How do you define your level as a UX designer?


#1

Hey guys,

I’m wondering how do you gauge what level you are as a designer, i.e. Junior/Mid weight/ Senior.

Is it solely based upon number of years? Or are there more measurable design led factors. If so are there any rough guidelines which clearly define at what level you’re at for each stage?

Thanks a bunch!


#2

You can work for years in an industry and not be really proficient in it. I don’t know that number of years equates to a particular level necessarily (although I would argue that it’d be very difficult be considered mid or senior level without a few years of work under your belt).


#3

I guess I look at this two ways.
First, the “HR” way - it’s years experience. Not a great measure, but a decent rule of thumb for folks that don’t deeply understand the position, I guess. 1-3 years ish - junior, 5 years+ ish senior.

The other side of it is what your work actually is. Junior is going to be mostly taking direction and doing grind-y work. Mid is kind of tactical. Senior is going to be more directing and thinking strategically.

…but it’s different everywhere. In agency settings, almost everyone will be “senior” or VP of something or other because it looks better to clients. In some corporate settings, UX is pretty flat title wise.

just my opinions of course. looking forward to seeing how other folks think of this topic.


#4

The number of years for me is irrelevant.
I have seen very “senior” (as in their 40/50s) designers that are really not mature at all.
And I have seen (and had in my team) an incredibly talented and mature designer that was in his early 20s.

So age for me doesn’t come into account, at all.

The way I see it is the following:

How much do I know about let’s say, usability testing? From knowing nothing to being able to write a book about it.
Well, I wouldn’t probably write a book and compete with Steve Krug just yet :laughing:
But I did feel good enough to face a couple hundreds of people in a UX conference to talk about it, how we brought it in a big organisation, made it the norm and used it to involve high profile stakeholders. So not too bad, probably senior in that area.

I’d do that against the UX spectrum and see how I score.
(not starting a debate here about what a UX designer is … that a can of worms I won’t get any near of in this post)

But a simple version for me is:

  • Junior needs direction and heavy mentoring
  • Mid-weight doesn’t need as much direction, but still needs some level of mentoring and validation of work
  • Senior sets the direction, inspires his team and mentors juniors and mid-weights.

Hope this helps!
:vulcan_salute:


#5

I regard myself a senior level UX Designer based on the 18 years working in the industry, but also the work I have done in that time, which covers all aspects of developing/running web & app products