A head start for your hustle.
Today’s side job: UX designer
Average reward: Varies with experience, responsibility and quantity
experience: Ninja beginner
Required Skills: User research, visual arts, copywriting, technical writing, and (in some cases) programming.
Let’s be honest, some web interfaces make me want to punch the screen (I mean Hulu). But if you’re the type of person who’s bursting with ideas about how to make the experience better, UX design could be a side hustle. Or it could be a new career. As a user experience (UX) designer, she can put together research to determine which visual and textual elements help users navigate your app and her website. To better understand what is needed, Sidekick spoke to two of his UX designers, Cameron Motameni and Tobias Komischke.
If “Visual Art” made you want to stop reading, don’t worry. You don’t have to be Picasso or Michelangelo to pursue UX design. No formal education is even required. However, you should choose the role in which you feel most comfortable in the UX space, Komischke advises. For example, information architecture calls for “organizing and labeling content in a system” while interaction design calls for “how users can actually accomplish something on the system.” No visual design expertise required.
With that focus, Komischke says, you can develop skills like prototyping and working with design systems like Figma and Balsamiq online. Motameni says she can take college courses and online classes through Udemy and Coursera, but she picked up her skills from YouTube and her sister’s classes and her notes. More tips from our experts:
- Practice as much as possible.Build your skills with online courses and exercises, or gain experience with discounted rates on platforms like Fiverr. As you get better at designing your pages and systems, you can start pitching your services to customers at higher rates. “In the beginning, your reputation is worth far more than the money you receive. My strategy was to keep prices very low in order to get a few customers. [If] They’re back for more screens. [even if I raised my prices] Just to maintain that customer-client relationship,” Motameni said.
- Create a mockup. “[Produce] Portfolio work is for showing something or looking for freelance work,” says Komischke. These can be real company prototypes or fake company prototypes, but they should show the design for different screens and formats.
- Familiarize yourself with other UX skills. It also includes research. “this [is not] It’s a black and white world where researchers never sample designs or anything like that, and designers never talk to users. It’s really a mixed world,” he said Komischke.
- Focus on problem solving. Practice your soft skills before getting caught up in the “design” part of the project. “Talk to your clients and see what their ideas are. Don’t get too hung up on one solution. [the problem] Open your mind to new perspectives and prioritize [the client] I want it in the app,” Motameni explained.
- Sell what you are good at. You may not be good at visual design, but you might be good at copywriting and interaction design. “There are a lot of talented artists out there who can draw and have an eye for his designs, the visuals you see on the app, but that’s not my skill set,” he says. “[But] If you understand how elements can be arranged in your app, it’s worth more than your artistic skills. ”—SS