As someone who entered the field of User Experience Design via a background in writing and editing, I was pleasantly surprised to find how relevant an English degree is to this growing field. UX is all about having empathy for the user. For understanding the target group and tailoring your message in a way that best addresses that group’s experiences and needs.
In my former life as a writing teacher, this is exactly the lesson I stressed to my students. The most effective writers have a deep understanding of their readers. In composition studies, this is simply known as audience awareness. He who knows what his audience wants is in a much better position to deliver it.
User Experience Design starts with a strong desire to create products that meet needs. As UX designers, we are advocates for the audience. We make sure every decision is made with consideration for the app user or the website visitor or the reader or the viewer or the customer.
Design, by its very nature, exists for an audience. Without an audience, there is no product. Without a reader, there is no book. Without a viewer, there is no film.
Writers, editors, and teachers often possess many of the characteristics that make for a good UX or Information Designer. Once you understand empathy and audience awareness, the hard skills can be learned.