User-focused vs technology-focused
A large part of your job as a web designer is spent on catching up on the latest developments in HTML, CSS and other coding languages—all of which change and improve at a dizzying pace. Which browsers support what versions of CSS? Would CSS animations work in Safari on a Mac? Don’t even get me started on Internet Explorer (thank God is out)! These might be a few questions (and frustrations) that are constantly on your mind as a web designer.
But UX design isn’t concerned with technology. Instead, its focus is centered squarely on users—technology is only a means for users to get what they need. Only by focusing on users can UX designers create solutions that cater to the specific needs they have, and ultimately, that users will be willing to pay for. UX designers do extensive user research to find out the most they can about their users, most of which the majority of web designers wouldn’t have had the chance to perform.
UX is more than the web
UX design is platform independent. Its principles and processes are applied to many diverse areas outside of web browsers: on mobile apps, desktop software, and even hardware products and retail spaces. On the other hand, the domain of web design is strictly tied to web browsers. This means that UX designers are able to find job opportunities not only in up-and-rising fields like tech startups, but also in mature and stable industries like car manufacturers. As long as there’s a product, there’s a need for UX—and this really opens up your world of opportunities.