Development

Who is a UX developer?

  • Martyna Tołoczko

  • Nov 29, 2023

  • 3 min read

  • Nov 29, 2023

  • 3 min read

Let’s take a journey together to learn what UX developers do and how they connect user experience with development!

What does a UX developer do?

The best way to answer the question of who a UX developer is is to describe what they do. A UX developer, also known as a User Experience Developer, is a design specialist with technical knowledge. Their skills allow them to bridge the gap between design and front-end development easily, and their goal is to create seamless user experiences with a visually appealing user interface for digital products, such as websites or software applications.

What skills are required from a UX developer?

A UX developer should have both creative and technical skills that you can break down into:

  • User Experience (UX) design: they should understand UX principles and use them while creating information architecture, preparing prototypes, and designing interfaces;
  • Programming languages: a UX developer should know how to code and be proficient in programming languages that implement design elements and enables interface interactivity, e.g. JavaScript, Python, HTML, and CSS;
  • Usability testing and research: they should be able to conduct necessary tests (especially if there’s no research team on board) and integrate user feedback into design and development to improve user experience;
  • Problem-solving/analytical thinking: this soft skill is necessary to solve a design or technical challenge a UX developer may encounter while creating a website or an application;
  • Collaboration and communication: not only do the UX developer’s skills create a bridge between design and development, but often they are a great asset, helping translate design vision into development, working with both design and development teams;
  • Time management and organisation: since UX developers often work on multiple projects at a time, it’s essential that they can organise and manage their time well.

What programming languages should a UX developer know?

A UX developer should know any languages that translate their interactive interfaces into real user experiences. Usually, those programming languages include:

  • JavaScript: to make interactive user interfaces,
  • HTML/CSS: a foundational language for web development that allows to create a website structure and content,
  • PHP: essential for creating dynamic web pages, processing forms, and interacting with databases on websites,
  • Other languages: depending on the project, UX developers may also benefit from knowing SQL (if they work with databases) and other languages, depending on what they’re asked to build.

Responsibilities of a UX developer

The responsibilities of UX developers vary as they often depend on the industry or digital product they’re working on. Generally, a UX developer is a team member who seamlessly connects design with development. UX developers:

  • transform design concepts into functional interfaces,
  • create prototypes and wireframes to refine user interactions,
  • ensure that the design can be developed into a working product,
  • collaborate with front-end developers to guarantee that the development and design work together seamlessly,
  • stay on top of the industry trends so that the final product meets user expectations and is a success on the market.

The goal of every UX developer is to secure a smooth transition from design to development, ensuring that every functionality works without difficulty.

Difference between UX developer and UI developer

The easiest way to understand the difference between a UX developer and a UI developer is to distinguish what they focus on. A UX developer focuses on implementing user experience, while a UI developer is more concerned with the visual aspect of the interface.

A UX developer’s job is to turn the design concepts and wireframes they prepared into working, interactive interfaces. They implement necessary functionalities and work with both designers and developers to ensure that the final product, for example, a website, meets user and stakeholder expectations.

A UI developer concentrates less on the functionality of the interface and more on its look and feel. It’s their task to ensure that the design is presented flawlessly, as designed, regardless of the device or screen size.

Difference between a UX designer and a UX developer

Another job that is similar to a UX developer is a UX designer, and while their responsibilities can overlap, they are distinct positions. A UX designer creates the design for the user experience for a website or software app, and a UX developer is more involved in bringing the user experience to life in development.

A UX designer’s main task is to create a seamless, intuitive user experience. They conduct research to better understand user needs and design interfaces with easy navigation, clear information architecture, and understandable user flows. They can also conduct usability testing to ensure their designs meet user expectations. We discussed it in our article on UX design, “What is UX design and why is it important”.

A UX developer, on the other hand, is the person who takes over what a UX designer has created and helps implement it through coding during the development so that the actual user experience remains as pleasurable as it was meant to be.

Both UX designers and UX developers prepare wireframes and prototypes, which is why their roles are often confused with one another. However, UX developers join the process later and become the people who bridge UX design with development, advocating for and keeping intact user experience during the development phase.

Front-end developer vs UX developer

There isn’t much difference between a front-end and a UX developer. In fact, at Flying Bisons, we have front-end developers who do exactly what UX developers do. They bring the design to life. They bridge design and development and ensure that the final digital product offers a seamless user experience with interactive functionalities.

How much does a UX developer earn?

The salary of a UX developer varies, depending on the country they live in and the business they work for (e.g., an agency or a company).

Summary

The best way to remember, or even just imagine, who is a UX developer and what they do is to see them as a bridge between design and development. Someone who knows both — they can create prototypes and code, but their ultimate focus, as the name suggests, is user experience. UX designers design the user experience, UI designers make it visually appealing (we talked more about the differences between those two in our article on UI vs UX design), and UX developers (front-end developers) code the intuitive and seamless user experience.

In other words, a UX developer knows their way around design and coding and is a valuable addition to any team looking to bring a digital product to life.

Martyna Tołoczko

Frontend Team Manager

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