In this article, we’re gaining a deeper understanding of the role of a UX Designer in a tech project through a Q&A with Aaron Moody, the founder of North Digital and a seasoned UX expert that works with clients across the globe from their HQ in Middlesbrough.

First of all, what is a UX designer?

Aaron: There’s a bunch of different ways to describe a UX designer, but for me what makes a UX designer different from say a graphic designer, is that their primary focus is on how the user will get from A to B to achieve a given task. That can be anything from signing up for something, finding out information, or filling out a form, for example, whereas a graphic designer’s primary focus is on how something looks. Two very important roles, each with a different focus.

What would your primary responsibilities be on a project?

To map out how the features of a product will best be displayed on various screens, and ensure that they are not only beautifully designed but easy to use and fun.

With that in mind, when would you typically become involved in a project?

The earlier the better. For me personally, I love to get involved in a project as early as possible to have the biggest impact and the widest overall view of the product I’m working on. There will be questions a UX designer will think of that can only really come from someone with their experience and provide a different perspective.

Can you give an overview of what your process looks like when approaching a new project?

I like to start with a brief kick-off call with the client or main stakeholder. From here I’ll follow up with more detailed and probing questions and try to map out all the required pages and features that may be needed. This naturally leads to more specific questions, and this process repeats until we have a pretty detailed understanding of what will be needed. Things inevitably will change and we can’t know everything that might be needed in advance. You wouldn’t want to either – having a level of flexibility when working on a project is a great thing.

I start with some basic “wireframes” where I map out the key features and sections that are needed and then apply a level of design fidelity to them to help make it feel “real” before presenting to the client for feedback. We keep iterating on these until all screens are designed and everyone involved is happy.

The great thing about working on digital products is that we can get feedback from customers quickly, try out new things, and make amends as and when needed with relative ease. It’s always my preference to release early and often and iterate from real-world data.

Do you find there’s a typical duration for you to be involved in a project?

It depends on the scope of work, but I’d say a typical web app project would be between 1-3 months.

What are the common tools that you use in your role?

Most of my work is done in Figma, it’s a perfect tool for UI and UX work. I also sometimes use Adobe Photoshop for more heavy graphics, Adobe Illustrator for logo design and Adobe After Effects for any animation work I may need to use.