiences for that certain user. A UX designer combines elements of psychology, behavioral economics, design thinking and design theory to create a product. The tools of the UX designer are the ears (to listen to the customer), post it notes (to quickly and easily map the user journey to make sure its the best possible experience for the target user) and wireframing tools (to build the blueprint for the UI designer.
When my husband started his company, one of the first people he contracted was a UX designer – the reason was to get market feedback and hear from consumers at the start of the design process. By doing this, the UX designer was able to help him build his product to fit the needs of the target market. The more design research done in the initial stages, the less guesswork goes into the product later. Facts will always beat assumptions, and by knowing the customer the UX designer will get a better idea of what the target market wanted and needed from the site. Armed with this knowledge the UX designer was able to build a strong wireframe for the webpage, which included not only the design but the information architecture needed for the site to be scalable and match customer needs.
I personally would rather move into the related field of UI design (I am much more interested in the aesthetics part of the process) but a working knowledge of UX design will be very beneficial to my career. I will be working closely with UX designers to ensure that the look of the page matches perfectly with the usability of the page – creating the perfect product which is beautiful and functional.