6 (really great) reasons people go into UX and UI design
min video //
min read //
May 25, 2022
If you're considering a career in UX/UI, there are a lot of questions that might pop up — it can be overwhelming. The good news is that you're not alone, and you aren't the first person to navigate this potential career path!
Keep reading to discover six reasons people go into UX and UI design from designers themselves!
Spot anything interesting for you?
1) Future-focused career
UX and UI design is undoubtedly a new field in the market. And while this field has experienced some organic growth in the MENA region, COVID-19 and the subsequent push towards rapid digitalization demonstrated how important it could be to the success of products like Miswag and Anghami.
With a growing number of well-funded startups in the MENA region, UX and UI will become a focus in the coming years. Already, many companies are hiring UX and UI designers. You only need to look as far as LinkedIn jobs to see UX/UI's rise in places like Iraq, Jordan, and Lebanon.
Beyond UX and UI design roles, this space offers even more opportunities.
"If companies actually hire UX designers that know how to do research, how to do UX writing, interaction design, and also visual design, then there's an opportunity for you to go higher become a product manager and beyond. You can absolutely see a future and growth," says Issa Abu Aita, a Jordanian marketing manager who's expanding into UX/UI.
In Iraq and Jordan, there's a heavy focus on UI over UX. This means that those working in UI or UX design also have room to grow.
"There's absolutely growth in career if companies and UI designers realize that they need to get into UX design," Issa added.
For those working in this space, the potential is undeniable.
"It's not just creative or digital - it's a future," shared Ahmad Khalaf, a Jordanian product designer.
2) Resilient employment
Emerging from a global pandemic, many have started to appreciate the value and importance of stable employment. This is even truer in countries like Iraq, Jordan, and Lebanon, which have also been affected by political and financial turmoil.
"The people who had gone into this field [UX, UI, and product] were the luckiest," Ibrahim Chawa reflected.
"They were, in my opinion, the least affected in terms of work."
Ibrahim works as Head of Product at Toters, a popular Lebanese food delivery app operating in Lebanon and Iraq. And while both countries struggled financially during the pandemic and impending crises, Toters' success grew as it navigated unstable on-the-ground conditions with local digital solutions.
"Developers and product designers and product managers were still finding jobs and still getting paid and in foreign currency," Ibrahim continued.
3) Connection to psychology
If you ask about any UX/UI designer's journey into this field, you'll probably hear psychology mentioned more than a few times. UX and UI tend to attract people interested in human psychology because of their deep connection to users and user behavior.
"I always wanted to do psychology," explained Ahmad Khalaf. But Ahmad pursued a career in design instead when he enrolled in university.
"So that really drives me here."
When speaking about going into UX research, a specific niche of UX/UI, Bara'ah Alnawaiseh shared that the practical application of psychology was a major draw.
"My curiosity for psychology was a big part of it and understanding how human interactions," Bara'ah reflected.
The most exciting thing for her?
"You will be surprised by what you learn and what happens with your users when you're not there to help them complete their tasks on their screens."
4) Chance to pioneer a new field
As a relatively new field, particularly in the MENA region, many UX/UI designers are the first generation of this role in their companies. This was particularly true among Iraqi UX/UI designers that we spoke to.
Maryam Mohammad, an Iraqi UX/UI designer, reflected on her first UX role and how she had to define the role for her employer.
"I remember when I started working at this company, I told them that I'm doing research. They didn't understand. They said: 'That's marketing's job.'"
Maryam pushed back, "I had to convince them that this is what I do. And this is how I do it."
Defining a role is not for the faint of heart, but the result is that you get to pave your way.
5) No tech skills are required
Often when people first hear of UX/UI, they assume that it must be a technical career. However, that could not be further from the truth. Many UX/UI designers get into this space because of its creative outlet, mainly the UI side of things that focuses on visual appeal.
So it's no surprise that many who go into UX and UI design come from creative backgrounds like graphic design and motion design.
These creative skills can be applied with impact on a product. It transforms others see as a nice-to-have skill like design into one that's business-critical.
6) Impact on communities
Great UX and UI designers all have one thing in common: a strong sense of empathy. As a result, designers often look at the world around them, ask questions, and look for solutions. It's a mentality that seeps out from their work into their day-to-day and impacts the people around them.
Ahmed Safaa had always wanted to go into tech because of his childhood love of video games. And when he came across the concept of human-centered design while studying graphic design at university, he was hooked.
"I saw immediately how it can change lives and help many people around the country."
Others always knew they wanted to help people before discovering UX/UI.
"Since I was a kid, solving problems was kind of my thing," Payam Abubakr explained, reflecting on her desire to work in a career centered around helping others.
When Payam discovered UX/UI, she realized that this was the career for her almost immediately.
"You get an app or a product, and you have to improve it. You'll even try to solve problems that the user doesn't even know they have."
Kickstarting a career in UX/UI
There's an endless number of reasons people go into UX/UI. It's a field with many draws, particularly for those who are curious, empathetic, and creative.
Are you ready to get started on your journey? Download our list of UX/UI learning resources to get going!