I often see job listing with UX Designer/Developer. Sometimes just UX Designer. I want to know following things: What is the true definition of a UX designer? And why it is sometimes both designer and developer? What are the general skills required to be a UX designer AND UX designer/developer?
Definition from The difference between a UX Designer and UI Developer:
UX Designers combine their research and design skills together to understand the user needs and produce concepts/solutions/designs that people want to use. This requires a focus on human behaviours, psychology and understanding why people do what they do. It’s all the soft squishy, creative stuff on the right-side of the brain. Most UXers can tell you what it should do and why it should do it, but can’t actually build something that works.
UI Developers fill the middle ground by combining both design sensibilities and technical skills together. They are skilled at making something both look good and function in a browser/device at the same time. They have the production skills to be able to produce visual designs in Photoshop and then turn them in to HTML code that deals with the wonders of browser compatibilities. This requires in-depth understanding of how browser rendering engines behave to be able to implement a design for the web that renders correctly and get all those pesky pixels to line up perfectly.
The definition of UX its self is quite squishy.
ISO 9241-10 210 describes Usability focusing only on the use-case its self while UX takes into account every effect before and after the use-case (anticipating usage before, empathy or dissociation after).
Mark Hassenzahl defines UX as a “a momentary, primarily evaluative feeling (good-bad) while interacting with a product or service”. So basically during the use-case. Which means UX is a humane discipline with less engineering (as in programming, soldering, prototyping etc.) and more storytelling, developing use-cases while addressing feelings for a product or service.
But then on the other hand, Dan Saffer illustrates UX as a large umbrella covering a few fields of engineering as well:
I suppose people in personnel department either want someone who is
- able to design products and applications self-dependent, so focused on scientific engineering, programming and developing but with an eye for psychology and human constraints. (=> UX Designer/Developer)
- more focused in addressing peoples feelings, competences etc. which (as mentioned by Igor before) involves research in psychology and human factors, but also with an eye for what is (or is not) possible when designing and developing real products (without exceeding budget for example) => UX Designer
UX is a huge interdisciplinary field. Thats what makes it so exciting :)