The term User Experience causes a lot of confusion due to the fact that UX roles and responsibilities are fairly unclear and undefined.
Not knowing what something is, but knowing you have to do it, leads to a lot of bad decisions being made by companies and a lot of horse-shit sold by opportunistic service providers - all in the name of User Experience.
In this article we try and set out what you should know about the (main) UX roles, what they do and what you should expect from them.
The Information Architects role is to organise the content and the functionality. They have knowledge of user behavior and set out to define paths, actions, categories/sub-categoties and dealing with data.
From an Information architect you would normally receive wireframes, navigation flows, prototypes and a list of personas.
The graphic design role is designing a brand identity; setting out branding guidelines to complement and communicate the company/product. The graphic designers will also make things look compelling to the user whilst improving messaging and user experience.
From a Graphic Designer you should recieve branding guidelines, containing: logo, color templates, font usage all for the purpose of improving readability and aesthetics
The front-end developer role is to take into account the above work and transfer the visual designs into usable code.
User Experience Designer
The role of a user experience designer is to focus primarily on user requirements and expectations. Their work is to create trust and create a relationship between the users and company/product.
Where as the above mentioned roles are more clear cut - the ux designer role overlaps all of them.
From a user experience designer you should get feedback and recommendations for improving the user experience through better performance, usability, readability, navigation and aesthetics.