user experience

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UX designer jobs are part of the fastest-growing career fields in the United States for reasons that should come as little surprise. Quality user experience design (UXD) can lead to an increase in site conversions of up to 400 percent,1 which can greatly impact brand loyalty and sales, and most web users say they won’t recommend a business with a poor mobile experience.
When people interact with computers they do so through interfaces. These interfaces are designed by humans, and in the optimal situation, they are user-friendly and easy to navigate. As more of us use computers and machines daily for everything from work to shopping and social interactions, user experience (UX) is more critical than ever before.
Drew Shipka works for the Office of Continuing and Distance Education and has helped improve online classes at Kent State University for over a decade. He leads a team of instructional designers whose primary responsibilities are developing fully online graduate programs. He earned master’s degrees in Philosophy from the University of Western Ontario, and Library and Information Science, and Information Architecture Knowledge Management from Kent State University.
In the movie, 39 Steps, Alfred Hitchcock introduces us to a vaudeville performer, Mr. Memory, who has the plans of an advanced airplane engine committed to memory. Clearly, the plans are something of great concern and central to the plot. Upon reflection, however, although the plans seemed very important and provided an impetus forward from one scene to another, at the conclusion, we don’t know, or really care, what the plans were or how they were used. The secret plans were just there to propel us forward. Hitchcock often used a plot device referred to as a MacGuffin as a secret motivator in his movies.
User experience design (UXD) is a strategic undertaking. At minimum, it requires a fundamental understanding of digital sociology and the principles of storytelling and website design. While UX designers are often exceptionally intelligent people, there are always ways in which they can improve their overall output.
Kent State User Experience Design (UXD) Instructor Kelsey Pytlik has an undergraduate degree from Miami University of Ohio and a master’s degree in User Experience Design from Kent State University. After her early career with creative agencies and e-commerce retailers, she became the sole UX designer for luxury furniture retailer Frontgate. She is now the CEO of Gild Collective, which is dedicated to empowering women through inclusion and leadership.
The definition of “product designer” as a professional role can be a bit ambiguous. Job titles naturally change over the years as technology and culture change, and because creative professionals such as designers typically want to stand from their peers.1 The title “product designer” is one that has risen in popularity in recent years. Because the job responsibilities of a product designer can overlap those of similar roles such as a user experience (UX) or user interface (UI) designer, even people who work alongside them may not be sure exactly what the job of product designer entails.
If you’re wondering how to become a UX designer after years working in another field, Kent State University alum Brian Parsons, MS ’18, has one piece of advice: “Take on any roles you can with a UX-related title in them, even if it’s volunteering.”
Kent State online Master of Science in User Experience Design (UXD) student Kendra Jobes, MS ’19 candidate, has always wanted her work to make an impact on people. When her undergraduate degree in design led to an initial user experience job after college, she quickly learned that she enjoyed developing and using the artistic and technical skill set required for a UX role.
With a projected 10-year job growth rate of over 20 percent,1 the field of user experience (UX) design is exploding right now, and a graduate-level UX degree can help you get into the fast lane of this ever-expanding career track. If you’re forward thinking, curious about UX design trends and someone who thrives in a fast-paced and dynamic environment, you just might have what it takes to be a successful UX designer—at least according to Ben Woods, a UXD professional with nearly two decades of experience and a faculty member at Kent State University.