Soft skills you need for your UX career
In contrast to the competencies or hard skills necessary for specific jobs, soft skills have a more subjective background and can be extremely decisive when it comes to becoming a good professional.
In the context of UX, these soft skills are especially important because we have to deal with a lot of people like work teams, customers or users. In many cases, they cannot be measured as you can do with hard skills, but if we are aware of them we can identify, train and enhance them.
Key soft skills for UX professionals
Here at Torresburriel Estudio we always work as a team. It is uncommon to have only one person working on a project, since different points of view help to improve the quality of the deliverables, regardless of whether it is internal or for a client.
We take these abilities so seriously that everytime we have an open position, there is a skills section that combines soft and professional skills. Both have to be considered in combination, especially if you are joining an experienced team.
Based on our experience, we have identified 8 soft skills that we consider fundamental for any professional working in UX:
- Adaptability: our approach is multidisciplinary and we work with clients from many sectors like tourism, administration or technology. Moreover, thanks to our UXAlliance partners our clients can be from anywhere in the world.
- Politeness: always say please and thank you. Nobody likes to be treated badly, even less so if your work involves improving experiences.
- Collaboration: little to say about this when working in a team, but being a collaborative person goes beyond teamwork. It means lending a hand, providing a reasoned opinion and helping in other matters, more than just a project.
- Communication: knowing how to express yourself correctly with colleagues (in addition to point 2), helps to manage projects, conflicts and to ensure optimal and frictionless relationships with clients. This also includes good non-verbal communication, not only for face-to-face meetings, but also for video calls.
- Creativity: the same solution may not work for different clients. Thinking outside the box is a must in UX. The product or experience design requires many skills, being creativity one of the most important. Creativity often manifests itself by making simple the most complicated things.
- Curiosity: one of the soft skills most needed for UX research. It is necessary to know how to handle interviews with users or statistical tools, but the ability to want to see beyond, to investigate and discover will be fundamental. And, well, a designer without curiosity is like a car without an engine.
- Empathy: you can’t create anything user-centered without knowing how to put yourself in the user’s shoes. In fact, one of our basic tools is called, precisely, empathy map.
- Organization: As we work with deadlines it is necessary to know how to organize your time and work. This can end up affecting the team and the quality of the overall work, so this will be one of the most important soft skills to have.
There are many other soft skills we could include, but they all are part of the above mentioned ones. Punctuality? Good organization allows you to be punctual. Ability to work in a team? If you are a collaborative person, you will know what that is and how to put it into practice, along with the best communication. And so on and so forth.
Don’t forget to train these soft skills and show them not only in the interview, but also in your day-to-day work. They are often the ones that multiply user satisfaction in an experience.