Summary of the UX/Usability Industry Report 2021
Who works in usability and user experience? What degree is required? What salary can be expected? What does the occupational field look like in terms of content? And above all, what are the needs of UX professionals?
This year's German UPA industry report also answers these questions and shows in detail the current state of the UX design industry. The survey focuses on areas such as career paths, fields of activity, earning opportunities and current trends and potential. The professional association of German usability and user experience professionals records the results of the survey of over 100 German professionals.
In terms of demographics, the trend of recent years continues: more than half of the UX professionals surveyed are female, with the average age of all respondents settling at 36. In the area of professional experience, men have a small, yet noticeable lead of two years in total.
When it comes to education and training, the Master's degree emerges as the most common academic degree of the participants, followed by the diploma and Bachelor's degree. In terms of subjects, most graduates come from disciplines such as media informatics, psychology, communication design and computer science. The diversity of the field of UX becomes particularly apparent here, as more than 20% also indicated a degree course unrelated to the topic. Thus, the professional field offers optimal career opportunities for career changers, but also shows the lack of academic UX training and degree programmes. The "Certified Professional for Usability and User Experience" is the most frequently mentioned UX/Usability relevant additional training, although the respondents still stated that they benefit most from on-the-job training and exchange with like-minded people.
In addition, the career and earning opportunities make the professional field increasingly attractive: the average gross annual salary this year is around €60,000. The most common type of employment is the traditional salaried position, whereas self-employment accounts for only a very small share.
According to the participants, there is still considerable untapped potential for development in the two areas of inclusion and accessibility. The systematic analysis of user requirements, research on and with users in general, augmented and virtual reality, artificial intelligence and UX writing should also be further expanded.
The medical and health sectors, UX management and ethical aspects, for example with regard to sustainability in everyday life with the help of product design, are presented as additional areas of work with long-term development opportunities.
However, challenges also exist for the UX sector: a clear majority of the experts surveyed demand a more pronounced embedding of usability and user experience in the development processes. In addition, a strengthening of the lobby or more visibility and the strengthening of the awareness of the importance of usability and user experience are described as indispensable. Further demands are the setting of uniform quality standards and a recognised and certified job description, more training and further education opportunities and more diverse formats to expand one's own network within the community.