Are you interested in becoming a UX designer? If so, you’ve picked a great career.
According to the BLS, the job outlook for UX designers is expected to grow by 13 percent over the next ten years, which is much faster than the national average. And, the average pay for a UX designer is close to $70,000.
But, you can’t just wake up one day and start applying for jobs as a UX designer. Even though there are plenty of job openings in this field, competition is still stiff, which means you need to take certain steps to set yourself apart from the competition.
Check out this guide to learn the top tips for becoming a UX designer.
1. Familiarize Yourself with UX Principles
To become a successful UX designer, one of the first things you want to do is familiarize yourself with basic UX principles.
By doing this, it’ll be easier to enter the design world and think creatively. Plus, learning the basic principles will also help you learn about the psychological aspects of design and understand more fully why certain designs fail and certain designs succeed.
Here are some basic principles to familiarize yourself with:
Color is one of the top UX principles to familiarize yourself with.
When it comes to learning about color, you need to learn about what colors compliment one another as well as what emotions different colors evoke.
For example, people associate the color red with passion, danger, power, strength, and determination. The color blue, on the other hand, is associated with empathy, enthusiasm, compassion, and imagination.
Balance is an integral part of UX design.
By learning about balance, you’ll learn when to use asymmetrical designs and when to use symmetrical designs.
Contrast is a very important UX principle. Without contrast, you won’t be able to make certain elements of a web page stand out.
Contrast occurs when two elements on a page are different. Contrast is important because it’s attractive to the eye, it creates balance and organization, and it creates focus.
As a UX designer, you need to learn what types of fonts to choose. By picking the right font, you not only make the text more readable, but you also help to build a brand’s image.
2. Get Familiar with the Creative UX Process
In order to get a job with a top UX agency, you need to understand the creative process for UX designers.
While everyone’s creative process is a bit different, here are the general phases you should follow:
The first stage is the discovery stage.
In the discovery phase, you’ll research, gather ideas, and get inspired for your project.
During the definition phase, you’ll define the idea you came across in the discovery phase.
From this, you’ll be able to create a concise creative brief.
After you’ve defined your idea, it’s time to start developing it. This means creating, testing, and prototyping your ideas.
This phase usually involves a lot of trial and error, and it helps designers refine and improve upon their ideas.
This is the final stage of the UX design process. During the delivery stage, you’ll finalize your project and launch it.
3. Immerse Yourself in Design Knowledge
To get yourself familiar with UX design and to further develop your skills, one of the best things to do is to immerse yourself in the latest resources.
Luckily, because UX design is such a hot topic right now, there are plenty of resources available.
Here are some books on UX design that you’ll want to check out:
- The Design of Everyday Things by Don Norman
- The Elements of User Experience by Jesse James Garrett
- Don’t Make Me Think by Steve Krug
- 1000 Things Every Designer Needs to Know by Susan Weinschenk
- Universal Principles of Design by William Lidwell
In addition to these books, we also suggest staying up to date on the latest UX design news by reading blogs. Here are some of the top blogs to read on UX design:
- UX Booth
- UX Magazine
- 52 Weeks of UX
- UX Movement
In addition to blogs and books, we also suggest attending UX design conferences and workshops.
4. Design Mock Projects
We all know that practice makes perfect, and this is especially true in the world of UX design.
When applying for UX jobs, you’ll quickly realize that to land a gig, you need to have experience. But without a job, how are you supposed to gain experience?
To break this catch-22 cycle, we suggest creating some projects of your own. Sure, you won’t get paid for these projects, but the work you put into them will certainly pay off when you land your dream job.
Here are some ways to create projects of your own:
- Pick a website you use and know well and redesign it
- Offer to create a website for free for a family member or friend in exchange for a glowing testimonial
- Reach out to non-profits and local charities and offer to redesign their websites free of charge
- Design your own app idea
Now, you don’t need to spend years or even months working for free. All it takes is a few solid projects under your belt to start marketing yourself to employers.
5. Take Classes
If you have the time and money for a full-fledged UX design program, then we say go for it.
However, if you don’t have the time and money, don’t sweat it. There are plenty of classes you can take online.
Here are some of the best online classes available for budding UX designers:
- User Experience Design Fundamentals
- Hack Design
- General Assembly UX Design Circuit
You can also check with your local adult education center for classes you can take in-person.
6. Find a Mentor
Last but not least, we recommend finding a mentor in the UX design field.
Although you can gain plenty of knowledge by scanning online articles, taking classes, and reading books, you’ll likely learn the most valuable information through conversations with those who have been in the field for a while.
To find the right mentor, you can ask family members or friends if they know anyone in the UX field. You can also scour LinkedIn, check out UX design websites, or talk to your previous professors.
Becoming a UX Designer: Are You Ready to Launch Your Career?
Now that you have these tips handy for becoming a UX designer, it’s time to launch your career.
The best UX designers are continuously learning, so make sure to take advantage of every resource you can.
And, if you liked this post, make sure to check back in with our blog for more career-related tips and tricks.
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Founder Dinis Guarda
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