How To Become A Ux Designer
To start your UX career, youll need to learn the skills required to become a professional designer. Youll also need practical experience in the role. While some people prefer to get a degree, it’s been found that individuals entering the field of UX come from various different backgrounds outside of the traditional college route.
Below are a couple of options to help you get started. But for a more detailed guide on cracking into this lucrative field, read our post on how to land a well-paid UX job.
- Become an Intern: One way to gain the experience you need, would be to get an internship with an organization. Youll learn on the job as you work on real-life projects.
- Enroll in a Bootcamp: Bootcamps are another great way to learn career-ready skills and build some practical work experience. These laser-focused online courses are specifically designed to get your hired, fast.According to a survey by Nielsen Norman group, the majority of students that enrolled in a six-month UX bootcamp, said they were able to strengthen their professional skills. Most of them agreed that bootcamps provided them with the hands-on experience that was missing from traditional degrees. They even went on to acknowledge that bootcamps provided a realistic working environment and that they not only picked up hard skills but also soft skills like collaboration and communication.
To kickstart your tech career, . Our expert team will teach you everything you need to land your dream UX job.
What Skills Does A Ux Designer Need
Before you start along the UX designer career path, its important to learn the tools of the trade. While specific responsibilities vary significantly depending on the role, UX professionals must share the same core set of skills to meet employer expectations.
Lets jump into a short walk-through of the most important analytical and technical capabilities youll need.
Common Careers In Ux Design
Within UX design, there are multiple job titles with varying responsibilities. Each of these roles complements one or multiple phases of the design process:
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The Ux Management Track
The managerial track is when an employee ends up managing more and more people. Most of their time is spent in the realm of planning, strategy and communication, and less so making and doing.
I used to glamorize the managerial track because climbing the corporate ladder seemed to be the default option.
First become a UX Designer, then a Senior UX Designer, then a UX Manager, then UX Directorand maybe VP of User Experience?
Then I saw the day-to-day jobs of actual managers.
Design managers rarely design, especially in the enterprise. Theyre in meetings most days. Theyre managing schedules, approving vacation time, presenting to executives, or flying around the country selling UX to the rest of the organization.
Theres a whole slew of non-design BS that managers deal with. Ive heard on more than one occasion from design managers I wish I can just go back and design again.
But management is its own type of design. Good managers design the work environment so that their team can deliver results. They
- Plan ahead and build out a strategy for their team
- Formulate design processes
- Form working relationships between other departments
Good managers shield their team from the non-design bullshit. They mentor. They leverage their team to do hard things, and push their team members to do the best they can.
Relevant UX Manager Job Titles
- Design Ops Manager
I polled the UXB Facebook Group about which UX track people whod prefer:
Scope Of Ui/ux Design
As you gain experience, there are opportunities for a UX designer career progression. In this section, we will explain the scope of UI/UX design.
- Growth and opportunities
- The emergence of design-centric organizations
- Innovation and creativity
1. Growth and opportunities
As the market expands and the demand for products and services grows, more experienced and fresh user experience designers are in demand, and many opportunities are coming.
The facts show that people spend much time on mobile devices. It is enough to demonstrate how good a user experience designer’s work is. UX designers are responsible for providing a flawless user experience to turn these facts into reality.
2. The emergence of design-centric organizations
The apparent increase in demand, or rather the design trend, has given birth to many design-based organizations . These companies are now major attractions for many who want to pursue a UX career path.
The design stands out because it is suitable for the organization. As design becomes more and more important, the demand for experienced UX designers will automatically increase because the design always focuses on what the user wants. The type of experience it can provide. Moreover, analyzing it all is what UX designers are famous for.
3. Innovation and creativity
All new technologies bring more ideas and creativity. There are many niche markets that user experience designers can turn to, leaving room for experimentation and innovation.
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The Need To Adapt Certain Processes
Remote work brings unique challenges, so todays UX designers must be prepared to adapt. For example, you may need to conduct user research remotely and get to grips with various remote tools. At the same time, youll need to find ways to communicate and collaborate effectively with key stakeholders, despite not being in the same room.
The good news is, if youre taking an online program, youll already be well-versed in working and collaborating remotely.
Start Reading Up On Ux Ask Yourself: Is This For Me
So youre interested in UX. Great. But what does that actually mean?
Does that mean you love quantitative data analysis, and that youre desperate to dive into UX research? Or does it mean you love developing and testing rapid prototypes on real-life users, and iterating to produce an industry-leading experience? Or perhaps it means youre a microcopy whizz, who can confer a compelling, on-brand message in just a smattering of characters.
Your first step is to understand the various disciplines that constitute the broad church of modern day UX design, so explore its interior, from alter to aisle, before deciding whether its for youand whether youd ultimately like to refine your skills in one particular area of user experience.
So how should you go about gathering all this knowledge from the farthest reaches of the world and its web? Well, do as you normally do. If you spend too much time on Instagram already, then follow UXBites .
Youll get digestible tips and advice on a daily basis, delivered directly to your feed. If you have a little more time on your hands, its well worth subscribing to the following YouTube channels: AJ& Smart, CareerFoundry, The Futur, and Jesse Showalter. In terms of blogs, the most well-established include UXPlanet, UXCollective, and InsideDesign by InVision.
Prefer a nice cup of tea and a good book? Then we have a few recommendations for you, too.
Oh, and if youre into podcasts, our friends at InVision collected their top 15 design podcasts.
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Will It Be Harder For New Ux Designers To Find Work In 2022
Weve established that UX designers continue to be in demand. Still, if youre a new or aspiring UX designer, youre probably wondering what your chances are of landing a job after your chosen program or bootcamp.
We asked Mike McCulloch, Head of Career Services at CareerFoundry, what its really like to be a newly-qualified tech professional in the midst of a global pandemicand what advice hed give to those searching for jobs.
In his guide to job-searching during Covid-19, Mike outlines two very interesting unique selling points that new UX designers should draw upon:
- Your experience as a remote, online student is a huge advantage in an economy where employers will increasingly be hiring for remote roles, and
- Your newcomer status is actually very appealing to employers. Unlike experienced designers, youre coming in without any preconceptions, and good employers will appreciateand seek outthe fresh perspectives you bring.
At the same time, good companies want to invest in people they can train and develop, and that often means taking on newly qualified designers with little or no experience. The key is to identify the unique skills and perspectives you bring to the industry, and to highlight them in your applications.
Of course, thats something your career coach will help you with
Become A Visual Designer If You Really Love Ui Design
If you spent your time in UX Academy obsessing over fonts and color palettes, nudging elements pixel by pixel to the left or right, and enjoyed creating your own personal logo and branding, a Visual Designer role might be the right fit for you. Visual Designers are a specialist category that dont necessarily need to deeply understand UX to be successful, but can come from UX or graphic design backgrounds.
A Visual Designer is often part of a larger team, and primary responsibilities revolve around prototypes and screens. You wont be directly responsible for user research, personas, or information architecture-most of your time will be spent on hi-fidelity prototypes, UI kits and style guides, and design specs for the development team. You may also be the connection to the marketing department, collaborating on the look and feel of advertising and promotional elements. In a smaller company or startup, all design assignments might come to you, including presentations, social media, and product-related UI.
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Its A Great Time To Become A Ux Designer
Hopefully you now have a clear understanding of the UX job market, as well as the kinds of opportunities and challenges you might face as a UX designer in 2022. Now is an especially exciting time to become a UX designer.
Its never been more important to create thoughtful, enjoyable, and inclusive user experiencesand, as a UX designer, you can have a hand in shaping the products and services of the future.
Sound good? Lets take a look at how you can become a UX designer, step by step.
What Is Ux Design
UX design focuses on the experience of users when interacting with a product. Much of the work of a user experience designer happens in the early stages of creating a new product, focusing on figuring out what users want and need.
While UX designers care about the way a product looks, its in relation to how the visual design of the product impacts the users experience.
User experience designers make design decisions based on the way the product will function for users and the emotions or behaviors the visuals will evoke in the person using it.
UX design is a constant exercise in empathy and understanding. As a designer at Evernote, Im always trying to put myself in our users shoes to get at what theyre thinking and feeling at important moments during their experience with our product. Natasha Noltimier, Design @Evernote
Art by Ryan Johnson
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Increased Focus On Mindful Inclusive Design
McKinsey reports that, as a result of the pandemic, consumers are more mindful about where they spend their money and the brands they support. As a UX designer in 2022, its more important than ever to design for inclusivity, accessibility, and with astute social awareness. You can learn more about inclusive design and why its so important in our full piece.
Weve touched very briefly on the state of the UX industry in 2022. For a more in-depth look at what you can expect, check out this round-up of key UX trends for the coming year.
How To Learn Ux/ui Design
There are a few different ways to learn UX design and UI design. However, here are the three most common methods:
- Pursue a degree in a design-related subject at a traditional college or university
- Attend a coding bootcamp specialising in UX/UI design
- Learn about UX/UI design through your own studying
Each of these paths has its own positives and negatives. Pursuing a design degree, for example, may make new designers more attractive when searching for their first job, and is a very common path among UX/UI designers. Many UX designers will pursue a degree in psychology, which is also sought after in the industry.
Many other designers are self-taught via books or free online courses and have found great jobs based on the skills they learned in their spare time.
Another option that has gained a lot of popularity is going to a bootcamp. Instead of going to university for four years and spending tens of thousands of dollars a year on a degree, prospective designers can instead go to a coding bootcamp focused on UX/UI design to learn practical, job-ready skills to enter the workforce as soon as possible.
Coding bootcamps are short-term, intensive courses where students can learn the skills they need in a particular field, and build a portfolio with projects. In addition, most bootcamps have career services featuring mentors, career guidance, interview prep, and portfolio help.
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A Brief Look Back At 2021
Last year showed no signs of demand for UX designers waningin fact, both UX designer and product designer made it into Glassdoors top 50 best jobs in America list for 2021.
Of course, the world changed dramatically over the course of last year as the second year of the pandemic began to bite, so the question remains: Are UX designers still in demand? To answer this, lets first consider the broader tech industry.
Get A Technology Degree Or Ux Training
- Boot camp: Participation in a UX design boot camp is a popular way for aspiring UX designers to get the skills they need to find employment. UX boot camps provide an intensive, hands-on learning experience with an emphasis on real-world skills. Look for boot camps that prioritize project-based learning.
- Associate degree: If you are interested in website UX design, an associate’s degree in web or graphic design can help you find entry-level work. Professionals with an associate’s degree can continue to take technology-related classes while they work.
- Bachelor’s degree: Earning a four-year technology-related degree provides the greatest advantage when applying for jobs. Your undergraduate coursework should focus on software and human habits/psychology. Common majors include computer science, visual design, web programming, information architecture, UI design, and graphic design. Consider taking classes or minoring in anthropology, psychology, sociology, and human-computer interaction.
What type of degree should you pursue to become an Ux Designer?
85% of people working as an Ux Designer earned a Bachelor’s Degree
What skills do you need to be an Ux Designer?
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Ui Vs Ux Designer: Which Career Path To Choose
A UX designer and UI designer both work on creating beautiful interfaces, but their involvement and skill sets are required at different times during the design and development process. So how do you know which career is the best fit for you?
Read about UX and UI design in this article by Designlab and figure out where youll excel.
Which Is Better Paid Ux Or Ui
Salaries are of course dictated by many factors, though primarily:
On average youll find that UI and UX jobs have similar salary ranges across startups and minor tech industries.
Youll find, however, that in tech industries outside the web and mobile fields there are more and richer opportunities for UI designers, as the field is not only more established but has a more direct, business-driven application.
Pulling upon averages however, it is possible to find both user experience and user interface jobs across the following range of value in central Europe.
*Numbers are based on salary data from Germany and central Europe.
To explore salaries in your area, check out these breakdowns of your earning potential as a UX designer and as a UI designer, and I recommend also taking a look at self-reported salaries on Glassdoor.
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The Individual Contributor Career Path
The individual contributor career path is one where you continue to gain seniority in your role, without taking on people management responsibilities. This is a popular path for designers who want to continue to deepen their craft, stay practice oriented, and continue to do design work in their day to day. Over time, this path leads to roles like âStaff UX Designerâ or Principal Designerâ. These roles have a continued focus on being an expert UX designer, and sometimes include mentoring more junior designers, and elevating design practice as a whole across an organization.
What Is The Role Of Ui Designer
Career as a UI Designer requires proper design skills as well as a concentration on how well the software engages the user in a positive manner. The method of design requires market analysis into how consumers are just using the software. The duties of User Interface Designer include collecting user specifications, designing graphical elements and implementing modules for navigation. User Interface Designers should have experience with the design software and wireframe tools. So how to become a UI designer and what does it takes to become one?
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Ux/ui Designer Job Description
UX/UI designers are responsible for turning an idea into a web design which meets a certain set of specifications. After they complete a design, it will be passed onto the development team, who will turn the design into a functioning application.
UX/UI designers will ensure that a site is easy to use and navigate through. Theyll also work with other members of an organisation to come up with designs which meet the specifications associated with a product. For example, a UX designer may work with the customer success department to find out what problems have been commonly reported among customers, which will help inform new designs.