Late last year, Nasscom reported that there are nearly 9000 startups in India. An overwhelming majority of these are technology products, which are offering unique and convenient digital solutions to real-world problems. In short, they are digitising user experiences. So, ‘are UX designers in demand?’ is the wrong question to ask — because it’s obvious that they are. The better question is what would a UX design career be like and how to start one. In this blog post, we’ll answer all these questions in detail.

Are UX Designers in Demand?

In the middle of a global pandemic, there are 2,347 UX designer jobs posted on LinkedIn alone (as of 26 August 2020). From multinationals such as Amazon, Adobe, Google, Microsoft and IBM to startups such as Freshworks, Lenskart and Razorpay are all looking for professionals in user experience design. So demand certainly is high, let us see what kind of roles and career opportunities are available.

Are UX Designers in Demand: Kinds of UX Design Roles in Demand

#1 Junior roles for those without an extensive portfolio or experience

Take this role at Robosoft, for instance. It is only asking for some experience and specific skills with tools. You can get this experience through personal projects, internships or a certificate program in UX design that includes portfolio projects.

Source: LinkedIn

#2 Senior/leadership roles

On the other hand, there are also exciting opportunities for senior UX design professionals in the market. Signify, formerly Philips Lighting, is looking for a lead designer with the following experience. 

Source: LinkedIn

You will notice that this offers bigger challenges and career opportunities. In addition to working with UX, this role also opens doors for careers in internet of things (IoT) across multiple domains.

#3 Specialist roles

Are UX Designers in Demand
Source: LinkedIn

There is a sharp increase in specialist jobs too. UX research, for instance, used to be a part of a UX designer’s job. Today, many organisations such as MathWorks and Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories are hiring specialist researchers. Same goes for UI designers too. From Tata Digital, Morgan Stanley, and Barclays to SuperGaming, Sendinblue and Ixigo are hiring specialist UI designers.

Qualifications Expected from User Experience Designers

UX/UI is a wonderful mix of studying human behaviour and design. If you are inclined to understand human consumption behaviour and have a fair sense of aesthetics, then this career track is for you. — Sonam Gandhi, Professional Photographer & Learner at Springboard India UI/UX Design Career Track Program

A study of job vacancies shows that UX designers are expected to have a basic set of qualifications such as:

  • Knowledge of principles of user-centred design
  • Experience in 
    • Interface design, interaction design, information architecture, etc.
    • Wireframing and prototyping
    • Heuristics evaluation and usability testing
  • Portfolio of relevant designs
  • Communication, presentation, interpersonal and analytical skills
  • Experience working with agile development teams
  • Ability to provide details specifications for developers
  • Comfort with UX UI Design tools such as Sketch, Axure, Adobe XD, Figma, InVision, etc.

To get started on acquiring these skills, do read this blog post, where Springboard mentors suggest the best ways to learn UX design

What is UX Designer Salary Structure Like?

According to LinkedIn, the average UX designer salary is Rs. 600,000 per annum, with about 20% of the respondents saying they get a bonus of about Rs. 60,000 as well. Those with less than a year of experience command Rs. 400,000 on average.

UX Designer Salary
Source: LinkedIn

Salary growth with experience 

The growth in compensation for a UX designer is significant, as seen in the graph below from PayScale. What is also important to note is that many UX designers grow to be product leaders, which can pay to the tune of Rs. 1.2 Crores in the best of organisations.

UX Designer Salaries
Source: Payscale

Top-paying skills for UX designers

According to the PayScale community, the following are the top 5 skills in demand for a UX designer.

UX Designer Skills

Other factors influencing UX designer salary

  • Amazon, Nutanix, Microsoft and Flipkart offer top salaries for their product designers, who tend to be senior UX professionals.
  • Graduates in mass communication, media, visual communication, and product design courses appear to command top salaries. 
  • Delhi and Bangalore are top paying locations, perhaps owing to the many startups in the regions. Chennai also fares on the list, perhaps because it stands out as the SaaS capital of India.
UX Designer Jobs

Given that even the best of design schools don’t offer specialised UX design courses, professionals are left to their own devices to learn UX design. While self-learning UX design is possible, it’s also tedious.

What is a UX Designer Growth Path?

Salaries and remuneration aside, there are plenty of opportunities for UX designers to grow and lead in the industry. A typical UX designer might grow from an entry-level designer to senior designer to specialist to a UX designer manager, leading teams. From startups like PayTM or Uber to enterprise-grade tools like Adobe and Microsoft suite, UX leaders will define the next generation of digital products.

On the other hand, you can grow to be a freelancer or an independent consultant, offering specialist advice and solving complex user experience problems.

Are UX Designers in Demand

Across locations, industries, domains and functions, UX design is slowly gaining ground as a crucial part of software development. It emerges as one of the top five future technologies to learn in 2020. The opportunities are exciting, lucrative and rewarding. However, it’s not easy to break into an upcoming field on your own.  

“The difference between having a mentor and not having one is like reading a book without chapter names and an index,” says Shandar Junaid, Strategic Development Manager cum Design Evangelist for Adobe XD & Mentor at Springboard India.

He’s right. One of the fundamental shortcomings of self-learning is that it is a lonely endeavour. Learners are left with no one to ask questions, clarify confusions or even guide them to make the most of the myriad opportunities available. This is why all of Springboard’s programs have 1:1 mentorship and career coaching included. Our UI/UX Design Career Track is no different. It has a job-ready curriculum, 1:1 mentorship, project-driven approach, career coaching and a job guarantee! Check out the program now!