What is a UX Developer and Where do they fit in the Coding space?

OK, You have heard about UX.  You have even Googled the term.  But What is a UX Developer? There are various versions of what a UX Developer might mean.

Yes, it can be frustrating trying to keep up to date with the numerous industry terms used to describe coders with different skill-sets. That is often the case with the UX Developer; a title which often confuses people. A UX Developer can be described as a User Experience Developer. Another way of understanding their role is imagining them as a type of ‘front end developer’, or an ‘interaction designer’.

Essentially, it’s a hybrid set of skills between that of a coder, and that of a designer. A UX Developer must understand the expectations of both the traditional coder, and the modern-day designer. The UX Developers must know what the user wants, and have an intelligently coded interface to provide exactly that. As is the case with any ‘user experience,’ it’s all about enhancing the satisfaction of the consumer. To boil it down to one simple sentence, it’s about keeping the user interested, while providing what ever function your site advertises.

It falls to the UX Developer to bridge the gap between design and technology, essentially allowing for the more technically-oriented side of the team (the coders/developers) to understand what the vision of the project is- essentially, what the designers want. It’s a position which entails the UX Developer being able to find both balance and compromise, and minimise the difficulty of site construction for both the design and coding teams. Seeing as it’s the job of the UX developer to enhance both usability and findability, the concept of information architecture (the structural design of shared information environments), is very significant.

One of the most important responsibilities of the UX Developer is the creation of interactive prototypes that can be used by both the design and code teams to understand what the finished project should look like. In other words, the UX Developer must speak the language of both the programmer and the designer. A UX Developer should understand what the modern user wants. As such, there’s an aspect of strategy, behavioural psychology, optimised business goals, and ultimately, selling a product, achieving a goal, and making a website interesting, user-friendly, and engaging for all those potential clicks.

The Irish and European market is demanding coders who are capable of meeting the expectations of modern, web-savvy employers, so understandably, it is in your interest to know the difference in these job titles-

  • User Experience (UX) Designer = Research + Design
  • UI Developer(User Interface) = Design + HTML/CSS/JS
  • Application Developer = Back-End coding + HTML/CSS/JS, etc.

It is the job of the UX Developer to ensure that the designers understand the realities of what the coders are capable of creating, and for the coders to have a firm understanding of what the designers visually expect from the interface. All of this should be provided while keeping the functionality of the website in mind.

While many UX Developers may have difficulty in building a website from scratch, from the very first line of code to the very first user click, a UX Developer is expected to understand the underlying functionality of the website. More than that, they need to know what the coders can and can’t do, and how to find a balance with what the designers can or can’t have. It’s one thing to design a beautiful clock, it’s another to understand the mechanism that makes the hands of the clock move to tell the time.

If you want further knowledge as to how a UX Developer can not only get, but keep, users interested in your site, the Code Institute offers a detailed course, provided in a friendly and engaging learning environment, discussing how you or your business might benefit from their use.
If you know what people want, and have even a basic understanding of coding, why don’t you become the next UX Developer that those employers want?

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