UX/UI designers play the first fiddle in shaping and crafting a digital product – they’re present in almost every step of this process. Of course, a master UX/UI designer has to have a wide variety of hard skills in order to deliver outstanding results. However, expertise and knowledge are not everything. The soft skills are the factor that glues all the pieces of the design process. Thus, a real pro has to possess a mix of hard and soft skills. What are these soft skills and why they are essential? Let’s go deeper into that topic.
Top soft skills for UX/UI designer
Designers are always in the middle of things – in the aspect of building digital products. They not only throw the ideas, but also analyze concepts, as well as serve as mediators between different project members. This means that UX/UI designer has to describe their solutions in different perspectives – depending on whom they speak to. As crafting digital products from the scratch requires constant contact with stakeholders and other team members, the soft skills are crucial. So, what are these exactly? Find out below.
The teamwork skill
UX designer is constantly collaborating with various people – stakeholders, other designers, product team members, project leads, researchers, as well as with clients. Thus, the clear and flexible communication skill is crucial. Giving and receiving feedback is not an easy task for everyone, therefore, UX/UI designer should be able to get along with others. What is also important, UX/UI designer should also have the main goal in mind (a shared goal, to be precise) – to create the best product or feature possible. That’s real teamwork.
The active listener skill
You know, there’s a difference between listening to respond and listening to understand. The second part is essential for an outstanding UX/UI designer. It applies mostly to conducting research – especially in terms of conversations with users (and grasping the insights about their needs). Moreover, as UX/UI designer is working closely with different people, the active listener skill is a key work-facilitating factor. Also, as an UX/UI designer simply designs products or services for people, understanding their needs is crucial.
The empathy skill
This is actually a skill that directly links with ‘the active listener skill’. It comes really handy in identifying users’ pain points and designing solutions that solve them. As people are different – so are their needs. The point is to empathize with users and to find a way that works best for most of them. The better the empathy skill is, the higher the chance of designing a remarkable user experience in a product or service.
The storytelling skill
One might think that this skill is rather suitable for a copywriter. Well, that is somewhat true, but on the other hand – UX/UI designer is often experiencing a situation, where explaining the design is simply required to move on. Justifying design decisions is much easier, when one can captivate their audience when presenting concepts and clearly explain the reasons behind the design. No matter if these decisions are an outcome of a creative spark or a rock-solid research – the storytelling skill is very helpful in UX/UI designer’s work.
The facilitation skill
Ever been on a meeting that is going nowhere? We know that this happens also to the best in the game. And it happens very often that the UX/UI design expert takes the lead and starts initiatives or gets everyone on the right track. With experience in facilitating workshops with users (and stakeholders), the seasoned UX/UI designer can make others engage more and just get things done. This is a very useful skill.
The organization skill
The app development process consists of many ‘moving parts’. It takes a master to not get lost in details, as well as to keep things on track. Sure, usually there is a project manager who takes care of that part, but still – being able to plan accordingly, organize work, and prioritize tasks is just invaluable. It works not only for UX/UI designer, but also for all involved team members and the clients.
The adaptability skill
The technology is constantly evolving, and so – new tools for UX/UI designers emerge on the market. Of course, no one expects that an UX/UI designer should know all of them (what an asset that would be!), but at least two are a must. Luckily, these tools are quite user-friendly and work similarly. UX/UI designer with knowledge of two tools for wireframing, prototyping, and designing software apps, and a will to learn new things, is priceless for the company.
Soft skills for UX/UI designer – why are they crucial
As you can see – expert knowledge and hard skills matter, but since product development (including design) is about working with different people, the soft skills are the thing that makes everything run smoothly. And because UX/UI designer is always in the middle of the process, the mentioned skills simply make the work easier. Having such a ‘unicorn’ UX’UI designer on board makes a difference. How do we know that? Honestly, from our experience – our UX/UI pros are masters in both hard and soft skills. See more about us here. Oh, and by the way – you got a project? Let’s talk!
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