Employers Misunderstanding UX / Their expectations of what you will actually do


Hello everyone, my name is Sean.

Really happy to have found this website and forum. Excited to be here. I’m hoping I will end up finding some form of informal mentorship here and maybe make some friends.

My question at the moment though has to do with UX Job postings. I have been looking through UX Job descriptions to make sure that I can a) become more of what companies are looking for and b) learn how to sell myself as best as I can by learning what companies are looking for.

The weird thing though is that a lot of “UX jobs” I look at, don’t actually seem to have anything to do with actual UX design or even UI.

For example, one of the last job openings I just looked at…basically seemed to describe a job that was more like a programmer / web designer / developer. The first 3 things on their list that they were looking for was knowledge of Java / CSS / HTML5.

I’m just wondering how others before me have navigated this kind of terrain. How did you handle these kinds of job openings? Did you just go on to the next ones, or did you reach out to them, apply… did you seek clarification? Were they really looking for something else?

This also branches into another more general topic that I am wondering about: It seems like some companies pay well because they’re sort of looking at hiring you (the UX designer) as someone they can pay for one job but expect you to do 3 or 4 different jobs. Is this something that’s common, or am I just being paranoid? How do you guys deal with this, are you able to educate your future employers about what you bring to the table, or do they want you to be a programmer, graphic designer, UI designer, web developer / designer + A UX designer as well?

Would love to hear all / any advice or responses to these issues.

Thanks guys


Hi Sean,
Unfortunately this is very, very common. If you can spare the time it is worth going along and talking to them to set their expectations. Talk to them about what you were expecting how that differs from a UX role. At worst you get some interview practice.


Thanks HAWK. Well that’s unfortunate but at least I can prepare for that now that I know about it. It certainly won’t deter me! Thanks for the advice.


@HAWK is right - this is very common, unfortunately. UX has become somewhat of a buzzword, to the point that many people writing the job postings don’t have an understanding of what a UXer should provide in terms of value to the organization. Sometimes these postings are written by hiring managers, and sometimes they’re written by HR folks. Very often, neither are very well-equipped to understand just what they’re asking for or why.

Part of the problem is that UX has a lot of crossover skills. A knowledge of UI, development skills, business skills, customer service, etc., etc., can all be helpful. As a result, some people believer they can get one person who can provide the value of two, three, or four roles, especially if that person is compensated well. UX Developers, for example, are a thing, though they really shouldn’t be. UX and development are very different skills, and both require a huge amount of work to keep up with the changing trends and techniques. Keeping up with both is a full-time job in itself, in addition to the two full-time jobs they’re usually asking that person to do.

HAWK is also right in that it may be worth going to the interviews to help level set for the potential employers, though that may be somewhat of a losing battle. It’s interview practice, however, which is a good thing (to a point).


You may want to have a read of this article, https://uxplanet.org/fake-ux-jobs-and-how-to-spot-them-and-avoid-them-3770b863e081.


Here’s another article you should read:


Thanks so much for the feedback guys!


I’ve written a few heated emails to recruiters about this! Wanting someone who can do UX & UI is one thing… but to code it as well… no one can do it all. Even if you have the skills, there is simply not enough time in the day! don’t be afraid to let recruiters and employers know their job descriptions are fantasies.