UX Related Tool Knowledge Sought by Employers on Dice


#1

@Hawk (Note to forum Moderator - I’ve copied this posting from a thread I created in the Mentoring channel thinking it might stir a larger discussion here and gain visibility - feel free to delete if this is inappropriate in any way)**

I’ve pasted below the result of my “mini-survey” on most requested tools that employers want you to know - it’s hardly scientific but may be informative (and controversial as well)

Here’s how I assembled the data. I searched on Dice.com for UX Designer in the job title field and California in the location field. I then looked at about 50 or so resulting job postings. Every time I saw they listed a specific software package, like Adobe Illustrator, as a requirement, I added 1 to the count to come up with a cumulative number of times an application was mentioned.

I tried not to include the same job more than once so as not to skew the results too much and also aimed at not including jobs that were actually a combination of UX with others skills such as UI, Visual Designer or Web developer)

If you are wondering how I could have ended up with two packages at zero mentions, I already had UXPin and Sketchpad listed from my initial go at this when I didn’t specify California in the location field and kept that blank - but then I thought being more specific about location might be more interesting as maybe it varies somewhat by region?

What do you think of the results?


#2

I’m new to this field and find the whole thing very interesting, as I’m still open to pursuing multiple options. Right now, I’m labeled a “UX Researcher” and I neither know nor use any of those tools. I’m more of a data analyst.

How frequently are UX Designers also UX Researchers and vice-versa? It seems as though it would be prohibitively difficult for me to transition from Researcher to Designer, as there are a lot of programs I’d have to learn, and the skillset seems more graphic design oriented and less analysis oriented. Do tell me more!

SamUX =)


#3

Formally speaking, I’m brand new to the UX field but here are just some thoughts I had reading your post:

  • Research and analysis ARE (along with testing) a very, very important part of being a UX Designer

  • Just because you are not a visual designer (or graphic designer as you say) doesn’t mean you are not already a UX Designer because you are still designing experiences and that’s the whole point

  • You certainly don’t have to learn all of these software packages, it wouldn’t hurt to learn one of the major wireframing/prototyping tools - but those don’t require much in the way of graphic design- in wireframing it looks like to me you are mostly “drawing” squares, rectangles and controls like buttons, drop down menus, forms etc - I can’t freehand draw on paper but I see no problem learning any of this myself.

Let’s see what other people on this forum have to share on this very important question you’ve raised.


#4

Two articles I happen to be reading today that I think you will find very interesting @SamuraiUX

The 7 Best Prototyping Tools for UI and UX Designers in 2016

Lean + Research = Success! An Interview with Tomer Sharon

Here’s a link to a free Wireframing tool mentioned in the above article Mockplus
I am going to download it and try it out myself just to get an idea but ultimately I think I may learn two programs that work together for wireframing and prototyping Sketch and Marvel - they appear to be very popular and among the least expensive solutions which is very important to me now :slight_smile:

Steve


#5

The “7 Best” article has a great list, but I think they missed the mark on both the description of Sketch and some of the ratings they gave it in the comparison chart.

Their description states:

“It is similar to Photoshop in many ways, allowing you to edit and manipulate photos.Many of the tools are similar for both, but it is easier to use than Photoshop.”

This makes it seem like software aimed at photo manipulation. It’s not. I’m not sure I’d say it is comparable to Photoshop really in any way, especially not in purpose.

I also learned how to do enough to make wireframes in Sketch in about two hours when I was also brand new to OSX, so my personal experience is that the learning curve is pretty shallow.

It’s more like Milton Bradley’s Othello, in my opinion. “A minute to learn. A lifetime to master.”

I found it easier to use out of the gate than both Axure and Balsamiq, though neither of those were particularly hard, either.

By the way @scrow9, I know you’re planning on taking a class in UX (or are currently). Most of these options offer student discounts. I’d ask your instructor before purchasing anything.


#6

Thanks @CoffeeAndUX - that’s a great idea about the student discounts, right now I think I will just download some free or trial versions of the various competing software, just to get a feel.

BTW, for anyone interested, I didn’t particularly care for Mockplus but, then again, I only spent 15 minutes playing around with it so take my impression with a grain of salt. The free version, at least, seemed pretty limited and I didn’t find any controls to help you with navigation elements but that may just be because, again, I was on the free version.


#7

More frequently than some people would like! The UX Unicorn is a real life creature. :wink:

If you have a role that utilises the parts of UX that you’re passionate about, then you’re fortunate. What kind of role did you transition from to get into UX research/data analysis? Do you have an interest in moving into the design side?


#8

I’d been a college professor, teaching statistics and research methods (my degree is actually in Psychology). But I’ve been passionate about gaming since my teenage years. I was able to leverage those two things together into getting a shot at UX Research. I’ve taught some stuff on human factors, so I have a general understanding of some of the design concepts at a theoretical level, but I’d have a long way to go before I’d be ready to wireframe anything (or indeed, know what to wireframe!).


#9

@SamuraiUX

…I’d have a long way to go before I’d be ready to wireframe anything (or indeed, know what to wireframe!).

I’d suggest just the opposite. With a background in psychology (which is also what my undergrad degree is in), and your experience researching, now is the right time to pivot and focus on the skills you need more experience with.

Start by creating wireframes of sites or apps that you use on a daily basis. This will help you get used to making wireframes, understand the software and develop some speed with it, and also start to spot trends in layouts and functionality. Once you’ve got a good handle on recreating what already exists, task yourself we remaking or adding something new to those sites. If you frequent a site that doesn’t have a native app, create some wireframes for that app.

If you’re feeling cheeky, fire up Invision and make a prototype with your wireframes and show it around to some people you know or here for some feedback.


#10

… Let’s start with, “how do I wireframe something?” I think I ought to at least read an article or two. Any suggestions? LOL


#11

Here’s an article to start with :slight_smile:

Getting Started with Wireframes


#12

Hi @SteveCrow, thanks for sharing your experience and informative posts, which is a great help. The software list above is great and I’ve read the post recommended here too! Great work! For some relatively new name, such as the aforementioned Mockplus, I’ve also played around for some time and find they are really easy-to-follow. The navigation elements are included in Mockplus and I like scanning QR code to preview my prototypes on mobile. The free version is already robust for my app prototype and the all-round export options make me an permanent user now. Thumbs-up to my Mockplus;).


#13

Thanks, I will have to check out MockPlus!