However, UX Designers don’t work in a vacuum. A big part of being a UX Designer is working with developers, business analysts, marketing folks, and business leaders to create a product that satisfies everyone and still prioritizes the user. Understanding a little bit of these UX-adjacent disciplines can help you not only endear yourself to your colleagues but also actively collaborate with them to produce better work yourself. Displaying this knowledge on your resume shows that you care about other parts of the business and their needs, and you’re able to speak their language to make the most of both of your expertise.

Here are the three best non-UX certifications and specializations to level up your UX resume, help you collaborate with other disciplines, and, of course, be a better designer for your users.

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#1 Web Accessibility Specialist Certification

Offered by:
International Association of Accessibility Professionals
(prep course by Deque University)

What it is

The Web Accessibility Specialist Certification is a “technical-level credential intended for accessibility professionals who are expected to evaluate the accessibility of existing content or objects according to published technical standards and guidelines and provide detailed remediation recommendations” (IAAP). It is offered by the International Association of Accessibility Professionals and certifies competency in a technical understanding of how to design, implement, and test for accessibility. Though you won’t need to know how to code to pass this exam, you should have a basic understanding of how HTML, CSS, and Javascript work, and be able to identify problems in the code.

Why it’s important

Understanding how to design accessible experiences is fundamental to UX design. Outside of making sure your designs don’t break any accessibility requirements, the accessible experience of your product should be designed as intentionally as all other parts of the design. For example, what is the experience someone who uses a screen reader has when coming to your site? Is it easy to use and navigate? These experiences need to be designed too. If you’re in charge of putting together a design system, you’ll certainly want to make sure all of your colors have proper contrast, your components are operable by keyboard and make sense to screen readers, and you aren’t building any patterns that would be difficult to navigate from an accessibility perspective.

How to sell it

Adding this certification to your resume means by hiring you, your future employer is getting two for one — UX Designer and Accessibility Specialist. It also means you can certify you are not adding any technical debt by building experiences or systems that have not been vetted for accessibility, which will later need to be fixed. With over 11,000 web accessibility lawsuits filed in 2019 and the associated costs and fees reaching over a million dollars for some companies, building an accessible experience will absolutely save the company money. Plus, it’s the responsible thing to do.

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#2 Google Analytics Certification

Offered by:
Google Analytics Academy

What it is

The Beginner and Advanced Google Analytics certifications will show you how to get set up, view reports, build and manage campaigns, and analyze data in Google Analytics. The course covers each section of the dashboard and its basic capabilities, as well as details on how to use some of the advanced features. By the end, you should understand how to navigate the dashboard, find useful data, and create campaigns.

Why it‘s important

It’s almost guaranteed the company you work for will use Google Analytics. In large companies, there may be a whole analytics team. In smaller companies, it may be managed by one person or several people with different job titles. As a UX Designer, you will need the insights from this data to inform your designs. Knowing the capabilities of Google Analytics will help you in either requesting or finding data from the dashboard or, if you’re able to, setting up your own analytics campaigns to test designs and learn about your users.

How to sell it

For small companies, you can sell your Google Analytics fluency as an extra service, highlighting how you are able to independently draw insights from the data to inform your designs. For larger companies, understanding Google Analytics will allow you to collaborate effectively with the Analytics team to produce data-driven design, which the business will love. Working closely with Analytics, you can also ensure there is analytics available for parts of the experience that you as a designer would like data on. That way, the data analyzed doesn’t speak only to the Marketing’s points of interest, but also to points of interest in the user experience.

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#3 SEO Optimization Specialization

Offered by:
UC Davis + Coursera

What it is

This specialization covers the fundamentals and history of SEO, how Google’s ranking algorithm works, specific tactics to analyze and optimize a site for SEO, and how to develop a complete SEO strategy for a website. The paid course includes in-depth assignments where you’ll analyze an existing website and culminates in a report-style final project where you’ll design a comprehensive strategy and specific recommendations to improve your chosen site’s search rankings.

Why it’s important

SEO affects the information architecture of a site, headings and content, page linking, and code semantics. All of these things affect UX as well. By understanding SEO concepts, you can design solutions that harmonize with SEO strategies from the beginning, instead of going against them and creating conflict or re-work once Marketing gets involved. Also, many SEO strategies align with ADA best practices, including proper use of headings and alt text. If you’re having trouble getting buy-in for ADA compliance in your org, being able to reframe these best practices as SEO wins can help get buy-in since SEO is often more quantifiable and easily linked to business goals.

How to sell it

As someone who understands how to build a site for SEO, you can make recommendations for information architecture, content, and navigation that not only create a good user experience but also result in high organic search traffic for your site. That’s another two-for-one! Understanding SEO will also help you communicate with Marketing and Business folks who have these priorities in mind. At a smaller company, you may even be able to sell your SEO knowledge as an extra service you provide, if the company doesn’t already have a specialist.

I hope this list has inspired you to consider some certifications outside of UX to add to your skillset.

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