3 future-proof skills for UX/UI designers
min video //
min read //
January 27, 2023
UX/UI designers play a crucial role in creating digital products that are intuitive, user-friendly, and visually appealing. As technology advances and how we interact with digital products evolves, UX/UI designers need to stay ahead of the curve by developing skills that will be in demand in the future.
Oh, and by the way, these skills will be crucial in developing a portfolio that stands out and impresses hiring managers.
But which skills will make it (or break it?) in the digital future? We asked a few senior designers and founders managing UX/UI teams what they'd suggest their teams invest in.
1. Animation and interaction design
"I think a lot of designers are missing out on interactive and dynamic animation," Malek Zalfana suggests.
As a UX lead at a digital agency and the founder of his own, Bold Studio, Malek is on top of all the latest trends in the field. But these small animations that trigger clicks and joy within users aren't just a trend.
"Most smartphones now are so powerful," Malek says, reflecting on the days when animations weren't a smart addition since the page load speed would skyrocket, "They're capable of running hundreds of animations in seconds."
"I think at some point, mobile apps and websites— everything basically— will shift to animated and very dynamic transitions," Malek predicts.
So, the skill should you be investigating? Animation and interaction design.
2. Stay up to date
"I think it isn't exactly a design-related skill," Rania Gharaibeh laughs.
As a UX manager at Jawaker in Jordan, Rania keeps up to date on the latest in UX/UI.
"Now you need to be very up-to-date on everything," Rania warns, considering the speed at which tech develops, "So almost daily reading on updates. If you skip for a month or two, you'll find many things that have happened."
Rania has a few websites on her bookmark list. Including:
So are you ready to ramp up your reading?
3. Creative problem-solving
One of the core skills of any UX/UI designer is creative problem-solving. They're tasked with understanding why users behave the way they do and then designing products to work with this information. They provide multiple iterations in the context of their users' behavior.
But is this something a tool or—dare I say it?— AI would be able to handle in the near future?
According to Amr Hamad, no.
"It's going to take a long time for AI to do what we do," Amr asserts. As co-founder of Miswag, responsible for the product side of things, Amr always looks for disruption in the tech scene.
"I'm saying that because in a world where most of us are online, sharing the same digital space, our behavior is still very different," Amr continues.
Amr notes the geographical differences in the way that users interact with products, asserting that this is just not something that can be understood through automation just yet.
Instead, understanding the behavior is uniquely human, and the answers also belong to humans. Afterall, there's a reason that psychological tactics are used throughout UX/UI design.
Amr cites creative problem-solving as a UX/UI designer's greatest asset going into the future.
Part of being a UX designer is knowing a little bit of everything.
And it's true. There are so many important skills that go into making great UX/UI designers. But in the interest of time—and your mental health!— you can only invest in so many. So if you're looking to future-proof your career in UX/UI, starting with a few of the above skills is not a bad place to start.
The project is funded by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the German government.