If you have ever done a quick job search for “user experience design,” chances are you’ve seen a number of titles and descriptions that aren’t always as simple as “UX designer.”
User experience has a variety of specializations, and as a job seeker and practitioner, you should know the skills and applications that come with each. Understanding these differences will help you decide which area of UX is right for you and help you find the appropriate job to fit your interests and skill set.
Mobile screens keep getting bigger, but our thumbs stay the same size. This is an unfortunate situation, and it isn’t going away. Designers have their hands full (pun intended) making sure thumbs feel comfortable and productive on this ever-expanding glass surface.
Steve Hoober conducted a defining study in 2013 on how users really hold their smartphones in which he and his team observed over 1300 people using mobile devices out in the real world. He found that 75% of users interact with their phones using their thumb, opposed to fingers alone. He also found that 49% of the people observed manipulate their phone with just one hand.
So what does this mean? Knowing that people prefer to use their thumb and that half of people use their phones one-handed will inform how user interface elements should be designed and laid out on the screen. With the ever-increasing phone size, our thumbs are getting much more of a workout than we ever intended. However, fear not! Designers are working hard to ease the burden on thumbs through innovative UX and UI patterns.