UX Career Newsletter: Best Design Tools, Figma’s Killer Feature, UX Podcasts, Designer Pet Peeves and Reddit

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You’re reading the UX Career Newsletter, a weekly roundup of useful design nuggets to keep you update to date in our industry. You can sign up for the UX newsletter here.

Picking favorites [What’s the “best” UX Design Tool?]

For a while, Sketch has been the de facto UX design tool but as we enter the new decade, the heated battle between Figma and Adobe XD continues to pan out. This UX Beginner exclusive compares Sketch, Figma, Adobe XD, as well as a few other known design tools so that you are able to pick your favorite!

Searching… [Figma’s Killer Feature Hasn’t Even Been Built Yet]

Our design tools have transformed since the beginning of time –  many provide various plugins that can help us achieve much more than just stellar designs. And while Figma already stands out among Sketch and Adobe XD for its collaboration platform, there is yet another feature it could add that would better its overall experience: a search option.

Similar to how you can peruse on Google Drive using keywords, dates, and creator, Tom Jonhson suggests that Figma should implement a search feature to its application. With this feature, users could then answer the who, what, and when relating to projects. For designers and collaborators, this feature would elevate the process with the ability to quickly find the exact details of a project without asking. 

Whatcha listening to? [List of Best UX Podcasts]

In addition to following UX Beginner’s weekly newsletters, podcasts are an awesome way to keep up on the latest design trends, learn something new, or enjoy a conversation. UX Beginner suggests 20 user experience podcasts that explore the general design, UX-specific interviews, and design freelancing. 

If you’re looking to expand your horizons to greater topics such as business and psychology insights, career development, creative inspiration, etc., you might want to check out Paula Borowska’s 20 Insightful Podcasts for Web Designers and Developers. This list is quite diverse in comparison to UX Beginner’s list but as you might notice there are some overlaps such as User Defenders Podcast and Design Details so you know you can’t go wrong with either list! 

You’re buggin’ [Pet Peeves of a Designer: 8 Things You Should Probably Stop Doing]

As a designer, I have a very specific approach to my work. And that’s not to say that I haven’t made mistakes here and there. What’s more important is how do I remedy these flaws to better my design process. Often times, I become a creature of habit and fall into the pit of doom of recurring comfort. 

Nikhil Kirve gathers 8 observations that he highly suggests that we try to avoid. He discusses the difference between comfort and really taking your skills to the next level as an advanced designer. Because design is a world that continues to evolve, it’s also important that we’re able to learn and keep up.

Just getting started [How to evaluate UX jobs at Agencies vs Startups vs Big Companies]

If you are a designer scoping out for jobs in Q1, it is important to get a feel for where you want to be working. This UX Beginner read scales 6 criteria (skill specialization, variety of projects, bureaucracy, pay & benefits, stability, and work-life balance) for working at agencies, startups, and big companies. 

Rubens Cantuni also shares his experience at various employment opens such as agencies, startups, big companies, and freelancing in a recent UX Collective article, Should I Be a Designer in Agencies, Startups, Big Companies, or Freelance? He carefully describes each environment and lays out the pros and cons of each. 

At the end of the day, if you’re searching for a job, you’ll want to consider what it is you’re personally looking for. If you’re a new designer, a big company would be able to provide opportunities to be a mentor and career development. However, if you have a few years of experience and enjoy a more open environment, you might consider a startup. Perhaps you want to have the option to dictate your working space but not do freelance. In which case, you should scroll down and check out our latest finds on remote jobs!

Good UX (But Bad UI) Example: reddit.com

Reddit has been around since 2005 and it’s member base continues to grow strong as it turns 15 years old this year. The community of member-submitted content and open discussion platform connects those of similar interests and answered many questions. Despite all of the fancy UI updates many other sites have utilized, Reddit sticks to its simple modus operandi and puts emphasis on the content.

Why this is good UX: Reddit is minimal. Sure, it might not look as aesthetically pleasing but this simplicity allows for the content to shine. Its usage of basic search icons and CTA buttons that stand out make it easy for new and veteran users alike be able to navigate the site with ease. Additionally, when searching through the posts, the screen autoloads continual content so you can continue reading without having to navigate to the next page – a sure way to minimize the number of clicks!

Some key takeaways: Minimal or “bad” UI doesn’t equivalent to “bad” UX. With all of the new design trends, it’s important to consider if bright colors and many animations would actually benefit the feel and productivity on a website. 

Remote UX Jobs

Ukufu, a new AI-powered content aggregation mobile application for professionals is seeking a UX Designer. In this position, you will work directly with the CEO, engineering team, and product team. They’re asking for at least 5 years of relevant experience in a design or UX-related role while excellent communication skills and exceptional attention to detail. Please note they are asking to have at least 5 hours of work time overlap with Sydney (if not based in Sydney). 

Ad Hoc is seeking a US-based UX Designer to join their team in creating well-crafted user-centered products. In this position, you’ll work with their government partners to transform policy and business requirements into stellar designs. Therefore, it’s important that you’re proficient in stakeholder engagement and presenting work to others. If this sounds interesting to you, make sure you apply by Friday, January 17th

Timescale is a remote-first organization seeking an experienced Senior UI/UX Designer. The product you’d be working on is a new IT monitoring and observability product targeted to developers and SREs. This role is roughly 80% UX and 20% UI, suggesting an emphasis on UX with some UI skills. If you have 5+ years of experience and love Figma, apply now! 

CyberCoders is hiring a UI/UX Designer with 3+ years of experience in e-commerce websites, specialization in Adobe Suite, HTML/CSS, Javascript, and Conversion Rate Optimization. In this position, you’ll be helping build and add to an e-commerce website by incorporating the latest design trends. Please note that this position will require more coding skills than typical UI/UX positions. 

Headway is a design and development team that helps startups and corporations grow into their next phase of business. Based out of Green Bay, WI, they are searching for a Senior Product Designer who would be able to not only produce products using the Headway design process but also participate in pairing sessions to help crewmates learn and grow. If you’re a natural problem-solver and goal-oriented, this might be your next career move! 

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