In the IT world, UX designer is one of the most in-demand jobs currently. This, added by prospects of high remuneration and high job satisfaction rate, has increased people’s interest in the career significantly. But how does one become a UX designer? Is there any qualifications that one has to complete, or can it be learned on the go? Here are some explanations about the job, based on advice from UX experts.
Study and Research the Subject
Getting into UX design field is similar to entering a new country – you have to adapt to the new languages and practice. Researching the subject would help you transition and immerse in the subject. “Read, watch and listen to everything you can get your hands on in order to understand how UX Designers do what they do,” said Matthew Magain of UXMastery. While participating in a UX course could help improve your learning experience, you can also teach yourself through the content available on the Internet.
Learn the Relevant Tools and Skills
As a design job, it is important to keep training using softwares like Sketch, Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. Outside these traditional tools, Magain also recommended over 1000 tools and resources that are commonly used in the UX community.
You can also learn other skills, such as coding, to stay competitive in the job market. “You don’t have to learn code to be a successful UX designer,” said Jessica Ivins, faculty member at UX design school Center Centre. “But if you learn to code, you have many advantages as a UX designer. When you learn to code, you understand the medium you’re designing for.”
Jumping into a UX internship or job right away might be overwhelming – try working on your personal project first. This way, you could build a portfolio in a low-risk environment.
“If your goal is an internship or entry-level position as a UI/UX Designer, you will need something to show,” said Lindsay Norman, product design at Pinterest. “Try designing a portfolio in Sketch or Illustrator starting with user flows, wireframes, interactions, and finally a high-fidelity mock. After that, redesign something in need of a redesign… Invent your own to-do list web app. Create a froyo delivery app. Design things that solve problems that you can personally relate to.”
Network with Other UX Designers
Get involved in various online communities or go to IT events and meet-ups. By building relations with fellow UX designers, you can get inspiration from their works, ask for advice when you need it, find out about unadvertised job opportunities, and even gain a mentor out of it. “You’ll never have a better source of knowledge than a mentor who’s done it all before,” said Friederike Geiken, creative development leader at Crayon Crunch.
“Soak up everything an experienced UX designer can offer you,” said Ivins. “[However] be careful not to demand too much of someone’s time. Start small and make it easy for people to help you.”