The current state of UXUI and why we need to establish global standards ASAP

Kevin Auyeung
3 min readApr 1, 2023

The UXUI industry has become increasingly saturated over the years, with more designers entering the field. While this may seem great for the industry, it has led to an influx of well-meaning but inexperienced designers who are unable to produce the high standard of work required by clients. This puts a negative connotation on UXUI and how businesses view UXUI and its importance.

Lack of universally recognised standards/qualifications

Unlike other output based fields such as architecture and engineering, there is no universally recognised UXUI qualification that sets standards for how we output our work. If you asked two architects to create an architectural drawing, whilst they may not be identical in layout, you can be sure that they will have all the common standards met within their output.

The lack of industry standard or universally recognised credentials means that there is no standardisation or consistency in the skills and knowledge of designers. This can make it challenging for companies to evaluate candidates and hire the right talent.

Oversaturation in online courses

Another key cause of this oversaturation is the rise of online courses and bootcamps, that promise to teach anyone the skills they need to become a UXUI designer. For example, courses provided by maven, udemy, and careerfoundry, are much cheaper than a university degree, and can be great for learning the basics of designs but they often lack the depth and rigour of an accredited design education. Having taught at General Assembly, Skills Union and Ravensbourne University, I know that the difference in materials between these courses are vast. This has led to a flood of inexperienced designers with varying level of skills, who lack the knowledge and experience necessary to produce effective work.

Whilst there are no officially accredited or universally recognised qualifications in the UXUI field, there are some that holds better weight than others. For example: Interaction Design Foundation, Nielsen Norman Group, General Assembly and the UX Design Institute, their programs are more widely recognised by the industry and provide a deeper level of learning.

Improving the industry

So, what can be done to address the low quality of output in the current UXUI industry? One solution is for clients to be more discerning when selecting a designer or agency. They should look for designers with solid portfolios who can demonstrate that their designs have succeeded in real-life application.

Finally, it is up to individual designers to take responsibility for their own education and development. In an ever developing industry, designers should continue to learn throughout their careers, rather than becoming complacent with their current level of skill.

What can employers do?

The oversaturation of the UXUI industry with low-skilled designers is a problem that needs to be addressed. It harms both clients and the industry as a whole, and leads to a devaluation of the work that designers are producing. As there are no globally recognised accreditations within the UXUI industry, design leaders need to start defining internal standards within organisations, to establish a level of consistency that the design team must meet. Otherwise the level of discrepancy will continue grow.

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