How to become a UX designer

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If you’re looking for an exciting, multidisciplinary position that offers high salaries and a bright future, User Experience Design (UX) may be for you. By learning how to become a UX designer, you can have a profound impact on how users around the world navigate your apps, websites, and other types of software.

Not only is the current market hot, but demand for UX designers is projected to grow by 10.9% over the next decade. Lightcast (formerly Emsi Burning Glass) reports that the median starting salary for a UX designer is $82,000 with 0 to 2 years of experience, so the position has a lot of appeal. I have.

Best of all, whatever your background, many of the skills and abilities you currently have can be transferred to this dynamic and evolving field. Effective communication of results to stakeholders often requires the use of “soft skills” (such as empathy and communication).

In this guide, we’ll share tips from successful job seekers and what you need to do to land your first job.

Perform a skills inventory and gap analysis

(Before we get serious, please note that “UI” and “UX” are fundamentally different. However, some people use the terms interchangeably. “UX” stands for “User Experience Design” and describes how users interact with your product. “UI”, on the other hand, is “user interface design,” a digital-centric term for the feel and interactivity of a product. To maximize salaries, UI/UX designers must demonstrate mastery of both disciplines simultaneously. )

UX is focused on a specific product, but roles, team structures, and skill requirements vary from company to company. The exploratory phase is therefore an important starting point for matching your strengths, skills, and qualifications to your area of ​​expertise. Study yourself before studying that area.

For example, Kay Cornier watched a UX Designer video, completed an introductory course to gain a clear understanding of the design process, and learned how her background in psychology, customer service, and marketing can help her transition into this field. I learned

Her analysis revealed that she possesses some of the most desirable qualities in the field, including customer-centric mindset, empathy, organizational skills, and an entrepreneurial approach. But remember, recruiters also want to master the fundamentals of design thinking, problem solving, UX research, prototyping, usability her testing, and more.

For “transitioners” like Cornier, creating a skills inventory can help identify learning opportunities to fill specific talent and experience gaps.

learn the basics

From books to blogs, podcasts to tutorials, and even immersive bootcamps, there are countless resources (many of them free) to learn UX design and design thinking today. Degtyarev, Senior UX/UI Designer at Yardi Systems Inc. This is just one of the reasons he has not the same career path or timeline.

After a long career as a web developer and designer, Degtyarev admits that “my visual design batteries were dead.” Encountering the new field of UX at just the right time not only ignited his passion, but also helped him move from “visually appealing” design work to “functionally pleasing” design work. I gave him a “sandbox” to practice.

Degtyarev was able to learn the basics of UX by reading books, try and test different methods, and use feedback from his team to iterate quickly and move the design forward.

Looking for suggestions, every aspiring UX designer should read The Elements of User Experience: User-Centered Design for the Web and Beyond (2nd Edition) (Voices That Matter) by Jesse James Garrett he says.

Cornier, meanwhile, wanted to speed up the transition process and invested in a remote nine-week bootcamp program.

No matter which learning method you choose, being able to showcase your skills to recruiters, hiring managers, and other designers depends on winning an offer. “We still have to dig and apply what we have learned to design something,” Degtyarev said.

gain practical experience

If you’re not working in a related field, how can you hone key “hard skills” like user research, wireframing, and prototyping? And how do you demonstrate problem-solving skills and application of the UX design process?

One thing you can do is conduct a unilateral redesign. It’s about finding real UX problems in an existing website, app, or feature and spontaneously redesigning it. It could be a recently used site, he suggested, Cornier. It could be the home screen of an existing app or the interface of a customer service kiosk (such as an airport).

Treat unsolicited redesigns like real projects. Take screen shots of your wireframes or mockups and be prepared to explain how you applied the UX design process to conceptualize and design your solution. Here are some great samples to help you get started.

To convince hiring managers, you need to include at least three case studies in your portfolio. Use storytelling to showcase the challenges you faced and the choices you made and why for key parts of your design.

If you’re having trouble coming up with a UX challenge, you can also volunteer to serve local nonprofits and organizations in need of UX services. Network with product managers for ideas, or use Design Briefs her generator to create fictional projects. Sites such as Designership and Sharpen Design are also great sources of inspiration and opportunities to network and collaborate with experienced professionals.

Network and apply

While UX is a booming field, Cornier says it takes perseverance and perseverance to land the first position.

Helping you shorten the process and keep your spirits high includes networking with hiring managers and industry experts, tailoring your resume and value proposition to each position, and expanding your skill set and portfolio. And that includes spending some of your time creating a strong online presence.

Reflecting on your motivations and strengths can also help answer “why” questions such as “Why did you become interested in UX design?” And “Why should I hire you?”

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