The Path Of A UX Designer
UI/UX design, as the top spot in the top ten most influential IT skills, is very attractive for the layman and the novice designer both on job market prospects and salary. This is why so many people are eager to switch to be an interface designer or user experience designer. Before you make the decision, we have some questions for you. How much knowledge do you know about user experience? Do you know how to become a user experience designer? Here is some experience summarized by predecessors in the user experience design industry for reference at first.
- Do you know what a user experience designer does?
The terms of UX, UI, IA, and IxD are always complicated for layman or people who new to the design industry, so they cannot figure out what’s the difference between the terms. If you want to be a user experience designer, you have to know what is user experience, and what makes a good UX design.
User experience (UX) refers to a person’s emotions and attitudes about using a particular product, system or service. It includes the practical, experiential, affective, meaningful and valuable aspects of human–computer interaction and product ownership. Additionally, it includes a person’s perceptions of system aspects such as utility, ease of use and efficiency.
- Are you passionate about UX design?
Young people in the current era are flighty and impatient. So when you make a serious decision to become a user experience designer with no experience, it means that you have to learn a lot of knowledge in patience and immerse yourself in the design trends. So that to keep your enthusiasm of the design industry. The biggest secret to keep enthusiasm is keeping learning.
- How much do you know about the principle of user experience? Have you read any design book?
It’s much better that you have some basic knowledge about the user experience design principle. But if you have no any basic knowledge, you may need to get an improvement on this. Because it’s very necessary to master the background information to be a good UX designer. Here is a few books you can start off with.
The Design of Everyday Things — Donald A. Norman
Don’t Make Me Think — Steve Krug
The Non-Designer’s Design Book — Robin Williams
The Elements of User Experience — Jesse James Garrett
To become a UX designer, there are three things you should do:
- Learn fundamental knowledge: For example, UX research methodologies and user behaviors. These theories can help you have a basic idea of what is User Experience, how it is going on and why it is important. Also, it would be helpful if you know something about Art, History and Psychology.
- Learn basic tools: You should learn how to use basic tools like Photoshop, Sketch, etc., because you will need these tools to show people your idea, for example, if you are designing a website, you will need to use Sketch to show engineers how you think this website should look like and how it should work, so that engineers can understand your idea and implement it.
- Practice: Well, practice makes perfect. After you learn basic theories and tools, the first thing you need to do is to practice. For example, design your own personal website and implement it maybe. If you want to have a mentor, you can also apply for a job or intern.
UI/UX design is not a black and white process. There’s much more to it than meets the eye.
First of all, it’s not enough to simply have a knack for design. You need to have a strong hold on various designer tools including Sketch, Photoshop, Illustrator and later efficiently be able to use prototyping tools to create a mockup of your design.
Once you’re done mastering the basics, you can repeat the loop and take a few more steps such as:
Find problems to solve.
Do this so that you can develop a portfolio. (1-3 projects is plenty for a portfolio to get an entry level job.)
Solve the problems and create your work samples.
Learn about the users. Talk to them. Identify their behaviors, needs, and goals. Learn about the competition. What do users currently user to meet their needs? Where is the opportunity for your service? Define your goals for the new experience. Pick a piece of it to work on – you don’t have to redesign a whole site. List the features you believe the piece needs to have to satisfy users and make the business money. Figure out the main functional areas. Figure out the pages you’ll need. See if you can refactor them into a smaller number of templates. Block out the content areas on the templates. Design the interface. Show your sketches to users. See if they know what to do and like your solution. Don’t be leading. Listen more than you talk. Take their feedback and iterate.
Show you have strong design basics and a great attitude. When you present your work, always always always tie your decision-making process back to user needs and business goals. At the end of the interview when they ask if you have any questions, ask one to show you are interested. Ask your interviewers what they are working on right now if you can’t think of anything else to ask.
For entry level-jobs, enthusiasm and good attitude goes a really long way. Follow-up with your interviewers. Thank them. Tell them you’re pumped.
Learn, Solve, Create & Build!