To clear up any misconceptions and further clarify the position of the UX engineer, let’s look at where and how UXEs fit into the software development process, what they do daily, and how they collaborate with UX design and software engineering. The abilities required to carry out these responsibilities.
What does a UX engineer do?
UX engineering, as a field, bridges the gap between UX designers and software developers. Generally speaking, these wizards should be key enablers in building design systems, a set of assets and recommendations that convey the personality behind and within flagship products and applications. Participating in the product development cycle and especially in designing their systems, the user experience engineer works in three main areas: the style guide, the design language, and the component library. In addition to creating and implementing the components required for the design system and the actual finished product, the UXE must participate in user research, content ideology, and iterative development. For example, during the research phase, the user experience engineer is an important crucial actor in determining whether concepts emerging from user feedback may actually be created given the project’s technological constraints. While the responsibilities may vary from company to company, a specific range of tasks fall within the scope of a UX engineer.
Moreover, the UX engineer’s skills in both design and development allow them the flexibility to communicate their needs to the team, fulfill their responsibilities, and achieve the best possible user experience. UXEs are constant evaluators of project feasibility and provide their combined technical and creative expertise. UX engineers are the peanut butter to UX designers and software engineers’ bread & butter. This critical role necessitates great soft skills, such as cross-functional work, cooperation, and communication, as well as the complex coding abilities required to bring compelling design to life. UX engineers’ talents also enable them to be natural translators and cooperate across teams to build and deliver a solution that not only solves an issue but also precisely meets the desires and requirements of consumers.
To better describe the day-to-day tasks UXE performs, in the following sections, we’ll look at eight skills that these critical team members must possess to create great products.
Interpreting developer jargon
A UX engineer may explain specific parts of UX design to users on the development team, fostering empathy and comprehension. These are some examples of UX resources:
Personas – a fictional user experience that represents characteristics inherent in your users.
Customer journey map – a diagram representing the user’s steps and emotions toward completing a task
Usability report – the results of usability testing.
Evaluating the feasibility of UX design
The UX engineer uses their expertise to guide the UX team to solve technical problems or easy wins based on proposed designs. They provide technical expertise to assess whether the diverse ideas that emerged from UX research can be created and sustained over the long term.
Creating libraries of reusable user interface components
Surprises are exciting, but not in the context of the user experience. Consistency is one of the cornerstones to successful UX design. Component libraries are often characterized as a collection of reusable components that include the framework, design elements, logic, and style that exist across the application or platform of the product being produced. They are an excellent tool for establishing standards and design principles for a project, as well as bringing all of the content of a project together in a cohesive and systematic space. Because a component library’s appearance is determined by the scale of the project and its requirements, it can be either a component generated separately by team members or other goods given by major organizations or public libraries. There are dozens of public libraries from which to draw inspiration.
Content libraries give the development team reusable snippets of code so that every time a user encounters a drop-down menu or date selection, it looks and functions the same as every other drop-down menu or date selection in the product.
Prototyping to validate user experience decisions
Prototyping is a quick and relatively inexpensive usability testing method that allows the UX team to validate design decisions before investing in a full build. UX designers may create a working prototype in a fraction of the time it would take to create a completely functional product or new feature.
This experimental technique allows design teams to easily develop and evaluate their concepts by converting them from paper to digital form.
Collaborate with UX designers and engineering teams
The UX engineer may share technical knowledge with the UX team since they understand design and engineering, offering UX and UI designers a technical viewpoint to consider. UX engineers also share design details with technical teams, helping coders develop better solutions.
Do the work of UX engineering
Turning the visual design into working software takes a lot of work. A skilled UX engineer will design a pixel-perfect user interface before collaborating with the rest of the technical team to develop a full solution. Their adaptability enables them to grasp diverse demands while developing cutting-edge goods.
Represent the development team to the design team
Designers and developers should communicate regularly so that both teams strive for the same goal. But in between scheduled meetings, software developers can ensure that the UX engineer communicates technical questions, concerns, and ideas to the design team. They should represent the developers’ interests, concerns, and problems at every opportunity, especially when they are the visible face of the development team.
Represent the interests of the designers to the software development team
The UX engineer is the trusted face of the development team in meetings with developers-they share opinions, rationales, and next steps from the UX designer’s perspective. Representing developers to designers, UXEs are also ambassadors for designers when communicating with the software team. Their combined abilities allow them to quickly adapt to both teams and understand all sides of a project.
As you can see, the UX engineer’s responsibilities are between the creative and technical teams. A UX engineer must understand fundamental design concepts as well as generic design techniques. Most UX engineers lack professional design abilities, but they do excel in user interface design and front-end development.
UX engineer toolkit
While the UX engineer is not expected to create electronic schematics or make high-fidelity design compositions, they should understand the full range of UX outputs, why they are essential to the design process, and when they are used.
On the technical side, the UX engineer needs expert-level skills in areas such as:
These coding languages turn one-dimensional projects into interactive software products run in a web browser.
A CSS framework is a tool that a UX engineer uses to create responsive designs that look equally beautiful on desktop, tablet, and mobile browsers.
As UX engineers become more prevalent in mobile, desktop, and embedded development, expect the skills required to include more languages to support platforms other than web browsers.
Since UX engineers write deployable code, they should have experience with it:
- Debugging tools
- Code repositories
- Creation and branching tools such as Git and Beanstalk.
These tools allow the UX engineer to merge code from their computer into complete product source code and then push it to a server where end users can access it via a web browser.
As mentioned earlier, UX engineers are sometimes referred to as front-end engineers, especially in job postings. However, a UX engineer is not an expert in some front-end development tasks, such as implementing analytics tools, coding for SEO, or integrating with mid-level components. This work is done by front-end or full-stack engineers.
Hiring a UX engineer
By this point, you should understand what a UX engineer does and how he or she fits into your team.
To become a UX engineer, potential candidates must not only fit the UX engineer job description but also possess the following:
- Knowledge of UX design processes, tools, and artifacts
- Soft skills to work effectively between the two worlds.
- Because this role is highly skilled – and challenging because it requires soft skills that traditional software engineers don’t need – finding the right person for the job is challenging. Use the services of a qualified recruiter or reputable agency to navigate the hiring process and ensure you get the right skills.
When it’s worth adding a UX engineer to your team
A specialized UX engineer’s skill set may be perfect for you, while other teams are better off using their budget to meet different needs. So, how is a UX engineer right for you?
Larger teams that are more siloed because of their size or company size can benefit from a UX engineer. This position provides cross-functional communication at the right time and through the appropriate channels.
However, startups and small companies are usually not well suited for highly specialized roles. A skilled front-end developer who knows UX artifacts and processes well and can handle UX engineer duties.
Also, pay attention to the relationship between the UX and development teams. Close communication and collaboration are common in smaller companies, reducing the need for a UX engineer to bridge the gap.
Iskedez Solutions employs highly skilled UX engineers and experienced front-end developers who know how to collaborate on UX and development. Our proven experience allows us to take over your entire project or integrate with your internal team. Check out our services and contact us to discuss how we can help your team achieve its goals.