12 Tips for Becoming a Successful UX and UI Designer
With the digital boom, the demand for User Experience (UX) design and User Interface (UI) design is on the rise. Despite the newness of this industry, over the last few years, it’s undergone consistent evolution.
UX/UI design requires a solid understanding of user sociology in order to create and design a total product experience. Here are twelve tips to successfully launch your career as a UX/UI designer.
Learn How The Industry Works
Get acquainted with the ins and outs of the industry before you embark on your journey as a UX and UI designer. Learn everything there is to know about the industry. It may be hard to get your foot in the door with this rapidly flourishing and increasingly competitive market unless you have a good idea of how the industry works. Talk to industry professionals, attend workshops, meet for coffee with someone in the industry to get a head start idea of how the industry works.
Have the Passion
When was the last time you visited the art gallery for some inspiration? Designing isn’t just about learning a technical skill. It can involve a whole lot more art and creativity. Design is everywhere and it’s important to be hungry and curious about how things work and how they are created. You must have a passion and a budding desire to create platforms that people can connect with. If you don’t have that, it’s unlikely that your creations will have the impact you’re looking to achieve. Successful designers look for inspiration in different areas of their life to achieve their goals in design.
Learn the Craft
The best ways to ensure success in any field is to learn the trade of your craft. Instead of just venturing into UX/UI design blindly, enroll in a few courses, attend workshops and learn how it’s done by the professionals. You’ll learn twice as fast if you have a mentor or teacher who has done work in the industry than if you try to learn on your own.
Know Your Tools
Design is all about using the right tools. You can only craft a smooth user experience and interface if you work with the right programs. With ever-evolving technologies, there are newer and better tools available every day. You need to know which ones will suit your purpose the best and use them.
Find a Mentor
Mentorship isn’t about demanding someone’s undivided attention and insisting that they teach you. Simply find a developer or designer that is successful in their trade, approach them, and ask them for their guidance. Just an hour or two a week will suffice. This will help you navigate the unchartered waters of the industry. Listen and learn and then apply their tricks to improve your trade.
Find Your Niche
As new as this industry might be, it’s developed at a fast rate. There is so much more to see than meets the eye. Dig deep and explore, you’ll find plenty of areas that you can find to develop your specialized niche.
Always Be Experimenting
There’s so much more to UX/UI apart from the conventional tools, designs, and interface that are available in the industry. There are endless possibilities and unimaginable room for growth within this industry. You have plenty of space to shuffle things around and experiment to see what does and doesn’t work for you. Given the rate at which the industry is evolving, it’s likely that today’s tools may become obsolete tomorrow. Why wait for that when you can figure out alternatives to conventions, right now?
Think Out of the Box
There are guidelines, directed pathways and structured sessions which help dictate the way designs are meant to be in UX/UI. However, you don’t necessarily have to stick to the script. Think out of the box and try something new. Sometimes, defying conformity to the rigid industry protocols can turn out to be a good thing. When it’s appropriate, go ahead and take a risk.
Reflect on Completed Projects
It’s easy to forget about a project once it’s been completed. Most people create things and then move onto the next big project. Without taking the time to reflect, you can’t learn from previous hits and misses. Be open to constructive criticism and use the feedback to reflect on what can be improved the next time.
Be On the Lookout for Freebies
The industry is very forthcoming as there is always something happening within the design community. It could be a sample of a new tool, or software, a free course, group discussion, etc. You can learn quite a bit by interacting with like-minded people within the industry. You might even get your hands on a new technology that can seriously up your designing game for free.
Build Your Empathy
UX design is almost all about another person’s experience with the product or service you present. For your creation to be effective, you must be able to understand and predict people’s behaviors and responses to particular stimuli. It’s your empathy towards other people that will allow you to do so. Contrary to popular belief, empathy towards others isn’t a trait that comes naturally to everyone. If you want to be successful as a designer, learn to build on your empathy, along with your portfolio.
Discover the Industry by Reading
Steve Jobs said, “Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.” It’s important to stay inspired and read from leading minds in the industry. Stock up on UX/UI design books (or visit your local library). Several designers agree that books like The Design of Everyday Things by Donald A Norman and The Non-Designer’s Design Book by Robin William are must-reads for up-and-coming UX/UI designers.
Study at RED
If you’ve dreamed of becoming a UX/UI designer or if you have a some experience as a designer under your belt but want to learn more about UX/UI, check out the UX/UI programs at RED Academy to learn the skills and tools used in the industry today. Aspiring UX and UI Designers will learn technical skills like rapid prototyping, testing, wireframing, visual communication and presentation skills, as well as soft skills like communication, collaboration, empathy and humility. We’ve seen first hand how important the soft skills are in landing that desired UX/UI job.