If you’re considering a career in UX design, we have gathered 15 statistics you’ll want to know.
The rise of the Internet and social media has shifted the balance of power away from producers and towards consumers. Companies are responding to this change by creating positive experiences to keep their customers happy and shopping.
At the center of this effort to keep users happy is the user experience (UX) designer.
Kent University predicts that “this is the decade of UX design” (Source). Also, UX designers are generally paid well.
A UX designer is responsible for influencing the consumer’s behavior as they interact with a product or service. UX designers achieve this by ensuring that the user perceives the product as useful and user-friendly.
Considering a career in UX design? Great—start here with these stats to understand more about the role and the job outlook for UX designers.
1. What UX Designers Spend Their Time Doing
- Discovery: Consists of audience definitions, user scenarios, and competitor analysis.
- Concepting: Deals with the process flow, site maps, wireframes, and the actual design.
- Prototyping and usability testing: Includes prototyping (release of testing models), usability testing, and product reviews.
With regards to specific projects, the survey by Kent State University shows the four main projects that respondents indicated that they had worked on at some point in their careers:
- Websites and Web Apps: 94%
- Mobile Apps: 67%
- Enterprise Applications: 60%
- Desktop Applications: 54% (Source)
2. Average Experience of UX Designers
UXtools.co, a free resource for UX designers, companies, and classrooms, runs an annual survey for design tools. In 2019, it received 3,149 responses which painted a picture of the UX design landscape (Source).
According to the survey results, the highest number of UX design professionals (around 30%) polled had 3-5 years’ work experience. This was followed by those who’d garnered ten or more years' experience (approximately 25%).
Nielsen Norman Group also surveyed 963 UX design professionals. The survey found that UX professionals with 4-6 years’ experience comprised the largest group (27%).
3. 5 Top Skills Required for a Career in UX Design
UX design applies to almost every modern-day industry. Therefore, once you have attained the fundamental skills needed, there is no limit to professional and personal growth in the field.
We looked around to identify the top five skills you will need to succeed in UX design, and identified the following as suggested by the American multinational computer software company Adobe (Source).
- Frontend development: UX Designers who can code are rare and in demand.
- Voice design: There is a rapid surge in voice technology, opening opportunities for designers who can apply voice design skills in the area of voice design.
- Writing microcopy: Involves writing the text that the user interacts with when using a product, and this is a rare skill among UX designers.
- User interface (UI) design skills: Understanding how users are going to interact with the design, implying that you will need to go beyond the aesthetics to improve actual functionality.
- Understanding data: It helps you determine whether the designs you come up with meet the needs of the users and, if not, how to iterate better designs.
4. Average Salaries of UX Designers
Attempting to find the average salary of a UX designer is a complicated process because different sources use different methods to come to the answer. Additionally, having a career in UX design is a relatively new thing, which adds a layer of uncertainty when trying to calculate standard salaries pertaining to a career in UX design.
Globally, the average UX designer's annual salary is around $53,000, and Switzerland pays the highest average salary of approximately $101,000 (Source).
According to the jobs portal, Glassdoor, the average base pay for a UX designer in the U.S. is approximately $85,277 a year.
Glassdoor data also shows that some companies offer higher salaries to UX designers. Apple, for instance, offers salaries between $73,000 and $183,000. Adobe offers between $66,000 and $162,000, while Google offers between $77,000 and $173,000.
Skillcrush.com, a website that says its “goal is to improve our students’ quality of life through digital empowerment and skills to enter high-earning and flexible careers,” places the average UX designer salary at $80,928 a year for entry-level professionals who have up to one year of experience.
5. Average Hourly Salaries for UX Designers
With the proliferation of projects done by freelance employees, some UX design projects may pay by the hour. The online marketplace ZipRecruiter presents UX designer average hourly rates for the 50 states in the U.S.
According to the tally provided by ZipRecruiter, the highest hourly remuneration is in New York ($52.11). The lowest is in North Carolina ($38.22). See the hourly rates for the rest of the states here.
6. Average UX Designers Salary by Experience
Skillcrush.com also provides salary statistics based on years of experience:
- Entry-level - $75,000 - $80,928 (0-1 years’ experience)
- Intermediate level – $90,000 - $104,580 (7-9 years’ experience)
- Senior-level - $110,000 - $113, 368 (15+years’ experience)
In terms of specific years of experience, here are some estimates of what you can expect to earn in the U.S. (Source):
0-3 years – $76,996
4-7 years – $98,732
8-12 years – $112,203
13+ years – $123,447
You can see the averages for other countries in the world here.
7. 5 Top Cities to be a UX Designer in the US
JustInMind.com, a company that provides UX designers with wireframe tools for iOS, Android, and the Web, provides a tally of the best cities to be a web designer, based on the information analyzed from reviews on the job site Glassdoor. It's not surprising that the home of Silicon Valley, San Francisco, California, sits right at the top of the list.
Here is the list:
- San Francisco, California
- Charlotte, North Carolina
- Austin, Texas
- New York
- Seattle, Washington
8. Where Most Designers are Located Globally
It’s not easy to pin down the numbers when it comes to the area where most UX designers are located globally. However, UXTools.co, a website maintained by a UX manager, ran a survey that provides an idea of where most UX designers are located in the world. Out of 3149 respondents, the five countries with the highest responses were:
- United States – 20.5%
- Canada – 4.22%
- United Kingdom – 4.22%
- Germany – 3.7%
- France – 2.5% (Source)
9. Current Demand for Designers
To provide an idea of the demand for UX designers and, the website CareerFoundry.com asks, “Why do we need user interface designers?” The answer: “As of January 2020, there were over 1.74 billion websites in existence. There are currently over 4 million mobile apps available for download on Android and iOS combined. Globally, more than 4 billion people are using the Internet.” All of these need the skills of a UX designer in one way or another.
UXDesignInstitute.com cites the Mind the Gap: A Report on the U.K.'s Technology Skills Landscape, produced by Hired.com, which shows a “289% increase in requests for UX interviews” (Source).
10. Career in UX Design Future Outlook
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that there will be a 3% year-on-year growth (through 2028) in demand for industrial UX designers.
CNN Money predicts that the growth in demand for UX designers will be 18% in the ten years starting from 2015 (Source).
11. Size of Companies Hiring UX Designers
To get an idea of the size of companies (by the number of employees) looking for UX designers, we looked at the job portal Glassdoor. Below is the number of jobs advertised under each category on the day when we checked the site (June 3, 2020):
0 to 50 - 23%
51 to 200 – 4%
201 to 500 – 16%
501 to 1000 - 12%
1001 to 5000 - 10%
5001 to 10000 – 6%
10000+ - 26% (Source)
Even though the data above is only for a specific period, it is interesting to note that advertised positions are mostly in the smallest and biggest companies.
12. Average UX Team Sizes
A 2019 global survey of the UX design industry done by InVision, the company that calls itself “The world’s leading prototyping, collaboration & workflow platform” (Source) concludes that 27 is the average number of designers in a company.
13. Amount of Education Required by UX Designers
GetEducated.com, a website that says it’s “The independent, trusted guide to online education for over 21 years,” suggests that “at the very least, you will need a two-year degree, while some UX designers will have master’s degrees or higher” (Source).
14. Top 5 Design System Tools Used by UX Designers
A 2019 survey of UX designers revealed the tools that are used most by the designers:
- Sketch – 23%
- Figma – 19%
- Abstract – 10%
- Storybook – 5%
- Craft – 4%
Respondents who selected "Other" constitute 39%.
15. Positions Held by Senior Designers in Companies
The InVision survey also reveals that some UX designers hold senior management positions. The study shows that nearly 30% of the companies polled had a UX designer in a Director role, 23% had a UX designer at a managerial level, while 7% had a UX designer as a vice president.
What Do You Want To Know About A Career In UX Design?
The CX Lead community is here to help UX, CX, and design professionals get better and grow in their careers. If you have a question about your career in UX design, share your questions in the comments below!
Related List of Tools: UI/UX Design Software To Build The Best Customer Experience
- Customer Experience Manager Salary Guide: CX Salaries & Roles
- 10 Best UX, CX & Design Thinking Books
- 15 Of The Best CX and UX Meetups For Experience Design Afficionados
- 8 Of My Favorite CX, Design Thinking, and UX Podcasts
Join The CX Lead
Sign up for The CX Lead newsletter to stay up to date with articles showcasing the latest thinking, practices, and research in the UX and CX field.