Digital: How To Grow In The Graphic Design Industry

So you’ve graduated uni/college with a degree or qualification in design. You are one step closer to living your dream as a designer. But what do you do next? How do you get from a to b? And is it that simple to transition from a design graduate to a working paid designer?

HowDesign interviews successful designers and how they approached their design careers and how they started out working in the field that they wanted: http://www.howdesign.com/how-magazine/how-november-2012/how-real-world-designers-plan-to-grow-their-design-careers/

Brad Tucker: Director/Creative Director, Los Angeles

What tools or knowledge will help you get to the next phase in your career?
“I’m a senior-level talent who makes a lot of money in a faltering economy. I think the biggest thing going for me is that I know my industry well. I’ve seen lots of changes, and I’m not oblivious to what’s going on. I’ve also seen the way many people get treated, and I know what I won’t tolerate.”

What will it take to move you to the next phase in your career?
“I recently got laid off. I’m now looking for a studio that has all the qualities I couldn’t find at my previous place of employment, while also exploring other avenues of employment within the industry. My options are go freelance/consult, become a live action director, or look for another creative direction position, perhaps in network television. And I’m sure there are even more options out there. I need to have an open mind and explore all options.”

Amelia Stier: Designer, Sid Lee, Montréal

What tools or knowledge will help you get to the next phase in your career?
“Definitely more hours behind the computer and in the conference room. Of course, absorbing as much as possible from those with more experience than me will also help immensely at my young and impressionable stage.”

What will it take to move you to the next phase in your career?
“Time. Lots and lots of time. In my particular situation, working at a predominantly French-speaking firm in Montréal, learning the language is a major hurdle between me and the next level of office responsibility. I am lucky to work somewhere that people are able to move up the ladder very quickly. So beyond that silly language barrier, it’s mostly about drive, initiative and gaining experience.”

Satsuki Shibuya-ThoengDesigner/Creator/Curious Explorer, Los Angeles

What tools or knowledge will help you get to the next phase in your career?
“Being exposed and connected to amazing, inspiring individuals doing things that I would love to explore.”

What will it take to move you to the next phase in your career?
“More experience and more learning.”

Digital: The Rise Of UX Design

As the Internet increasingly penetrates every aspect of human life, demands for user-friendly technologies continue to rise. That’s where UX comes in.

First of all, what even is UX design?

UX stands for User Experience. UX designers are those who deal with usability, accessibility, and enjoyability of the interfaces that users use to interact with an app or a website. In other words, they are responsible for making your time online easier and ensuring that you can actually find the feature you’re looking for on a website without having to click on thousands of links. UX design is made based on user’s perspective rather than the business’ objective. Martin Belam, former Lead User Experience Architect at the Guardian says UX design “recognises that a good digital service isn’t just about functionality. It is about how people feel as they use a digital service, and about the way it does things, not just what it does.”

In order to do these things, not only do the UX designers perform code and design, but they are also responsible for researching consumers’ thought processes, often using scenario-based experimentation as well as “sophisticated research tools such as eye-tracking and behavioural analysis to help companies understand intricate details of modern consumer behaviour”.

Demand for UX designers has never been higher. Commonwealth Bank, for example, employs 75 designers to work on its websites, management tools and Netbank service. Indeed’s analysis this year found that UX designers are in the top five jobs in demand based on its search engine traffic.

UX designers are also paid pretty well – according to UX Designer Salaries (http://uxdesignersalaries.com/#global), Australian UX designers have an average annual salary of $72,099 in 2015.

To be a UX designer, a formal tertiary education on UX would best serve the purpose, although it is not the only way to get there. You can jump into the field through other related degrees, such as psychology, graphic design, visual design, UI design, and interaction design.




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