Ultimate Xylophone engineer? That’s what you mean when you say UX engineer (UXE), right? We’re kidding, of course. A xylophone is not the first thing anyone thinks of when they hear UX engineer. But what exactly is the first thing? What is a UX engineer? And, can Devmountain help you with your UX design skills in preparation for pursuing UX-related goals?
If you’ve been digging around job postings, you might have noticed a lot of opportunities for this mysterious UX engineer. So, tech companies seem to be looking for UXEs, but the actual specifics of the position also seem to differ from place to place.
Some companies may require a heavy front-end developer skillset while other organizations may want a good mix of UX engineer skills across the full-stack.
Let’s take a closer look at just what a UXE is, what they do, and what it takes to become one.
A UX engineer (UX= user experience) is usually a front-end engineer who works on a design team, facilitating collaboration between engineering and design. UX engineers bring together technical know-how and design aesthetics. They partner with programmers, researchers, designers, and more to conceptualize to deliver an effective user experience.
A UX engineer often has the skillset of a front-end engineer but also the working know-how of UX design principles. Don’t be confused though; a UX engineer is not a UX designer.
The difference between the two is that a UX designer is more involved in user research, making sure they’ve considered the look and feel of a product before they actually start designing. They worry about things like color palettes, fonts, and icons.
In general, the role of a UX engineer is to help build design systems — the set of assets and guidelines that convey the identity within flagship products and applications. These design systems can be comprised of three sections: the style guide, design language, and component library. Within each of these sections, the UX engineer will have a set of skills to help fulfill the responsibilities.
Ultimately, a UX engineer is a translator. Although their role may vary from company to company, the major responsibilities that many UXEs share are:
If you’re interested in becoming a UX engineer, you can focus on front-end development skills along with user experience knowledge. Although the requirements for a UXE will vary from company to company, there are certain skills you will want to consider for your arsenal.
Some other important UX engineer skills you may want to develop are communication, problem-solving, and proactiveness. Since UX engineers can work with the design team, engineering team, and product management, they need to be able to have autonomy over their work while also being able to work well with multiple teams.
If you have ever felt like the brainchild of a tech-savvy mom and an artistic dad but haven’t known where to go with your gift, then user experience engineering or design may be the right thing for you. You can marry your love for the technical aspects of development with design while creating some awesome stuff. And, you can start with Devmountain's 13-week UX Design course.