Most of the top jobs that are ruling the twenty first century business world today did not even exist, say fifty years ago. If you have decided on becoming a ux or user experience designer and you think that you have what it takes to be a good one, then congratulations to you, it is indeed both a lucrative as well as a promising career choice that requires skill and a lot of hard work as well. To assist you along the way, here is a comprehensive list on how to become a UX designer.
1. No formal education is mandatory:
A great thing about becoming a UX designer is that you do not need any particular formal education. All you need to have is the primary interest as well as the ux designer skills which will serve as the basic drive as well as motivation for you to move ahead. When it comes to reading up things from various sources about becoming a ux designer you ought to remember that the matter itself is not tough or difficult to digest, rather it is just to learn, so be prepared for that.
2. Do not find yourself a mentor:
There is some truth in the common saying that ‘self help is the best help ’so keeping this in mind you ought shy away from finding a mentor for yourself. Many people think that having a mentor is a good thing and it is provided he or she is a family member or a close friend, however if not, then think about it, why would anyone who is related to you in no way want to invest so much effort into your career by constantly giving you advice or tips? Learn to rely on yourself and your abilities alone.
3. Get hold of the right kinds user experience tools to assist you:
To work in a fast as well as efficient manner, in any career path, you need the right kinds of tools to help you get away. When you choose to become a ux designer, the ux design tools that you will need include, Adobe Brackets, FileSquare, AnteType, UX Pin, Fireworks, Pencil, Naview, Notism, Cogtool, iRise, Justinmind, Lumzy etc. These are some of the popular tried and tested ux designer tools that they use daily for design prototyping to get their ux jobs done.
4. Gather as much experience as you can:
Before you can hope to bag a job at a big company you should try your hand at a smaller establishment to begin with. Immediately attempting to work in a corporate setting could throw you off guard and even make you feel too nervous to perform well. So in such a case once you gain ux experience and learn how to conduct yourself in a ux professional atmosphere then only go on to bigger things. It is always advisable to start from the bottom then make your way to the top gradually.
5. Put together an impressive user experience portfolio for yourself:
Just like graphic designers who put together a portfolio in order to impress interviewers or clients, you too can do the same in order to showcase not only your talents but also to show projects which you have successfully able to manage in the past. Just remember this is one of those jobs where words mean nothing and your resume containing qualifications does not give testimony to how good or talented you are. So to show that a well compiled and presented portfolio is something that can really help you.
6. Do not waste even a little time, every second counts:
In the business world, time and money are valuable resources which you should never waste, so keeping this in mind, even when travelling to and fro from work rather than wasting your time, you can use it to browse the internet and read up several interesting as well as useful articles that could really help you. Two articles you can refer to are ‘So you want to be a user experience designer’ by Whitney Hess and ’14 must reads for a ux newbie’. There is a wealth of information available online for starters.
7. Once you’ve hit a wall do go ahead and take a break:
The ability to put in hard work is a quality that is truly admirable, but working for long hours without a break could also take a toll on you. So rather than not being able to deliver quality work, when you feel that you have hit a wall or your brain has reached a saturation point of sorts you should stop what you are doing and take a much needed break. Usually, after a short break you are able to find solutions to those problems or things which previously stumped you.
8. Consult friends in time of need or confusion:
The mark of a true professional is that he or she is confident in his own abilities and does not feel inadequate when seeking advice or good counsel from others in the field. If you have a problem then you should certainly not shy away from consulting your other user experience designer friends who can help you. When you do this not only do you get solutions to work related problems which you may have been facing but you also get an insight into how people have various ways to tackle similar issues.
9. Develop your creative skills to help you:
When picking any career path you ought to ensure that you will be able to be good at what you do and your skills will allow you to stand apart from the rest of the herd. One of the primary things that can really help you set yourself apart is by your ability to be creative as well as think outside the box. Corporate recruiters are constantly on the lookout for individuals who are able to think on their feet as well as find unconventional ways of dealing with issues that come their way.
10. Improve yourself by working on some fake projects:
A great way to help you get better at being a user experience designer is by setting yourself fake tasks as well as projects which could really help you not only test what you have learnt but also to expand your horizons and think for yourself. Another way to be able to track the progress which you have been able to make is by maintaining a log book and categorically noting down what you have been doing, which attempts of yours failed and which were a success.
11. Things will be tough at first but you have to persist:
A thing to remember is that people who get into this particular career field are people with good taste. Often the work which you will produce initially will not be able to meet up with your own standards. Some people find this extremely disappointing and feel that maybe they have made a wrong decision in choosing this career path. However, you must know that this is a problem which all new user experience designers face initially and you must fight this feeling of disappointing by constantly trying to improve user experience.
12. Some helpful Online UX design courses available:
Prior to embarking on any projects or seeking employment, what you ought to try your hands at are some online ux courses which have proved to be extremely helpful to ux developer who is seeking help as well as guidance. Some of the most popular as well as good user experience courses which many budding user experience designers opt for include, ux design Training for Android Developers, Behavior by Design, Becoming a UX and UI Designer, Applied interaction Design, to name a few.
13. Some books which you can refer to initially:
When it comes to gaining knowledge on cutting edge technology, books are not the most reliable sources as the matter might run the risk of being obsolete. However if you are new in the field and are confused about where and how to begin, then in that case some books which you can begin by referring to include, ‘Killer UX design’ by Jodie Moule, ‘A project guide to UX design’ by Russ Unger and Carolyn Chandler or even, an e-book titled ‘Everyday UX’ by Luke Chambers and Matthew Magain.
14. The general design process entails:
The typical output of a user experience designer includes user stories or scenarios, flows and navigation maps, written specifications pertaining to the behavior or design, graphic mock ups etc. The chief steps involved in the ux design process include gathering information pertaining to a problem, getting ready to design, the actual design work and finally the user experience testing.
15. The primary function of a user experience designer:
User Experience design which is for convenience sake referred to as UXD or UED pertains to the process of increasing the satisfaction of users by doing things like improving the usability, accessibility as well as contentment provided in the interaction that takes place between the product as well as the user. It encompasses human and computer interaction design and extended even further by addressing different aspects of a service as well as product as perceived by the different users.
16. The best UX Designer jobs are never advertised!
If you are seeking employment in a top company, then make sure that you remember one key thing, that the best user experience designer jobs are never advertised in much in newspaper, rather you can be updated via LinkedIn through referrals or even Twitter. So for this purpose you must ensure that you remain connected. So here too if you find yourself in a tough spot you can begin by joining forums on twitter such as ‘UX thought leaders on Twitter’.
17. Hard work is the key to success:
When it comes to getting ahead in life, rather than wasting your time anticipating failure or being too afraid to try new things, what you ought to do is keep your head held high and constantly try to improve on the kind of which you deliver. After all in the long run it is only hard work that pays off. No client would like to hire a user experience designer who is mediocre at his or her job so if you have opted for this as your career path make sure that you are willing to put enough work to be the best at it.
18. Learn to apply your theoretical knowledge into your practical work:
One thing which not many people in this field are able to do is to apply whatever they have learnt from their educational institutions, online user experience design courses as well as book into their practical work. However you should try your best to be able to apply yourself as and when required and put all that you have studied into use. You should constantly try to keep yourself up to date with any advancement in your field of expertise such that you can become better with each passing day.
19. Have distinct goals in mind:
Last but certainly not the least is that you need to formulate some concrete goals in your mind such that you know exactly what you are working towards. Having a distinct goal serves in inspiring as well as motivating you towards striving in a definite direction rather being aimless and moving in circles..
So these are some of the tips that are tried as well as tested which you can make use of. However no two people are alike, therefore you must make sure to alter the points to ensure that they suit your purpose. If you have a fighting spirit and you are willing to manage any hurdle that comes your way, then you are sure to thrive in this field. Along the way people will try to discourage you, but make sure to use the positive criticism and ignore those who are trying to tear you down.