Did you know that the average annual salary of a leading UX designer in the US is more than $ 86,071 a year? And not only that, according to CNN, UX designer landed 14th on the list of top 100 jobs! If you want to get a job in the field of UX, but you do not have experience yet, don’t you worry. Listed below are seven simple steps to help you land the job in UX design you’ve always dreamed of.
7 Steps to Starting a Career in UX/UI Design
In this post, you will find seven step by step tips on how to start a career in UX/UI design. They are based on the interviews and experience of many seasoned UX/UI designers who are now successfully working in design firms. By following these pieces of advice step by step, you will be able to both follow your passions and accomplish your career goals.
Step 1. Find a Mentor
A mentor is that experienced person who can give you advice, point out useful materials, demonstrate important practices, or provide feedback on your first steps in the UX/UI design world. This guidance is priceless. If you already have connections in this field, some of your friends can surely help you. If not, many online schools and offline UX/UI design courses provide students with mentors they can consult during individual sessions. Do not underestimate the importance of this step – when there is someone available and ready to criticize your work, your skills and professional taste will develop much faster.
Step 2. Family Support
Starting a new career after university or drastically changing your career path is the moment when you need your family’s support the most. Emotional support is an important aspect of such times of change. But your family should also understand the financial implications of this chosen path – you may not be able to finance yourself on your own for some time. Even further, UX/UI courses aren’t free. The material support of your family may be needed – it is, therefore, critical you discuss your career path with them and develop a financial way forward together.
Step 3. Get Formal Education
Choose one good, formal course and take it. Instead of taking ten courses related to UX/UI design, take the courses you can handle and do them well. If you overload yourself educationally all at once, you will overload and set yourself up for failure. Combine these formal courses with real-world practice, and you’ll find yourself as prepared as can be.
Step 4. Observe
If you decide to become a UX/UI designer, start paying attention to interface designs made by others. Start evaluating everything you see on websites or mobile applications and ask yourself – are the components convenient? Is it comfortable to use? Why or why not? What can be improved overall? Why are the elements (button, logo, text) located where they are? It can help inspire you to design better designs yourself. This is a great way to improve your skills.
Step 5. Master the Tools
A good designer can sketch on a napkin – but it’s always better if you have the right tools.
- Figma or Sketch are essential to have. They are competing products, each with their pros and cons.
- To work with bitmap images, you will need Adobe Photoshop.
- Invision or Marvel will help create clickable prototypes.
Step 6. Practice
Start by copying your favorite works. This will allow you to practice on something concrete and master the tools described above.
If you already feel confident enough, you can test your strength on the freelance exchange website upwork.com. Everything there is ready to go: the customer, task, time frame, and budget. All you need to do is log in, find a project, and apply.
Step 7. Find a Job
At this point, depending on how your skills and confidence are progressing, you’ll be ready to pursue one of the following options:
- Continue to work as a freelancer.
- Get a job in a company as an in-house UX/UI designer.
- Get a job in an outsourcing company.
It’s worth taking your portfolio seriously. Work hard to develop it into something robust and presentable. The chances of finding a job as a UX/UI designer without a portfolio is almost zero. It is not necessary to create your website for a portfolio; you can use Behance or Dribbble.
If you want to work in a company, which is recommended for beginners because there you can learn from more experienced colleagues, send your resume and portfolio to HRs, and start attending job interviews.
To become a designer, you need to think, study, and work constantly. In the early stages, it won’t be very easy. But do not let this dissuade you – acquiring design skills is only half the way. You also need to be able to communicate with people and understand the general principles of business. Anyway, these seven steps will help you start your career and acquire the basic skills that you will need at the beginning of your career journey.