What is a UX Engineer? (2020 Edition)

UX Engineering

What is a UX engineer?

UX engineering is one of the top-paying jobs in tech. But what do UX engineers actually do?

Definition: What is a UX Engineer?

Here’s the typical answer: UX engineers are part user experience designer, part developer, and part growth hacker.

What is a UX Engineer? Ven Diagram

They work with designers to turn designs into functional prototypes that people can actually interact with. They help the team iterate on complex interactions to make sure that they’re actually usable and useful.

Example: Testing a New Feature

Still confused? If you’re still thinking… wait… what do people in this job actually do? You’re not alone. So let’s take a look at an example.

A designer on your team creates a mockup of a new feature in Sketch. The design has some complex interactions, maybe a progressive form that changes based on what the user inputs. The designer wants to validate that what they designed is easy enough to use that users can actually finish the form.

This is where a UX engineer comes in; they would turn that design into a prototype that a real user could actually play with and test. Once the designer and the engineer were both happy with the interaction, the UX engineer might also work with other developers on the team to implement the interaction into the real product.

Skills: What does it take to become a UX engineer?

So what does it take to become a UX engineer?

  • UX & Graphic Design – UX engineers need to have a basic understanding of user experience design and graphic design. While you don’t have to be an expert at any of them, it helps to know the basics.
  • Front-End Engineering – Simply put, you’ll need to have a strong command of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. You need to be able to implement designs.
  • Growth HackingGrowth Hacking is the skillset of improving product performance through iterative testing. If you’ve ever ran an A/B test, you’ve been growth hacking. UX engineers should help designers and other engineers to drive growth of the product. The best UX engineers are growth hackers.

Want More? This article is part of the UX Engineer Playbook series.