What is a UX Developer?

A UX Developer is a person who has the skills to learn the journey that a user takes when they are on the front end of a website and then design the best possible journey that a front-end user can take. Their goal is to ensure that a user has a pleasurable and easy journey through a website – thus assisting in helping the website achieve its goal. 

What does UX Developer mean? 

OK, You have heard about UX. You may 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 that sometimes confuses people. A UX Developer can also 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 Developer 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 whatever function your site advertises. For example, if it is the function of your site to sell a product, then the experience should clearly explain what the product is and the front-end journey should be simple for the user to purchase the product. 

What does a UX Developer do? 

It falls to a 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 that 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.

What skills should a UX Developer have?

Apart from having a good eye, and mind that can understand a user’s journey, it’s vitally important that a UX Designer can communicate clearly what changes need to be made to a team of developers. Therefore, a good UX Designer should have some of the following skills.

  • Good Communicator
  • Be able to clearly wireframe a project
  • Must be able to create prototypes
  • Must understand the limitations of a design team.

Difference in roles

The 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 between 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.

For more information on the difference between UI and UX Designers, visit this blog

It is the job of a 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.

Style and substance

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. Then, they need to know 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.

Learn software development

It’s extremely important that a UX developer understands software development. As designers, they need to understand how a website works. They also need to understand some of the limitations of a software developer. 

Code Institute teaches full-stack software development through its university credit-rated Diploma in Software Development programme. If you’re brand new to the world of development, then try our free 5 Day Coding Challenge. It will teach you the basics of HTML, CSS and JavaScript, and after one hour a day over five days, you’ll have built your first web page. Through that, you can see how you’d work on your own user experience. Register now through the form below. 

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