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Career Guide – How to start your UX/UI Design career in Vienna

Career Guide UX/UI

By now, you’ve probably become one of Spotify’s 248 million monthly active users. You might even be one of its 113 million paying customers.

Do you know why Spotify has so many users? And no, it’s not because you can find all your favorite songs there. Tons of other apps can offer you the same thing.

When you sign up for Spotify for the first time, you encounter a very colorful and straightforward onboarding interface. Here, you immediately select the artists you like.

After you’ve selected your top favorites, you get your own personalized music feed. Many playlists created just for you. Then, you catch yourself wanting to seek for more artists. To listen to more music.

What about podcasts? Your favorites must be here somewhere. And it’s so easy to find them. Everything’s here, and you like the simplicity and how easily you can jump from one feature to another. All this, thanks to Spotify’s good UX (User Experience) design. UX is what makes people stay or abandon an app. It takes the best out of content and improves the app’s functionality.

Amazon increased sales by $300 million after changing the text of a button from “register” to “continue.” Airbnb claims that it was their UX design that made them a $10-million-worth business from a failed startup.

According to American Genius, companies get a return between $2 and $100 for every $1 they to invest in UX. As companies realize this positive impact of UX, they are increasing their investments in UX. Thanks to the rising awareness of UX’s importance, the demand for UX designers is also growing.

That’s why the UX designer profession is one of the most popular tech profiles of today. If you want to start learning and become a UX designer, the time has never been better.

What is UX Design?

 

Career Guide - How to start your UX/UI Design career in Vienna

UX design is the process that designers use to create the products and interfaces that users interact with. It combines various fields, such as marketing, research, psychology, design, and tech.

The first person to introduce UX design was Donald Norman, who worked as a Cognitive Scientist at Apple. He studied all points of the user’s experience with a specific product or service, like the design, aesthetics, the environment, and physical contact. He coined the term “user experience” to encapsulate all aspects of the interaction between the user and the product.

“Design is really an act of communication, which means having a deep understanding of the person with whom the designer is communicating.”

― Donald A. Norman, The Design of Everyday Things

Good UX design doesn’t mean having a beautiful website. It means having a functional website, one that answers the user’s needs. All the giants like Google, Amazon, Airbnb, or Facebook have websites and apps that are easy to navigate, and that’s why they are always winning over their competitors.

Why is working as a UX designer so awesome?

 

Career Guide - How to start your UX/UI Design career in Vienna

Being a UX designer is a unique profession. First of all, you get to be creative every day. Your job is all about solving problems and making people have a more enjoyable experience. Your work has a profound impact, and a large number of people can see your design.

You also get to try out new things and use fascinating technologies. Working in a tech company or a marketing agency means that you’re working with some of our generation’s smartest and most interesting people.

And even though your job has a lot to do with technology, you’ll also learn a lot about human psychology. As you design interfaces that people like, you need to know how they think, what makes them engaged, and what they feel comfortable with.

Most importantly, you’ll be part of today’s highest-paying industry. If you do your job well, your efforts will be adequately compensated.

What does a UX designer do?

 

Career Guide - How to start your UX/UI Design career in Vienna

  • Research

The design process starts when you get a brief about the design you’re about to do. Your client or manager tells you their idea and what they expect you to make out of it.

This is where your research starts. You have to know who you’re designing for. You’ll probably start with the existing product/website. What does it offer? What improvements does it need? How are existing users using it? This way, you’ll be able to identify pain points and decide what you have to work on. You’ll also review what competitors are providing and how their users are behaving.

Basically, in this phase, you have to discover your target group and the solutions to their problems.

  • Create user personas

Thanks to the information you’ll gather during the research, you’ll determine the essential characteristics of the app’s Minimum Viable Product (MVP). Moreover, you’ll be able to develop personas or empathy maps that will clarify your target profiles.

User personas are a fictional representation of the users you actually have. They serve to identify patterns in their behavior.

After you’ve created your user personas, you are now able to write scenarios. Various scenarios reflect various interactions of the user with your app. This way, you should get a clear image of your users’ behavior.

  • Design the app/website structure and create wireframes

This is when you determine navigation, hierarchies, and website categories. They should be revolving around the user flow.

The user flow is the direction a prototypical customer takes to complete a function on a website or device. The user experience guides them through a series of steps from their entry point toward a positive result and an ultimate action, like subscribing or buying a product.

To create user flows, you’ll use various tools that will provide you flowcharts. You’ll use them to create a step-by-step user journey on your app or website.

The wireframe is the primary reflection of the design. You have to make a wireframe of every screen the user can see when engaging with the app. They represent a guide for developers later when the product goes into its development phase.

  • Build a prototype and test it

After you’ve designed the customer journey, you can now build a prototype and test it. The prototype is a simulation of your product that will provide you feedback about the design before it goes into development.

Validating the designs with actual users helps identify some design pain points before the final product is delivered. There may be several testing phases until the concept is entirely right. One of the most popular methods a UX designer might conduct usability evaluation is doing in-person usage experiments to analyze the user’s actions. The combination of verbal and nonverbal user input lets UX designers create a better user experience.

Once you complete the testing and improve the design, the app is ready for development. You’ll also be included in the development process, making smaller modifications when required.

The background of a UX designer

 

Career Guide - How to start your UX/UI Design career in Vienna

There’s a popular opinion that you have to be with an artistic background to be good at UX design. But that’s not really true. People from any background can become UX designers if they put in enough effort.

For example, people with psychology or other backgrounds related to social sciences would be a great fit. Their understanding of human behavior could be of great use in the UX field, and they would enjoy collecting and analyzing information about how humans interact with a particular product. They could have a significant positive impact on the growth of an app.

Marketing professionals also become great UX designers. UX has many common things with marketing, and they’d only have to add more technical skills to their skillset. Moreover, people with business backgrounds who want to do something more creative often switch to a designer career. We’ve also witnessed many entrepreneurs from different industries become UX designers.

Next, many engineers have transitioned to UX. They get to keep working with the latest technology, but also learn a lot about human psychology at the same time.

Designers from other fields often start learning UX to level up their knowledge and start earning more. Architects also find it very interesting to switch to a UX career.

These aren’t the only backgrounds that could switch to UX—anyone could become a UX designer. A study from Nielsen Norman Group of 1,015 UX designers also confirms this.

90% of the respondents of this study owned a university degree. However, none of them had a degree that was in any way connected to UX. Communications, IT, psychology, history, and chemistry were some of the backgrounds people had.

Moreover, the same study revealed that UX doesn’t offer one unified job title. The 1,015 UX designers had 210 different job titles.

Fun fact: From our experience in educating over 9,000, the most interesting transformation was when a priest became a UX designer.

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Am I the right fit?

 

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Just like doctors have empathy and engineers are analytical, UX designers also have some common personality traits:

  • Ability to solve problems
  • Desire to learn continually and independently
  • Analytical skills
  • Storytelling
  • Ability to collaborate and communicate with many people
  • Passion for high-tech
  • Empathy and interest in psychology
  • Attention to details

If you don’t fit all of these, don’t worry. That doesn’t mean you can’t become a UX designer. You can develop them during your learning process.

To get a UX designer job, you have to learn some particular skills and level up your professional profile.

The skills of a UX designer

 

Mastering these abilities will help you succeed as a UX designer:

UX research

When you don’t understand the target customer’s actions, you can’t develop a successful product. UX researchers are here to recognize what their customers expect and how they interpret the environment to be able to do their work efficiently.

This means that they have to master the ability to prepare and analyze results from many different research methods. They have to observe, conduct interviews, surveys, and work with focus groups.

The UX researcher uses both qualitative and quantitative analysis approaches. After they have developed a strong understanding of the target audience, they can move forward with the design process.

They offer useful feedback to the development team after completing specific analysis methods. Researching and interpreting data often involve other soft skills, such as empathy and agility.

UX design

UX design skills are all about functionality. UX designers have to determine and showcase what happens on every screen the user can enter. They design the user experience by analyzing the app’s usability.

This requires knowledge about digital building blocks, prototypes, information architecture, user blocks, sketches, and wireframing. UX designers use these skills to present ideas in front of their teams and test them with users to validate them. Tools like Adobe XD, InVision, Sketch, Overflow, and Figma are mandatory at this point.

UI Design

UI involves drawing easy-to-use, user-friendly interfaces the user will interact with. Digital blocks are essential here, as you’ll have to create them in the forms of headers, footers, buttons, and everything else that goes on the website or app.

To be a good UI designer, you must have a deep understanding of visual hierarchy and aesthetics. Visual hierarchy means initially showcasing the most important elements and then discovering the details of the design. This requires knowledge of how page elements should be placed. Aesthetics is all about making the interface look excellent. To do this, you’ll have to learn about color theory, layouts, typography, icons, images, etc.

Coding

A UX designer doesn’t necessarily need to be a coding expert. However, you could really stand out if you know HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Learning to code will also help you set reasonable expectations as you plan a project; you’ll recognize what can be achieved and what can’t. This would also allow you to connect more with the production team — you will understand their terminology. Finally, you won’t depend on anyone. You’ll create a basic prototype on your own without having to wait for a developer’s help.

UX/UI design roles

 

Here’s what you can do with UX/UI knowledge:

Product designer. You’ll combine your UX/UI skills with a problem-solving mindset and collaborate with literally everyone in the company, from designers to marketing and development.

  • UX designer. You’ll create functional app interfaces focusing on user behaviour, which means that the interaction between users and tech will be crucial. You’ll work on research, ideas, and user testing.
  • UI designer. This role revolves around the aesthetics of the actual user interface.
  • User researcher. A user researcher’s primary mission is to analyze user actions, desires, and motives using various methodologies.
  • Product manager. This means that aside from UX/UI, you lead the entire process around the product—from marketing to development.
  • Management roles. When you get to a specific senior level, you’ll become a team lead. Eventually, you could become head of design, design manager, or VP. This means you’ll spend more time crafting the company strategy instead of designing.
Why should you pursue a UX career in Vienna?

 

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With UX design, you will step up your career. This is one of the tech profiles with the best perspective.

UX designers in Vienna are in high demand. According to Glassdoor, the average UX designer pay in Vienna is €56,094/year, while the portal UX Designer Salaries has come to an average of €46,535. These numbers could mean that the decision to start learning UX might be one of the best ones you’ve ever made.

We asked 90 UX designers who work in Vienna about their salaries, and here’s what we found out:

Level of Experience Average Salary
Junior €40,000-€50,000
Mid-Level €50,000-€60,000
Senior €60,000+

Good UX design is crucial for every website, app, product, and anything the customer interacts with. That’s why every tech company needs a UX designer. With over 38,000 startups established in 2018, Austria is one of the best countries where you can work as a UX designer. Being part of Vienna’s developed UX community is quite flattering, knowing the great creative minds that are part of it.

What are some great UX designers working in Vienna?

Patrik Inzinger is one of the designers who went into management. He started his career as a Graphic & Screendesigner, working for Magora Group and EC3 Networks. Then, he became a Usability & Design Consultant at Usecon. After leaving this job, he founded his own design agency called Saismo, which has been active for almost ten years. In the meantime, in 2016, he founded Appointment, a company that develops innovative software solutions for the healthcare sector. He also works as a startup advisor and is very passionate about the product and interface design.

Nenad Milosevic is a T-shaped designer focused on interaction and interface design with an impressive portfolio. His passion is developing intuitive and frictionless user experiences, and he loves to solve problems and design interfaces that make people’s lives easier. He’s been a freelance designer for over 12 years and has worked for more than 100 clients. He’s also worked as a designer for companies like Infobip, Bipbop Games, and Mixed In Key.

Mitch Loewenherz has been focused on UI for over 10 years. He’s worked for Tailored Apps, PXP/X, Sabbatical, TOWA, and currently works for School Fox.

“By chance, in 2012 I moved from a classic advertising agency to a start-up that developed apps. Through learning-by-doing I learned UI design for Android and iOS from scratch. Together with the various developers I was able to develop myself further and got the technical understanding on my way. I learn most of all in interesting projects for real users.”

Zsofia Czeman has been a designer for over 10 years, working for a large number of companies in Budapest, Cologne, and Vienna. She’s also worked as a mentor and lecturer, giving her students a lot of valuable design knowledge. She currently works as a freelance designer and volunteers as a Service Designer at Amanaoba. She co-founded Ladies that UX, an informal group of female UX professionals that share experiences and challenges.

What companies are hiring UX designers in Vienna?

 

Emarsys has a team of 16 UX professionals, looking for even more. They describe themselves as the “largest independent marketing platform company in the world.” Their goal is to create tools that enable marketers to win in their professions instead of wasting time doing repetitive everyday tasks. The company has a diverse, multicultural team operating in a talent-oriented culture. They offer free food, sports events, office massage, corporate volunteering days, etc.

Cybermoth uses IoT, native apps, AI, and data-driven technologies to help companies solve human-related problems and gain competitive advantages. In this company, UX designers work closely with the marketing and development teams to create the best interfaces and experiences. Cybermoth offers up to nine vacation weeks, private health insurance, gym membership, audiobooks, meditation and yoga sessions, etc.

Robo Wunderkind builds tools that leverage tech to make the way kids play and learn more innovative. They have created robotics kits that enable kids between 5 and 14 to learn to code while playing. Their team is placed across two continents, while their Vienna team has two work-from-home days weekly.

FL3XX has created web and mobile apps that optimize aviation management. The company offers a dynamic atmosphere, professional and personal development opportunities, access to the latest technology, and a competitive salary. The team consists of professionals from all over the world.

ToolSense has developed technologies in the areas of cloud computing, IoT, and edge computing. They use digitalization to improve after-sales activities and open up new revenue sources for machine builders and machine dealers.

Key Takeaways

 

UX design is the process that designers use to create the products and interfaces that users interact with. It combines various fields, such as marketing, research, psychology, design, and tech.

Being a UX designer is a unique profession where you can be creative, solve problems, use new technologies, and understand human psychology.

A UX designer conducts research, creates user personas and empathy maps, designs the interface, creates a prototype, and performs testing.

Anyone who’s ready to put in enough effort can become a UX designer. We’ve witnessed psychologists, marketers, entrepreneurs, graphic designers, architects, and even priests become UX designers.

UX designers have the ability to solve problems, the desire to learn continually, and are passionate about tech. They are both analytical and detail-oriented, communicative, and interested in psychology.

A UX designer combines various UX research, UX design, UI design, and coding skills.

With UX design knowledge, you could become a product manager, user researcher, UX designer, UI designer, product manager, or go to management once you become a senior.

Vienna’s UX design community is full of creative minds, with many companies hiring UX designers. According to Glassdoor, the average UX designer pay in Vienna is €56,094/year.

***

Thanks to new technologies, the number of digital products is rising. And, there’s one thing they all need—an outstanding user experience.

That’s why UX is here to stay. As UX increases customer retention and cuts customer service costs, companies will keep investing in it. There’s always going to be demand for great UX designers.

And, to be a great UX designer, you should never stop learning. You should always be curious and empathetic with users. Of course, the primary skills you should acquire are design skills with some fundamental coding.

Finally, build a distinguished portfolio that will catch the eye of your potential employers.

 

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If you want to learn further about UX/UI design and master your skill, we invite you to join our remote and live Bootcamp

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