Nothing like an interview with a UX UI Designer to better understand the ins and outs of the job, the qualities and skills required, without forgetting to discover a typical day or the possible evolutions! Thanks to Paul Moussard, Designer UX UI in a Parisian agency for answering our questions.
To begin, could you introduce yourself in a few words and tell us where did you get the idea of doing this job?
My name is Paul, I am 28 years old and it is after a conversion in the digital sector that I discovered the UX design (User eXperience). Since the age of 14, I played video games in which I had the freedom to modify the interface. The latter is very important because it must be practical, simple and effective in addition to giving us all the information we need on the fly. I was not necessarily an excellent player in my execution, but what allowed me to keep a high level was the interfaces that I designed to meet my needs and make me more effective in counterbalancing my weak points.
Gradually, other players have discovered my custom interfaces and asked me to do for them, being careful that they meet their needs different from mine. To get there, I asked them questions and listed their needs to meet them, their satisfactions to exacerbate them and their frustrations to diminish them via my interface designs. There you go ! You have everything that makes my job: meet the users of a product / service, discover their needs and respond to them through proposals of solutions.
How long have you been exercising, and has it been difficult to get started?
It’s been 2 years that I am UX designer. I went to Paris to do a bootcamp, a very intensive training of 1 to 3 months, then work with a small agency as part of a freelance mission. After I found my CDI in my current agency. It was not easy to find the right job because I had to come to the interview several times with boxes that just wanted to know what the UX was, to write their job description, or train their employee to do an interview with a UX! Be careful also to companies that supposedly want to test you by challenging you on their own project to suggest solutions … It’s free work.
What training needs to be done and / or what certifications must have been performed for this profession?
There are recently Masters in the field, but I do not know what they are worth. French studies are often decorated with the reality of trades. In the bootcamps, there is food and drink, some are at least good, others are scams. Do not hesitate to ask questions to alumni directly to have objective feedbacks.
Could you describe a typical day / what does this job consist of?
There are as many typical days as there are companies! The UX design is a field still poorly understood in France, it is not unusual to see UX designer spend their day making wireframes (black and white models representing their design ideas) and these are the worst positions where the person is reduced to a mere performer.
For the lucky ones, they can do the extent of their job and suddenly it does not take a day, but in several weeks. As part of an agency, first he will do a user research phase to list the needs, satisfaction and frustrations with the use of the product / service. Then, it will transmit them to the client to define priorities and know which feedbacks will lead an action. Once the areas for improvement have been defined, the UX designer begins to conceptualize his solutions and, ideally, makes them test the users he has interviewed to see if they meet their expectations. If the users validate the wireframes, they are presented to the client to validate them also before it goes into production.
What do you think are the qualities and skills you need to do this job?
You have to be empathetic, at least knowledgeable in low psychology, be curious and have lots of ideas to be effective when you are with the user.
That said, you need other soft skills to get by in the business world. Indeed, the UX has the hard life in France, one is one of the least “user-centric” countries of Europe.
If I had to popularize, we are one of the countries that cares the most about users in the context of projects that impact them. I often meet clients, especially large accounts, who work in the same way as 60 years ago. So I recommend to those who want to embark on the UX to be very good evangelists knowing how to argue in a pleasant and diplomatic way the UX approach with the most refractory minds. It is possible that you will be seen as a threat by your colleagues, as you have been shaking up the dogmas that have been in place for decades. All in all, you have to be a nice but tough warrior with powerful velvet weapons.
The job of designer ux ui did not exist 20 years ago, how do you explain its emergence?
UX’s business has been in existence in the USA for more than 35 years. He arrived timidly in France 6-8 years ago, to increase in size each year for 4 years.
Its emergence is explained very simply. Before we produced wet finger solutions: we did not know if it would interest someone, but given trends and marketing research, some well-formulated assumptions were enough to launch projects. Today, it is so much more efficient to meet the user and ask him directly what he needs that this approach quickly becomes a reflex. But you must have made the effort to change your corporate culture and taste it once!
Do you think it’s a job that will continue to grow?
It’s a job that will change. The UX is a discipline grouping a whole lot of specialties and France is still not very mature on many of them. If we look at how the UX has evolved in the US, we still have the margin, but eventually some specialties will have more future than others. The UX researcher specializing in user research and the UX writer specializing in writing text with an anticipated psychological impact still have a bright future ahead of them!
The UX designer will surely mutate, but I do not know yet how. Even if the advance of the USA gives us the vision on certain axes, we can not underestimate the impact that the culture of a country on the evolution of trades.