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A day in the life of a UX designer

Knowing about an average day in the life of a UX designer provides a clear view of the world of UX. Are you wondering about what it is like to be a UX designer? Then take a look at this post where we'll take a closer look into the daily challenges and tasks of a UX designer.
A day in the life of a UX designer

We’ll divide your day as a UX designer into three parts. These include the daily and weekly UX rituals, actual design work, and presentations and workshops. For each, we’ll discuss what they are and what they do.

Table of Contents

Daily and weekly UX rituals

Something that’s quite frequent in the life of a UX designer are daily and weekly UX rituals. These rituals have regular occurrences and are aimed at bringing multiple designers closer together in how they do their work.

Imagine working as a designer in a large corporation. You’ll most probably work in a team that works at one end of the company. What happens with other designers in different areas of the company? It is hard to keep track of that!

That’s where daily and weekly UX rituals come in. These are very typical during a day in the life of a UX designer. Here are a few examples of such rituals.

  • Daily standups. This is something that’s not exclusive to UX designers. In fact, the daily standup is a standard Scrum ritual you might have to take a part in because of how your team works.
  • Weekly design aligns and reviews. Some companies with a higher level of UX maturity have weekly design aligns among teams to discuss overlapping UX work. During these meetings, you’ll discuss obstacles and how you can collaborate during the week.
  • Finally, monthly gatherings. These are big events with every designer at your company. It is a way of networking and staying up-to-date on what is happening with UX designers within the company. It is far more than just what happens during one day. At some companies, this is also the moment work presentations, staff updates, and workshops.

Doing the work

Meetings take up a big part of a day in the life of a UX designer. Once that’s out of the way it is time to do the work!

You’ll spend the majority of your day working in a prototyping tool like Sketch or Figma. On a weekly basis, an average of two or three projects seems to be pretty standard.

This can be different depending on the type of company you work for, of course. Startups tend to focus more on one project. If you work as a consultant, you’ll most probably work on even more (short) projects at the same time.

Let’s take a look at some of the projects you’ll work on. It is normal to work on one or two big projects that include design thinking processes and user validations. You might have to do a workshop or two for that or give a presentation. Other work includes smaller design questions where you just have to be part of a brainstorm or discussion to give your UX design expert opinion.

A day in the life of a UX designer is never the same. Your projects change on a daily basis. We believe this to be a good thing. However, if you want to have a sense of familiarity, you have to be very aware of the company you’re going to work for as a UX designer.

Presentations and workshops

An average day in the life of a UX designer follows a certain path. First, you have to align and discover the obstacles you might face and the  goals you have to make. After that, it is time to do the work. We’ve discussed this in the sections above.

Let’s say you’ve created a design you’re very happy with. All you have to do now is validate your work. You can either do this by presenting your work to stakeholders or by doing a workshop.

This is a big part of the UX designer’s job. That’s because UX is still a new profession. Not everybody knows what it is. And even if they do it is not always a given that your colleagues believe in the added value of UX.

You have to show them by presenting results or by actively involving them during workshops. What we believe to be a great way to do this is by showing them struggling users or by presenting actual user quotes. They’ll see that UX design is far more than just creating pixel-perfect designs.

There’s another way of doing workshops, by the way. It is a part of design thinking. And because of this, you’ll be facilitating workshops and user interviews to discover problem statements or to validate the designs you’ve created previously.

A day in the life of a UX designer

That’s it for an average day in the life of a UX designer. As you can see, a lot is happening here on a daily basis. No day is the same.

You’ll be in meetings quite a bit with daily and weekly rituals. The actual work gets done in Sketch or Figma. You’ll be designing prototypes, user interfaces, and concepts that provide actual solutions to your users.

These designs have to be presented and validated. You’ll do this during presentations and workshops. In some cases, monthly or weekly UX rituals will also be a moment for you to present your work. It is always a good thing to be visible to your colleagues. You’ll never know what that will bring you!

Further reading

That’s what concludes the average day in the life of a UX designer. It is important to know what you’re getting yourself into. Let’s be honest. You have to feel good about what you do. We hope this gives you the insight you need.

Are you thinking about becoming a UX designer? Take a look at our guide for a step-by-step approach!

Nick Groeneveld

About the author

Nick Groeneveld is a designer from the Netherlands with over 5 years of UX, visual design, and consultancy experience. He has worked in many different industries, including retail, finance, and sports.

Take a look at Nick’s LinkedIn and Medium for more.

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