The Best Things About Working in UX


Summary: 
We surveyed 126 practitioners, uncovering 8 things practitioners love about working in UX, from problem-solving to accessible design.

About the Survey

With the current state of the economy, the advent of AI, and recent layoffs, many UX professionals are feeling anxious. I can understand this sentiment as we’re going through a period of uncertainty. To take a break from the anxiety, let’s reflect on the aspects of our work that make it meaningful.

We recently sent a questionnaire to UX practitioners via our weekly newsletter and LinkedIn channel. We asked respondents several questions about working in the field, including:

What do you see as the best thing about working in UX?       

126 UX practitioners responded with their thoughts. After reviewing and summarizing the responses, I felt a refreshing sense of gratitude and inspiration. I felt thankful for the UX community and the support we provide one another—from helping each other sharpen our craft to the advice we share about the challenges that many of us face practicing UX in a variety of contexts.

The themes from those who responded to our survey reminded me why I love this work. It’s challenging; we get to analyze problems and apply our creative minds to formulating solutions. There’s always more for our inquisitive minds to learn and evolve. We can shape our expertise to some extent, as there are so many facets of the field to find our passion. And, at the end of the day, most of what we strive for is to create a positive impact.

The 8 Best Things about UX Work

Each of the 126 responses touched on at least one of the following themes, but many of the responses referenced multiple themes.

  • Impact and meaningful work: UXers love having a positive impact on the people they design for
  • User-centric approach: They appreciate the UX philosophy – working with and on behalf of end users
  • Creativity and problem-solving: Practitioners relish the mix of analytical and creative work
  • Continuous learning and variety: UXers enjoy variety in their work, facing unique challenges and diverse approaches
  • Collaboration and community: They like the sense of camaraderie and collaborative nature of UX work
  • Direct impact on business: Practitioners feel satisfaction seeing their work directly impact outcomes for the business
  • Empowerment and autonomy: UXers like the flexibility and freedom, allowing them to shape their own craft
  • Ethics and accessibility: Many find fulfillment in creating products that are accessible for all

Impact and Meaningful Work

Word cloud common words: Impact, Meaningful, Better, Helping

Impact and meaning was the most prominent theme by far: 84 of the 126 respondents found fulfillment from designing solutions that enhance everyday user experiences.

They appreciate the chance to positively impact users by easing their frustrations and boosting their efficiency. There’s a widespread sense of satisfaction among these UX practitioners, who feel that their work significantly improves users’ lives. They enjoy deeply understanding their users to create more intuitive, meaningful interactions.

“The best thing about working in UX is enhancing the overall customer experience. By empathizing with users, solving their pain points, and developing intuitive designs, we create meaningful interactions that enrich lives and drive business success.” Jodie Delore Manager, Digital Customer Experience, TransLink
 Linkedin: Jodie Delore
“The psychology behind understanding human needs and interactions, then using those learnings to create experiences that make people happy to interact with them.” Chris Golding,  Product Design Lead,  Kingfisher
LinkedIn: Chris Goulding

User-Centric Approach

Word cloud common words: User-centric, perspective, understanding, advocate

Another key theme emerged around the appreciation for the user-centric approach inherent in their work. Respondents expressed gratitude for the overarching philosophy of user-centered design, which emphasizes empathy and addressing human needs. They find joy in roles that allow them to advocate for users’ perspectives to internal stakeholders.

Additionally, many participants valued direct interactions with users and the human-centered methods of research and evaluation. These processes help them deeply understand user behaviors, needs, and emotions, enhancing their job satisfaction.

“The work we do helps people – makes them more efficient, less frustrations, increase satisfaction, etc. It's very rewarding designing a new product or feature based on user research, bringing that design concept to the user to test/give feedback and they are so happy you understand their problem and they love your solution.” Carolyn Reiderman, UX Designer & Team, Lead L3Harris
LinkedIn: Carolyn Reiderman
“Understanding users! Having those moments where you get to really understand what an experience is like for someone, and reminding stakeholders that there are real people at the heart of what we do.” Natasha Duncan, User Researcher, Boots
LinkedIn: Natasha Duncan   

Creativity and Problem-Solving

Word cloud common words: Creativity, solutions, solving

Many respondents reported that the creative and problem-solving facets of their work are significant sources of satisfaction. They enjoy mixing analytical and creative skills. They appreciate getting to tackle a variety of challenges. These respondents enjoy roles that specifically involve understanding problems and solving them through creative thinking and visual design.

“I love the process and the variety. Doing deep research to uncover uncomfortable truths to define what the problem really is, then combining that with creative flair to come up with unique solutions. Every day is different and comes with its own challenges.” Adam Gorton, UX Consultant, McCann
LinkedIn: Adam Gorton
“It mixes logic and creativity. Sits at the intersection of critical thinking and imagination.” Edgar Anzaldua, Head of Product Design
LinkedIn: Edgar Anzaldua

Continuous Learning and Variety

Word cloud common words: Continuous, process, insightful, variety

Practitioners value the continuous learning their roles offer, whether it’s mastering new research techniques, gaining insights about their audience, discovering innovative solutions for problems, or learning to use new software and tools.

Many responses highlighted the dynamic nature of UX work, where each project presents unique challenges and demands diverse approaches. Respondents relish the variety within their roles and the opportunities to expand their skills and knowledge across different disciplines.

“The ability to work for very different industries. It brings variety to one's career. Also, UX is at the intersection of different disciplines such as psychology, technology, graphic design, data science… For those two reasons, a UXer will never stop learning.”	 Maxence Le Corre, Product Design Lead, Independant
LinkedIn: Maxence Le Corre
“I'm a UX researcher, and I love the variety of work that I get to do. There are so many opportunities to try out new tools and new methods for gathering info.”  Sarah Harvey, Lead UX Researcher, Spectrum
LinkedIn: Sarah Harvey

Collaboration and Community

Word cloud common words: Collaboration, community, partners

Some respondents enjoy the collaborative nature of their work. They find fulfillment in solving problems with their teammates, which also enhances their personal learning and growth.

Additionally, some appreciate being part of the broader UX community — especially the supportive and educational advantages it offers. Overall, there is a strong sense of camaraderie and reward in working within a team and belonging to a community that shares a similar mindset.

“The community. We're all on the same page, willing to help, spread knowledge, and lift each other up.”  Brittany Nichols, UX Designer, Axcient
LinkedIn: Brittany Nichols
“The best thing I see about working in UX is collaborating with others to solve a problem and continuously learning techniques and software to improve how you solve these problems.	“ Vilmarie Koesema, UI/UX Designer ,Aquent
LinkedIn: Vilmarie Koesema

Direct Impact on Business

Word cloud common words: Performance, quality, product, impact

Several respondents expressed a deep sense of satisfaction and achievement from seeing their work directly enhance outcomes for stakeholders and the business. They value the opportunity to apply their skills to influence product performance and effectiveness, ultimately making a meaningful impact on the bottom line for their company or clients.

“The best thing about working in UX is working closely with users to understand their needs and being the conduit to communicate those things to the business.” Ray Domzalski Jr.,  UI/UX Designer
LinkedIn Ray Domzalski Jr.
“The chance to see decisions you make have a direct impact on the performance, usability, and effectiveness of the products and experiences for your company/clients.” Andrew Rodgers, Freelance Design Operations Lead

Empowerment and Autonomy

Word cloud common words: Flexibility, empowerment, autonomy, freedom

Several comments highlighted the empowerment and autonomy that practitioners feel UX roles provide. They appreciate the flexibility and freedom their work offers, allowing them to shape their own roles and develop their skillsets in this dynamic field.

“Being able to create solutions for real user problems and have the freedom to design them.” Eliana Campos, Design Lead, Banco Guayaquil
LinkedIn: Eliana Campos
“It's relatively new so there's a lot of freedom to craft and define your own role.”	 Lee Yoong Shin, Lead Product Writer, Touch 'n Go eWallet
LinkedIn: Lee Yoong Shin

Ethics and Accessibility

Word cloud common words: Accessible, ethical, welcomed, research

Lastly, some respondents referenced the satisfaction of working in UX, as it presents the opportunity to contribute to ethical practices and accessibility in online resources. People noted the fulfillment that comes from making processes more accessible for people of all walks of life, and their role advocating for ethical inclusive design.

“Helping to make the online resources more usable, ethical, inclusive, and accessible.” Alma Meshes, Senior UX Architect, Sandstorm
LinkedIn: Alma Meshes
UX lets me measure and design for real users, including vulnerable ones, so I can help everyone succeed equally.” Heidi Strohl, Digital Design Manager, McGill University
LinkedIn: Heidi Strohl

Conclusion

It’s valuable to take a moment to reflect on the reasons behind our work. Many aspects of our field bring fulfillment and meaning to UX practitioners. It is our goal to always evolve what we do and continue to empower you, even as the world around us changes. We will always advocate for user-centered design and its value to our world.

We are grateful for your involvement in the UX community and thank everyone who responded to our survey. We will continue asking for your thoughts about the field, so if you’d like to be part of the conversation, we can connect a few ways.

  • Sign up for our UX Practitioner research panel. We send out surveys like this one and request participants for various qualitative studies. Research incentives vary by study.
  • Follow us on LinkedIn and Instagram. We often share tips and tricks, events, and research opportunities on these platforms.
  • Sign up for our newsletter. A reliable source for the latest research insights, announcements, and learning opportunities.

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