State of UX in Jamaica

The State of UX is Jamaica’s first-ever report on the local User Experience design industry. An initiative of the UX Designer Network JA, this report unpacks findings from a survey with 45 practicing designers and interviews with 8 leaders in business and design. Throughout the report, we will discuss discoveries related to the talent pool and skill level, hiring practices, business practices, challenges and opportunities in the local space. We hope that you will find real, tangible value from this report. More importantly, we hope that you will find at least one reason to become a UX champion.

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Key Findings
Demand for UX is rising

We’re starting to see more UX designer roles but the job descriptions are obscure and misaligned. Employers understand UX as graphic design and front-end development work. Still, the demand for designers is not expected to slow down.

UX maturity is low

Businesses understand that UX is important, but do not embrace it at the strategic level. Only 13% of designers are in decision-making positions. UX teams are small and overwhelmed. UX research is generally not prioritised or practised and UX is still considered a “nice-to-have”.

The talent pool is young and eager

The majority of local UX designers are self-taught with less than 3 years of experience. Their strongest skill set is UI design, while UX research and strategy are the largest skill gaps. 49% intend to upskill in these areas by 2022.

Proving design ROI is a challenge

UX is not seen as a driver of the bottom line. It is viewed mainly as a tool for aesthetics. Designers are struggling to gain stakeholder support as well as adequate budget and resources. To move the industry forward, designers will need to demonstrate the value of design in "dollars and sense."

The Business of UX

The Digital Shift

Jamaica’s business landscape has drastically shifted over the last few years. Accelerated by the realities of the pandemic, digital transformation has become the new mandate for companies who are seeking to remain relevant and competitive. In fact, the Digicel Group recently conducted a study of 1900 businesses across Jamaica and the Caribbean which revealed that:

  • 85% of businesses say that COVID-19 has accelerated their digital strategy.
  • 49% say they did not have a digital strategy before COVID-19.

This digital shift was the catalyst for the introduction of user experience design as a practice in Jamaica. As companies invested in more technology, they started to realise gaps in their digital experiences that resulted in issues such as low uptake or increasing customer complaints.

The Digital Shift

Small businesses are leveraging digital channels to expand their reach and build their customer base. Corporate entities have also started to face competition from international players who prioritise  great digital experiences. While business leaders may not yet fully understand the practice of UX Design, they know it’s important, at least from a visual design perspective, to help them remain competitive and relevant to their customers. 

Tech has democratised business - smaller companies are now able to offer services and gain traction digitally. With more players in the market, consumers have more choices. They can compare which experiences feel better and, they do.

- David Soutar, Principal - Slashroots Foundation

UX Design doesn't have a "seat at the table"... yet.

Only 13% of designers reported that they are in managerial or leadership positions. 67% of designers indicated that their organizations do not currently have career paths for UX professionals to progress to management or leadership positions.

Having support and representation at the decision-making level will be critical to the advancement of UX maturity within local organizations. Designers, at every level, will have to learn how to communicate and demonstrate  value to business. UX Design work will have to become more strategic and impactful to both customers and to the business in order to earn a seat at the decision-making table.

In a relatively young UX market like ours, UX design must be championed on a strategic level and not just a tactical level for it to have the kind of impact it has the potential to have.

- Denique Soutar, Senior Service Designer - Slashroots

UX Design doesn't have a seat at "the table"... yet.
reported that they are in managerial or leadership positions.
indicated that their organizations do not currently have career paths for UX professionals to progress to management or leadership positions
Most design teams today are small and loosely structured.
  • (51%) of teams have two (2) to five (5) members.
  • 31% of teams only have one (1) designer.
Pie chart - How many designers are on your team

Based on our survey results, larger teams (6 or more members) tend to have greater hierarchal structure and more straightforward reporting structure. All teams of this size have design managers to whom they report.

We found that smaller teams (5 members or less) tend to be more cross-functional with a less transparent reporting structure. Most do not have a design leader but typically rely on Product Managers, Tech Leaders, Business managers or Executives for leadership. In the rare situations where design leaders are on these teams, they are usually heavily involved in the day-to-day design process instead of the expected priorities of UX strategy and design leadership.

In startup and agency environments, design teams are usually made of up 1-2 designers who are expected to own all aspects of the design process. These teams operate in a more flat structure and usually report directly to the founder or CEO.

Lack of stakeholder support and limited resources are the top challenges designers are facing in their organizations today.
  • 33% of designers indicated that they struggle with gaining stakeholder support and sufficient budget to perform their role.
  • 20% felt lack of research support was a major challenge.
  • 8% indicated they had resource/team constraints.
  • 6% had difficulties with accessing design tools and software.

What's behind these challenges?

UX may not be seen as a driver of the bottom line. With limited awareness of UX design and the newness of the field, it is possible that business leaders are not yet seeing the Return on Investment (ROI) of UX.

To change this perception of UX as a "nice-to-have" and boost investment, designers will need to build trust and confidence by delivering impactful and quantifiable results. This means going beyond great screens to demonstrating measurable value in areas like customer conversion, process efficiency, brand loyalty and cost savings.

mentioned lack of research support or participant recruitment as their biggest challenge.
said their organization did not have a streamlined research process.
of designers spent little to no time on UX Research.
produce research reports as a key deliverable.
UX research is "out of scope" for most businesses…

These findings indicate that UX research is not on the radar for most companies.

Yet, when asked if their organization used UX research to determine product direction and changes, 52% responded " I agree.

This shows a high degree of dissonance between what is actually done in practice and what designers believe to be true. The data suggests that research is not a frequent nor prioritised activity. Product direction cannot be guided by research, if little to no research is done.  This disparity may warrant further research in a future study.

...but why?

The gap in research may be a result of several factors, one of which is the nature of product development processes within Jamaican businesses. Traditionally, product cycles have focused on building ideas according to business and technical requirements, excluding user input until the product is released.

Despite more local companies switching to the agile methodology which prioritises customer collaboration, research continues to be neglected. This may be because of the mistaken perception that Agile's core model is to push out products "faster" rather than deliver value incrementally. From this viewpoint, research may seem like a blocker because it is time-intensive and requires dedicated resources.

Design managers shared that it is difficult to get stakeholder buy-in for research because it may extend product cycles and result in higher upfront costs.

...Here's why

In cases where some research is done, managers also mentioned that the depth and breadth of research is often compromised because timelines are already tight and were not designed to accommodate research activities.

“It's easy to get buy-in for surveys - they are quick, easy and familiar. It's much harder to push more qualitative research because that takes "too much" time which can be a harder sell.

- Brittney Samuels, Design Manager, Sagicor

What do businesses expect designers to deliver?
Short answer: "nice" screens

Visual Mockups and  Interactive Prototypes accounted for the top deliverables designers are expected to produce within their organizations.

This does not come as a surprise since UX design is mainly understood as a practice for enhancing the aesthetics of a product.

As such, most UX deliverables such as research reports, UX copy and UX strategy, which are at the crux of creating meaningful and enjoyable experiences for users, fall at the very bottom of the list of priorities.

UX is viewed as just a tool for aesthetics, not a discipline for problem-solving.

- Denique Soutar

Bar chart showing responses to "what are key design deliverables you are expected to produce"
Where do businesses fall on the UX maturity scale?

The majority of respondents (40%) indicated that their organization was at the emergent stage of UX maturity. This means that “their organisation currently exhibits UX work in more teams, engage in some UX-related planning, and may have UX budgets.” Neilsen/Norman, 2021

The downside of this maturity stage, however, is that there typically isn't enough research or stakeholder support to build systematic UX processes or enough designers on the team with specific skill sets to meet project demands. UX design is also not prioritised as essential to the business even though some leaders recognize that it is important to consider. This aligns with the challenges mentioned by designers throughout our research.

Interestingly, 24% of respondents, majority of whom work in  design agencies and tech companies, identified their company as structured despite the lack of user research and lack of organised team structures and processes.

We may be able to attribute this disparity to a lack of awareness of the suite of factors that determine the UX maturity of organizations or the desire to paint their organization in a more favourable light.

Bar chart " How would you describe the UX maturity level in your organization
*Read more on UX Maturity
Local development agencies view good UX design as a competitive advantage.

Business leaders in startups and agencies say that offering design services and having a record of delivering great UI provides a distinct advantage, allowing them to increase the price point for their services.

CEO of local digital agency, One Great Studio, Djuvane Browne, pointed out that:

For us, great design leads to more work in the future. People can appreciate great design because it improves their overall experience. Many development agencies don't deliver great design, so we see great design as a competitive advantage.

David Bain, CEO of Incrementic, a business design agency, echoed these sentiments, sharing that a design-focused approach has helped to raise the value of his company in the market. His firm leverages the design sprint methodology to help businesses test the viability of new projects or ideas before making significant investments.

Local development agencies view good UX design as a competitive advantage.

Despite this perceived value of design among agency leaders, there is still a gap in actually tracking and measuring the ROI of UX design. Without solid analytics and the ability to break down UX impact in numeric value, it is harder for design to be accepted as strategic. This may limit the level of investment clients are willing to make.


of designers surveyed were unable to state concrete UX metrics that are tracked to determine design impact and effectiveness in their organization.

“I think design is viewed as too subjective...so we don't appreciate the fact that there are ways to measure it.

- David Bain, CEO - Incrementic

Hiring Practices & The Job Market

Over the last few years, we've seen a significant increase in the number of advertised job opportunities for UX professionals.

This new demand for designers has brought its own set of challenges that may seem daunting, but are not uncommon for a newly introduced career field.

UX as a discipline is misunderstood. UX role requirements are murky at best and job descriptions often seem like a shot in the dark. Companies don't seem sure about what or who they're looking for and designers are still trying to establish their place and value.

UX Design is kind of like a secret at the moment. Designers are regularly trying to sell good designs. Once business leaders understand what design is about and start to look beyond visual design, we'll reach the turnover point where UX jobs become as popular as something like software development.

- Evon Binns, Head of Product Design, Smart Mobile

Employers view UX designers as graphic designers with front-end development skills.

Based on our study of local UX job postings over the last year, we've seen where most local employers require candidates to hold a Computer Science degree.

It is also extremely common for job descriptions to list coding skills and development experience as minimum qualification requirements. There is a general expectation that designers will not only design the visual interface of the product but also implement it.

Additionally, some roles have the added responsibility of a graphic designer, requiring candidates to own the creation of the company’s marketing and brand assets.

The most common job title for a UX practitioner in Jamaica is "UI/UX Designer"
Pie chart showing results for "What is your current job title?"

The "UI/UX" job title combines what are technically two separate roles - “UX designer” and “UI designer”.  However, this is not unique to Jamaica. In several markets across the world, designers are still advocating for the separation of these two vastly different roles.

The combination of these roles locally is an indication of 2 possible gaps:

  1. A lack of understanding among organizations of the varying roles, responsibilities and specialties within the field. User experience is still largely seen as just creating the user interface or the visual components of a product. Since research, strategy and product validation are not seen as UX responsibilities, it is harder for employers to see the value in having a UX designer role separate from a UI designer.
  2. Given the low maturity of the UX discipline in Jamaica, companies are not yet convinced of the value of investing in a complete UX design team with members of varying skills and specialties. They are looking for a jack/jill of all trades.
Large financial companies are the top employers of UX designers.

40% of designers indicated that they work for a financial company while 31% work for tech companies.

60% of designers also work in-house for corporate entities.

Design agencies are emerging as employers at 11% of the market alongside startups and freelancing that tie at 8%.

Creative Director for VM Group, Jason Salmon, mentioned that in companies that outsource most of their product development, there are typically no in-house UX designers. In this situation, graphic designers are often expected to play the role of UX designers as needed.

How are these salaries determined?

41% of UX designers with less than 3 years of experience earn 1 - 2.9 million. While salaries seem to increase in tandem with experience, our findings indicate that UX Salaries are not standardised. There are wide pay gaps and inconsistencies at all levels of experience (see figure below).

We have also found that there is no linear relationship between education and salary. This is likely because having a Bachelor's degree is a minimum requirement for roles and most designers have not invested in advanced design education, whether through graduate degrees or professional certifications, to create a competitive advantage.

How are these salaries determined?

Poor  standardisation of UX salaries may also be attributed to the factors below:

  1. UX roles are new to most companies. There are no established pay scales for designers in Jamaica or the Caribbean for companies to reference. Companies seem to be pulling numbers out of a hat and seeing what sticks.
  2. Culturally, there is a lack of transparency around salary so designers don't know how to navigate salary negotiations.
  3. There are no reliable salary data sources locally to indicate standard or fair salaries for designers at different levels of job experience.
Bar chart showing relationship between salary and years of experience.
What are design managers looking for when hiring?

In our current landscape where few designers are in senior and managerial positions, hiring decisions are often made without the input of a UX design professional. However, among the small group of design managers, there is a consensus about what separates an average designer from an outstanding one.

Here are the top 5 qualities design managers are looking for in design hires:

  1. Fundamental understanding of UX practices and principles
  2. Well-rounded designers who have a good balance of visual communication skills along with research and strategy skills
  3. A user-focused mindset that prioritises understanding users and collaborating with them to create solutions
  4. A good grasp of the critical thinking and data-driven approaches to problem-solving
  5. The ability to justify and articulate design decisions
I need mid-level or senior designers because we need to hit the ground running now. The demand is high...We don't have the time or resources to train juniors right now.

- Brittney Samuels

What are the top challenges designers face in navigating the local job market?
say UX roles are misunderstood.
say job responsibilities were too broad in scope.
say job opportunities are limited.
say compensation packages are unattractive.

Other challenges mentioned were unrealistic experience requirements ( 13%) and extensive skill requirements (7%)

Talent Pool

Most UX designers are self-taught.

There are very few designers locally who completed academic programs in UX design. Only 33% of respondents indicated that they hold any design certifications.

So how are designers learning their craft?

It seems that many designers are relying on transferable skills from their previous field of study or job experience or are simply learning on the job. The lack of formal training and exposure to international design standards may pose a threat to the evolution of our  UX landscape.

Most designers are pretty new to the field, with less than 3 years of experience.

68% of designers have been practising design for 3 years or less.

These findings are not surprising considering UX design is a new discipline in Jamaica. We can also assume that many persons are including their transferable experience from other careers as a factor in defining their years of experience. For example, we have found that generally, persons who come from a graphic design background tend to include this as a part of the UX design experience because of similarities in the visual design skillset.

What is interesting, however, is that most persons with under 3 years of experience classify themselves as mid-level designers and not juniors. Typically, the level of experience is determined by years but this finding indicates that designers are considering factors beyond years of experience as a measure of their competence and ranking.

What are the top skills among designers?

We asked designers what they considered to be their top design skills. Visual design was the most popular response.

Bar chart showing results "What are your top skills?"

This is consistent with our finding that designers are mainly required to produce visual assets as deliverables.

At the other end of the spectrum, UX skills such as user research, writing and strategy were the least popular skills.

Designers seem to be either aligning their design skills based on market demand or picking jobs based on their highest competence.

30% of designers want to build their skills in UX research for 2022. 

UX Research was selected as the most desired skill for development among designers.

UX Writing, UX Strategy and Visual Design were also highly desirable, with 19% looking to improve their skills in each of those areas.

This could indicate a shift for designers from focusing on visually appealing design toward more data-driven design approach that prioritises solving problems for users.

What are designers spending most of their time on?

We asked designers to rank common design activities based on how much time they dedicated to each.

Designers are dedicating 50% or more their time to:

  • UI Design
  • Design revisions
  • User flows
  • Design handoffs

Most designers are spending little to no time on:

  • User Research/Testing
  • UX Strategy
  • Discovery Sessions
  • Design Operations
  • Information Architecture
  • Ideation
  • UX Writing
What are designers spending most of their time on?

Designers are investing the majority of their time on visual design, possibly because UX is misconstrued as just designing an interface.

If businesses expect that the output of UX will always be visual, then designers may be pushed into a box of dedicating their efforts mainly to visual deliverables. This simply means that other essential UX activities are put on the back-burner.

This begs the question, how can designers be able to truly deliver a great user experience if critical elements such as UX research and strategy are constantly neglected? What is being used to inform visual design?

It's easy to find someone to make something ‘pretty’, it's hard to find someone to make something that works.

- David Soutar

This is the sentiment shared among design managers when asked to comment on what they thought were the biggest skill gaps among local designers.

The top 5 skill gaps highlighted were:

  1. UX research - Designers aren't skilled in strategically executing research and using data to support their design choices.
  2. User-focused design practices - Designers are not taking the time to understand the users they are designing for.
  3. Poor communication skills - Designers are having a hard time articulating design decisions to get buy-in from various stakeholders or to influence product direction.
  4. Lack of critical analysis - Designers are great at copying common UI patterns but seem less adept at analysing why an existing design solution works and how to apply it within the context of the specific problem they are solving.
  5. Missing business acumen - Designers aren't leaning into the business value of design. More designers need to learn how to speak the language of decision-makers by discussing the ROI  of design and its impact on company strategy.
How can designers upskill?

Designers will have to look outside of Jamaica to find training opportunities, at least for now. There are currently no dedicated UX design degree programs at any of Jamaica's universities.

The Digital Media Production programme at UWI is the only known undergraduate programme with a UX component.

Internationally, there are few avenues that designers can consider based on where they are in their UX career journey. Designers should consider their skill level, skill gaps and preferred learning styles among other factors before choosing a path. Here are some options:

  1. International degree programs
  2. Formal online certifications
  3. Volunteer experience
  4. Mentorship
  5. Professional associations
The best UX training available is not free. For me, what stands out in a designer is their desire to improve their craft. Persons who pay out of pocket to upskill will immediately get my attention.

- Kori Solomon, UI/UX Design Lead, NCB

Top Challenges in Our Industry

Broken experiences from brick-and-mortar businesses are being replicated in digital products.   

As a part of their digital transformation journey, companies are pushing to digitize as many of their product and service offerings as possible. 

While this investment in digital technology is well-intentioned, more often than not, companies miss out on a key part of the transformation process - understanding the problems to be solved.

True digital transformation requires taking a step back to assess existing processes and to understand the current customer experience. By doing this, companies can then identify gaps and real pain points that technology can resolve.

Unfortunately, the trend we have seen in Jamaica is that technology itself is expected to be the entire solution without much modification to the product/service or the supporting processes.

Broken experiences from businesses are being replicated in digital products

It is not uncommon to hear these digitization efforts being publicised as a move towards improved user or customer experience but in reality, UX seems to be a buzzword riding on the tailwind of "digital transformation."

Many digital experiences are just replicas of the existing broken processes and business frameworks that are neither customer-centric nor efficient. There is a great investment in sophisticated and polished UI while the usability and utility of products suffer.

A lot of times, companies make product decisions because 'everybody else is doing it this way' and not based on what would bring success in the specific situation or context.

- David Bain

We need designers who are able to go beyond the pixels.

Our findings on design skills show that as a design community, we have a lot to learn. Great visual design skills are not nearly enough if the discipline is to evolve. Skills in UX research, strategy and design articulation will need to become the standard for a designer and not the exception.

Designers need to sharpen their business acumen, build critical thinking skills and develop a strategic, data-driven mindset.

The skillset here [in Jamaica] might not be mature enough yet to be able to convincingly demonstrate value to decision-makers, such that they are willing to take the risks necessary to drive UX forward

- Design leader*

There are big gaps to fill in UX design training methods.

Currently, design is emerging from the bottom-up in local organizations. This means that in most cases, junior designers may need to lead the UX charge in their organizations. Unfortunately, there are not enough senior designers to mentor and guide these young designers.

Design leaders agree that considering the low level of experience and exposure of most designers in Jamaica, formalised training such as degree programmes and professional certifications will need to be seriously considered.

In other words, one-time courses cannot adequately prepare new designers to carry out the mandate of increasing UX maturity.

There are big gaps to fill in how persons are being trained in UX design

Degree programs are one of the best educational tools for exposing persons to fundamental design theory and its application as well as building other essential skills such as research, human psychology and critical thinking. This multidisciplinary approach is necessary for building well-rounded designers.

Otherwise, designers will need to proactively and continuously seek to build the additional skills and theoretical understanding that bootcamps and short courses are simply not able to teach effectively. Hopefully, we will soon start to see degree programs and certifications being offered by established institutions.

In the meantime, Senior Service Designer, Denique Soutar recommends that designer begin to look for degree offerings online and in other countries as well as seeking to be exposed to practices in developed markets through internships, volunteer experiences and professional associations.

Design is not research-driven.

Our findings show that designers are not using data to make informed design decisions. This suggests that they may be taking cookie-cutter design patterns and applying them indiscriminately to the product or experience they are designing.

In doing so, businesses are missing out on creating products with great experiences that encourage usage and customer loyalty. Lack of research also increases the chances of building the wrong product which can cause significant financial loss.

A research-driven approach to design is not only cheaper in the long run, but is also critical to ensuring product success. To maximise product value, companies must start to invest in research at every stage of the development process from concept to execution to implementation.

The only way to design something that will make a difference in customers' lives is by understanding the people you're designing for and the only way to understand them is to do research.

- David Soutar

Businesses aren't clear on the tangible value of design. We must advocate for users while meeting business KPIs.

Incorporating UX practices into an organization is no easy feat. For business leaders to make the necessary investments, they must be able to see the value of design in "dollars and sense." We are at a pivotal point in our UX journey in Jamaica, where designers must begin to understand and speak the language of business. How we communicate design must shift from reports on UI changes to balanced discussions about how design decisions support business goals while serving customer needs.

Changing the conversation around design will require a greater focus on the widespread education of stakeholders on UX design. Designers will have to first educate themselves, and then commit to spreading awareness at all levels of the organization.

The commercial benefits have been proven in other markets:

  • Every $1 invested in UX brings $100 in return (Forrester 2016)
  • Businesses that embrace design, generate 32% more revenue, and 56% more shareholder returns, on average (Mckinsey 2018)
Businesses aren't clear on the tangible value of design. We must advocate for users while meeting business KPIs.

Similarly, in the Jamaican market, we will need to start aligning design impact with these commercial benefits in order to change the narrative of design.

It is important for designers to recognize that their main goal is to solve a problem. Designers must be able to understand the business case for products and translate that into a solution through their design.

- Djuvane Browne, CEO - One Great Studio

It's one thing to say we should change [ a design] because the users say we should but what about the effects on the business? How can we prove this will have an impact on the business? What kind of return can the business expect? This is important in communicating with business leaders.

- Brittney Samuels

Limited access to digital financial services and restrictive regulations threatens the growth of the digital economy.

Lack of access to financial services is one of Jamaica's biggest challenges. A significant portion of our population is unbanked or underbanked. Most Jamaicans prefer to use cash, rendering our financial systems highly informal.

“50% of Jamaicans either do not trust the government or financial institutions, or are at best neutral towards them, impacting the usage of formal [banking.]”

- CAPRI 2022 "Cheque in- Increasing access to the formal financial system"

It is no secret that financial regulations and legislation have been restrictive at best, limiting the level of innovation within the fintech space. While there have been recent moves to introduce digital options, there are still significant challenges in areas such as digital payments, identity verification and fraud prevention that create significant blockers to the growth of the digital economy.

As pointed out by David Soutar, the lack of access to digital financial products, especially payments, will impede how quickly UX design as a discipline can grow.

“Distrust in government and financial institutions, a preference for the tangibility and untraceability of cash and limited access to the internet, particularly among the low-income population, limit further take-up of digital payments.”

- CAPRI 2022 "Cheque in- Increasing access to the formal financial system"

Future Outlook

Building confidence and trust in digital experiences through better design

There is a high level of scepticism and mistrust around Jamaican-built digital products. Low digital literacy levels, political corruption and high levels of scamming as well as a deep-rooted mistrust of financial institutions could potentially account for this lack of trust in technology. 

Over the next few years, as a design community, we will have to play our part in building user trust. We need to spend more time with the audiences we design for, inviting user input as early and as often as possible. This will help us to understand and account for the cultural and psychological factors that influence digital usage within our design.

Transparency, security and accessibility should become priorities in our design process. Communicating trustworthiness through our design will also be critical. This includes maintaining high quality and consistent experiences and avoiding intentionally misleading UI patterns (deceptive patterns).

Building confidence and trust in digital experiences

If we are diligent as designers in following user-centered design best practices, we will see more consumers having confidence in digital and wishing to do business online.

There are so many opportunities to improve UX in Jamaica. As a community, we have to identify these areas where design needs are unmet, present our value and leverage these possibilities.

- Kori Solomon

I don't expect the demand for designers to slow down any time soon.

- Denique Soutar

Once companies can start to see the value of design, there will be an even higher demand for designers. At this moment, it is up to designers who are currently occupying roles to set the precedent for good UX design practices and open the door for aspiring designers.

We look forward to well-defined and specialised roles

We anticipate that as design teams grow, more specialised roles will start to emerge. This aligns with the direction of growth we’ve seen in the international market. UI/UX designers will start to transition to UI designers and UX designers operating separately. We also hope to see even more specialised roles such as UX researchers, UX writers and interaction designers start to gain traction.

This also means that roles and responsibilities for designers will be more specific, allowing each designer to hone their specialty and deliver at the highest level.

Greater pay transparency, more standardised pay scale.

The issue of salary transparency and standardisation is not unique to the field of UX design in Jamaica. However, through coordinated efforts such as this report, we hope to bring to light the significant pay gaps in the industry.

With greater transparency, designers will be better equipped to identify if they are being underpaid and have the data to aid in their negotiations for fair compensation.

More UX champions in the decision-making seats

33% of designers indicated that they have the opportunity within their organizations to progress into management or C-suite positions (see figure below). The future seems promising for more leadership positions in UX to emerge in the next few years. In the meantime, we hope designers will find allies within their companies to  advocate for organization-wide adoption of UX best practices.

I hope to see more people at the executive level advocating for UX. This is what is needed to transition to a more mature UX discipline.

- Brittney Samuels

Bar chart showing results for "What is the highest level designers can progress to in your organization?"
Designing for Social impact

In a developing country like Jamaica, there are endless opportunities to use design as a tool for creating change that empowers the marginalised and the voiceless.

Founder of local social impact design foundation, David Soutar, shared that he hopes to see more designers taking on the responsibility of tackling complex social issues in Jamaica such as financial exclusion, poverty and education.

As a community, we look forward to more designers really listening to the needs of our population and using design to create opportunities for the disenfranchised.

Design for Social impact
Technology can be a great enabler; it can also widen inequality gaps. Depending on how a service is designed, you can continue to enable those who have agency and means and alienate those who don't.

- David Soutar

Designers will become more exposed to international standards and learn to adapt them to our local context
I hope we will get to the place where we can remix what we're learning from more advanced markets such as the US and Europe and use that to create practices that work for the Jamaican space.

- Design Leader*

Designers will become more exposed to international standards and learn to adapt them to our local context
I'm looking forward to Jamaicans creating more products that meet international standards. Good typography, clean designs, responsive designs, accessible websites are things I want to see in the Jamaican market.

- Evon Binns

Tying it all together

If you got to the end of this report, we are your biggest fans. Thanks for taking the time out to read it all.  Please remember to share this report with everyone you think would benefit.

It has been quite a whirlwind for the UX/UI Designer Network Jamaica. We started in 2020 with a desire to build a community of designers and strengthen the  UX design industry in Jamaica.

Here we are, 2 years later, publishing the first-ever report on UX design in Jamaica. This was no small undertaking but we know that the most critical element in moving our industry forward is knowledge.  We hope this report provided you with actionable insights to help in your own endeavours, whether that is securing greater buy-in for UX, becoming the first UX advocate for your organization or navigating your way to being a better designer. If nothing else, we hope this opens the door to having honest conversations about where we are and the work we need to do as a community to take our practice to the next level.

We’re grateful for the opportunity to be a part of such a pivotal period in Jamaica’s UX design history. We couldn’t have done it without the support of all the persons who took our survey or set time aside in their calendars to talk to us.   We’re super excited about where UX design is headed in Jamaica and we hope you’ll stick along for the ride!

If you are a designer or just super interested in the field, we invite you to join our community on Linkedin.

Our Team

Janice Alexander

Founder, Communications

Brittney Samuels

Event Manager

Je Yeon Kim

Branding & Graphics

Profile picture: Chevon Williams

Chevon Williams

Membership Manager

Shakeane Hinds

Community Manager

Special Thanks

Kori Solomon

UI/UX Design Lead,  NCB

Jason Salmon

Creative Director, VM Group

David Soutar

CoFounder & Principal, SlashRoots Foundation

Evon Binns

Head of Product Design, Smart Mobile Solutions Jamaica Ltd

Djuvane Brown

CEO, One Great Studio

David Bain

Co-founder, Incrementic

Brittney Samuels

UX Manager, Sagicor

Denique Soutar

Senior Service Designer, SlashRoots Foundation

Glossary of Terms

User Experience Designer (UX Designer) - A UX designer is concerned with the entire process of acquiring and integrating a product, including aspects of branding, design, usability and function. - Interaction Design Foundation.

Return on Investment (ROI) - Return on Investment (ROI) is a performance measure used to evaluate the efficiency or profitability of an investment or compare the efficiency of a number of different investments. - Investopedia

Agile - Agile is an iterative approach to project management and software development that helps teams deliver value to their customers faster. - Atlassian

Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) - A non-disclosure agreement is a legally binding contract that establishes a confidential relationship. The party or parties signing  the agreement agree that sensitive information they may obtain will not  be made available to any others. An NDA may also be referred to as a  confidentiality agreement. - Investopedia

UX Maturity - UX maturity measures an organization’s desire and ability to successfully deliver user-centered design. It encompasses the quality and consistency of research and design  processes, resources, tools, and operations, as well as the  organization’s propensity to support and strengthen UX now and in the  future, through its leadership, workforce, and culture. - Nielsen Norman Group

Minimum Viable Product (MVP) - A minimum viable product, or MVP, is a product with enough features to attract early-adopter customers and validate a product idea early in the  product development cycle. - ProductPlan

Micro- management - Micro-management is to try to control or manage all the small parts of (something, such as an activity) in a way that is usually not wanted  or that causes problems - Britannica.

UX Strategy - A user experience (UX) strategy is a plan that aligns UX goals with the product and organization. It defines how  the organization wants its customers to experience brand and product  interactions, so UX designers always consider the business strategy and  its users when making decisions. - UXPin.

User Research - User research focuses on understanding user behaviors, needs, and motivations through observation techniques, task analysis, and other  feedback methodologies. - Usability.gov

Information Architecture - Information architecture (IA) focuses on organizing, structuring, and labeling content in an effective and sustainable way.  The goal is to  help users find information and complete tasks. - Usability.gov

Personas - Personas are fictional characters, which you create based upon your research to  represent the different user types that might use your service, product,  site, or brand in a similar way. Creating personas will help you  understand your users’ needs, experiences, behaviors and goals. - Interaction Design Foundation.

Design Operations - DesignOps refers to the orchestration and optimization of people, processes, and craft in order to amplify design’s value and  impact at scale. - Nielsen Norman Group

User Flows - A user flow is a chart or diagram showing the path a user will take in an application to complete a task. - ProductPlan

Wireframes - Wireframing is a process where designers draw overviews of interactive products to establish the structure and flow of possible design  solutions. - Interaction Design Foundation.

UI Design - User interface (UI) design is the process designers use to build interfaces in software or computerized devices, focusing on looks or  style. - Interaction Design Foundation

Design System - A design system is a complete set of standards intended to manage design at scale using reusable components and patterns. - Nielsen Norman Group

Sitemaps - A sitemap is a diagrammatic representation of a hierarchical system. It usually depicts the parent-sibling relationship between pages in a  website, showing how sub pages might be arranged underneath their parent  groupings. - Every Interaction

Journey Maps - A journey map is a visualization of the process that a person goes through in order to accomplish a goal. - Nielsen Norman Group

Styleguides - Style Guide is a resource that contains the necessary details related to your product's user  interface, which ensures continuity throughout the product's design.  - Adobe

Visual mockups - mockups reflect the design choices for color schemes, layouts, typography, iconography, the visuals of  navigation, and the overall atmosphere of the product. - UXPin