Hi Kim, welcome!
I hate to say this, but I'd be highly surprised if the answers to your questions aren't hugely variable, as it covers such a large field. I can give you examples of things I've done that come under my title of UX Designer.
- Right, well like any other job, you do have your usual meetings and those kinds of things generally. For me at the moment, as I'm at a company who's UX journey has only just begun, I've been involved in interviewing potential users so that we can then build personas for our different products, trying to create a style guideline that our devs can use for minor things such as components so that we can work more towards the overall picture and workflow etc. I'd say that ideation and wireframing is a huge area of time, but I'd also say that talking to our subject matter experts (SMEs) and with our developers is equally big. We've created journey maps, and worked through information architecture of current products, auditing those current products to see what could be improved upon etc.
So our days are very variable, it just depends on what the focus is as we will either be working on new things, or helping out with sprints for backlog work for our developers.
When I was working with a team that were more agency based, so were replying to RFP's, we got given the basis of an idea, and had to quickly iterate through designs, mock them up, and go through the beginning of our process to demonstrate to the companies how we worked, and the kind of output they might expect. Those were always quite fun, although a little stressful, as each proposal was often in a different area, so it involved a lot of background research to understand the topic.
- I'm not too sure what you are asking here.. in terms of detail we either stick with balsamiq mockups or create higher fidelity versions in illustrator, but if you are talking about after we have completed ideation and design and it is off to the developers? We try to always review work, so both what we have done, and what is being created from our mockups, because there is only so much you can demonstrate through images. We would also love to do more user testing with out products when we get to the phase that there is something for users to play around with. Theoretically we will always hopefully be iterating on our designs and products to find improvements, but again this is a little different for us as we work on internal products.
Hope this gives you some indication :).