UX Design Career Levels

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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