UX/UI Designers in cybersecurity: An essential role for a safer digital world
February 21, 2023
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While most people associate cybersecurity solutions with complex code, it also involves a significant amount of design work. That's where UX/UI specialists come in. But exactly what role do these designers play in the cybersecurity field, and where can we see their impact?
To answer these questions, we talked to two UX/UI designers working at Nord Security, Teodora Žvilaitytė and Irma Škuratovaitė. They shared their experiences and some insights on their work in this challenging industry and how it feels to shape a quality user experience for the world’s fastest VPN. So, without further ado, let's dive in.
What makes working in the cybersecurity field exciting and fulfilling for you as a UX/UI designer?
Irma: It is really gratifying to know that I’m helping make the online world safer for millions of people across the globe. And it's even more rewarding to see that our hard work has been recognized by TIME magazine, which listed NordVPN as one of the best innovations of 2022.
While UX/UI design may not be the most crucial part of the product (the tech side is), it still plays an essential role in ensuring that the security features of NordVPN are accessible and user-friendly. This involves designing intuitive interfaces, clear instructions, and helpful features that guide users in managing their security settings.
Teodora: It's crazy how cyber threats are everywhere and can affect not just companies but also ordinary people, who often think they are too small to become a target of cybercriminals - but they’re not. Knowing this, I'm glad to work for NordVPN, securing people’s digital lives.
The fact that I’m playing an active role by creating a seamless, enjoyable experience, allowing NordVPN users to take control of their online security, is what makes my job so fulfilling. Seeing how much they appreciate and trust our product is incredibly inspiring, and it gives me a great sense of purpose that is hard to come by.
Skills needed to succeed
UX design is a broad field that covers many areas of expertise. What skills do you need to succeed as a UX pro?
Irma: To work at Nord Security, you need to have open-mindedness, communication, and presentation skills, along with problem-solving abilities. Being open to discussion, feedback, and different viewpoints will help you collaborate more effectively with stakeholders and cross-functional teams and create better design solutions.
Communication and presentation skills are essential for conveying ideas, preparing presentations, and ensuring that the design process runs smoothly. Problem-solving skills are crucial for empathizing with users and finding solutions to their pain points.
Teodora: Besides having strong communication skills, as Irma mentioned, you also need to have a keen attention to detail and a willingness to tackle problems creatively. As a UX/UI designer, you'll need to balance aesthetics with functionality and security, and sometimes combining these factors can be challenging.
Finally, since the cybersecurity field is constantly changing, you have to be prepared to work in a fast-paced and high-pressure environment, as designers often work on multiple projects and must meet tight deadlines.
Teodora: Figma will definitely be your major tool in this role, along with the web technologies that Irma mentioned. Besides that, knowledge of user experience (UX) design principles, including user research, information architecture, prototyping, and testing, is a must if you want to work in this role. If you'd like to learn more about what UX/UI designer's job looks like in the cybersecurity field, feel free to reach out to me on LinkedIn.
Irma: Once you join Nord Security, your professional growth will only accelerate. You'll have access to a supportive community of experts who are always willing to share their knowledge and wisdom. And our learning and development team is absolutely amazing! They provide us with a wide range of learning opportunities, from internal and external training to mentorship programs, workshops, and knowledge-sharing events.
All these resources help us stay up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies in the field and continuously improve our skills. It's inspiring to work for a company that truly invests in the growth and development of its team members.
What are the challenges of working as a UX/UI designer at Nord Security?
Irma: As a UX/UI designer on the conversion rate optimization (CRO) team, my main focus is on creating designs that convert. The team helps me to identify pain points, problems, and opportunities for improvement on our website. Based on that, I create wireframes and prototypes and design A/B test variations for our landing pages.
The biggest challenge in this role is to visually communicate and translate complex security concepts and product features into clear, intuitive, and user-friendly designs.
Teodora: Another challenge is ensuring that our products are accessible and easy to use for all users, including those with disabilities. This involves designing interfaces and user experiences in a way that meets accessibility standards and considers their special needs. By doing so, we can provide a secure digital environment that is inclusive and accessible to all.
One more challenge in this role is finding common ground and ensuring that every stakeholder, from product managers to engineers who have different perspectives and priorities, is working towards the same goal. This challenge can be overcome through effective communication, collaboration, and finding a shared understanding of the project goals.
The impact of work
What is the impact of your work on the world's fastest VPN?
Teodora: Well, my work has a direct impact on the experience of millions of users. One recent project I worked on was introducing a new navigation menu on our global website, which has already improved the user experience for many NordVPN users. Another was optimizing and raising interest for specific audiences in our Amazon (Indirect Sales) store, which has led to increased engagement and sales.
In addition, I am involved in daily suggestions and problem-solving decisions, such as optimizing our landing pages, localizing web content and adapting it to specific countries, etc. It's amazing to think that my work is visible to millions of people across the globe and that every design decision I make has the potential to impact someone's online security and privacy. This is a huge responsibility, but it's also incredibly rewarding to know that I'm making a difference in the world.
Irma: My team and I have a direct impact on the world's fastest VPN, NordVPN, by creating design solutions that significantly improve landing page conversions. Through data analysis, we were able to redesign sections with better UI and brand compatibility, improve storytelling for clearer communication, and enhance mobile UX on specific components.
Our work is crucial in making NordVPN more accessible to people worldwide, providing them with a secure and easy-to-use digital environment. By constantly improving the user experience, we are helping NordVPN to continue to grow and maintain its position as the leader in the VPN industry, serving millions of users worldwide.
Work in cybersecurity
Want to catch a glimpse of what working with other Nord Security products as a UX/UI designer looks like? Watch the Meet Nord People video. And if you're ready to take the next step and join our team, explore our UX/UI designer opportunities here!