UX Design Career Levels

By | September 24, 2015

I don’t ever remember seeing something like this for UX. It’s a map of levels and what you would expect from a UX Designer. I don’t think it’s perfect and if someone has something better, I’d love to see it. This is geared towards people in the UX department of a software company.

Use this to know if you are in the right title and what a promotion entails. Also use this in recruiting to put someone at the right level when they join.

I hope this is helpful to someone. If it is, please like/comment/tweet/hoot/whatever.

Level Levels and Expectations
4 Associate UX Designer

  • Personally contributes towards design goals and deliverables.
  • Has virtually no experience as a professional designer.
  • Has basic skills in general design.
  • Can follow instructions and collaborate with engineers and product managers.
  • Has a good work ethic and attitude.
  • Gets along well with others.
5 UX Designer

  • Everything in Associate Designer AND has 2-3 years of professional design experience.
  • Has intermediate skills in several facets of UX design including information architecture and interaction design.
  • Can lead small projects and is reliable.
6 UX Designer II

  • Everything in UX Designer AND demonstrates team leadership and an interest in learning management skills.
  • Has 3-4 years of professional design experience.
  • Solid design skills in most facets of UX.
  • Influences others outside his/her own project.
  • Can lead medium-sized projects.
7 Sr. UX Designer

  • Everything in UX Designer II AND actively seeks to be a resource outside of immediate project/team/local scope.
  • People will come and ask them for input. Demonstrates team leadership.
  • Above average design skillz.
  • Has 4-8 years of professional design experience.
  • Can lead large projects and mentor 1-2 junior designers.
8 UX Director

  • Everything in Sr. UX Designer AND can do detailed design critiques as well as mentor/manage designers on a daily basis.
  • Executes on longer range plans.
  • Able to identify, plan, and execute career development for employees.
  • Able to teach team on his/her own initiative.
  • Influences architecture beyond his/her own project.
  • Looks across the organization.
  • Mastery of design craft.
  • Has 6+ years of professional design experience.
  • Is part of the recruiting process on an active basis.
9 Sr. UX Director

  • Everything in UX Director AND Can fill in for the VP of UX or even the VP of PM if needed.
  • Can do conceptual design and has strong knowledge of the complete ecosystem.
  • Recognized as an influential leader.
  • Manages budget performance on a daily basis.
  • Executes on long range plans.
  • Works effectively to hire and retain talent.
  • Effectively manages employee performance.
  • Influences architecture beyond his/her own project.
  • Looks across the organization.
10 VP, UX

  • Everything in Sr. UX Director AND is recognized as the leader of the user experience of the product.
  • Works consistently with other leaders in the organization.
  • Builds effective process and standards for the UX organization.
  • Regularly influences/designs the conceptual basis for the products.
  • Is one of the key visionaries of the product direction.
  • Pays for lunch.
11 Chief Design Officer – I’ll have to think about that one. 😉

Notice, I didn’t include UX Research or Testing. I believe that is a different department that probably should be a part of the QA (Quality Assurance) team. But that is a topic for another day.

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