If you’re a designer that loves working with people and coming up with innovative and eye-catching ideas, you’re in luck! The question of how to become a UX designer has been a popular one as of late – you’ll find that a lot of people are trying to “figure this profession out” since it has become widely accepted that it both pays a great salary and offers job stability.
The very first thing that we need to get out of the way is the job description of the UX designer career path. While it may be clear to some, there are a lot of people who love the design but have no idea what the “UX” part stands for. Once that’s done, we’ll move on to talking about the main criteria that you should meet on the path of how to become a UX designer. Finally, at the very end, we’ll cover some of the most commonly-referenced perks that the job offers.
Table of Contents
Understanding User Experience Design
To start things off, let’s discuss the profession of a UX designer. As I’ve mentioned earlier, many people to this day still don’t have a clear idea of what’s in store on the UX designer career path. So, just to make sure that we’re both on the same page, let’s take a look at some of the fundamental information regarding this specialty.
To put it into simple terms, UX designers are people who are tasked with gathering information about users of a specific platform and then designing that platform (its elements) following the wants and needs of the user in question. As you’ve probably already gathered, one of the key elements on how to become a UX designer involves a lot of communication with different experts of other specialties – software engineers, marketing specialists, and so on. You can probably immediately see that strong team working skills are a must.
After you’ve gathered all of the information of how users act and react to certain elements of the platform, it is then your job to create (or recreate, depending on the situation) interface elements that would not only attract user attention but also boost up their interaction rates with the platform itself.
So, that’s the general premise of the UX designer career path. Honestly, this is the very basic information that anyone looking for how to become a UX designer will encounter. That being said, we can now move on to talking about how to get into UX design.
Becoming a UX Designer
This will probably come as no surprise to you, but there are a lot of variables that go into becoming a UX designer. Things like being able to work in a team, having a strict work ethic, constantly updating your portfolio are a must. Today, we’ll talk about three big aspects that are essential to know if you’re thinking about UX designer career. These three aspects are education, motivation, and experience. Let’s take it from the top and talk about education.
Education is going to be one of the very first things that pop up when you try and search for ways of how to become a UX designer. And it’s not surprising, really – these days, almost all of the “higher position” jobs that guarantee stability require at least some sort of higher education. UX design is no exception.
If you’re looking how to get into UX design, however, you probably know that these professionals have it a bit different than, let’s say, mathematicians. With maths, things are pretty straightforward – you get your bachelor’s or master’s degree, and you’re set! Sure, you have to have great analytical and logical thinking skills, but they are usually acquired during your studies.
UX designers, however, are a bit different. First of all, they have to be great designers – that goes without saying. In addition to that, though, these designers have to be able to understand the user’s wants and needs AND be able to communicate with their colleagues in a streamlined and concise manner. This is something that may require a lot of additional work and practice – not everyone can be this empathetic right from the get-go! Surely it can take time to successfully learn how to become a UX designer.
Going back to formal education, your best bet would be to seek out a degree in UX research and design. After you’ve finished your studies and received your diploma, you have two options – either continue learning (for example, decide to start your master’s program) or try searching for entry-level UX designer jobs.
Formal education aside, there is also the option to be a self-taught UX designer or learn from online courses and tutorials. Believe it or not, online courses are becoming such a popular way to learn and get an education that it’s almost combating formal education in certain areas! This is also the reason why I’ve mentioned the two options (continue learning or start looking for a job) when we were talking about formal education.
Even though some professions (i.e. computer or data science, software engineering, etc.) still require you to have a master’s diploma in a relevant field to be able to even try and get a job, UX design, yet again, is different. Employers know that people who are looking for how to become a UX designer need to have a wide assortment of skills. That is why they pay more attention to the character of a person, rather than their skills themselves. To add to that, many companies these days have special training programs in place. If the employer likes you as a person (and thinks that you’ll be a dedicated, hard worker), they can hire you and then help you build all of the specific knowledge on the fundamental basics that you already possess.
So, to sum things up, if you want to know how to get into UX design, just keep in mind that even though specific, formal education is important, it’s only one side of the coin. Employers will analyze your character just as much as they will check your skills with UX design. With that said, let’s move on to the next chapter in this review – motivation.
Although not as specific as education, motivation is just as important of an aspect of a UX designer’s job as any other. Let me explain how motivation correlates with the question “how to become a UX designer?”.
In UX design, motivation doesn’t only mean that you are passionate about graphic design or UI creation. If you want to be a fully-fledged UX designer, you have to be interested in human behavior and social communications. I’ve said this a few times already, but it’s way too important and can’t be stressed enough – UX designers work as much (if not more) with people as they do alone. One of the main reasons why I keep mentioning this is because many people hear the word “design”, and they immediately think that their workflow is going to consist of them sitting at the computer and creating different designs. While that is true, it’s only half of the story – you will have to spend time analyzing what users like and dislike, how they react to different colors, shapes, and images, and only THEN will you sit down to create the actual designs.
All of the above information should serve the purpose of explaining just what your passions should look like when thinking about UX design. While wondering how to become a UX designer, you should also consider your motivations for getting the job – do you want it because the career path is truly attractive to you? Or is it just because the pay is good?
Whatever the case might be, your potential employers will see your motivations through and through during the job interview. If you are truly passionate about the subject – don’t worry! Your love and dedication will show! That being said, the same is also true if you’re not all that interested in the topic, and just want to get a job with a good salary.
So, by now, we’ve talked about education and motivation. There is one more aspect left to cover that’s important for anyone looking how to become a UX designer – experience.
Needless to say, the experience is important when thinking about a UX designer job. However, a lot of people wonder about a UX designer career with no experience. This isn’t at all strange! Many wannabe designers are simply a college or university graduates that have never worked in the field of UX design in their lives and are looking for their very first job. Even though it might be a bit more difficult to get a job without the proper experience, it’s not impossible – this is where education and motivation come in.
If you have the proper education (either formal or not) and are truly motivated, then the experience becomes a secondary aspect of how to become a UX designer question. During your interview, you will be able to show your potential employers that you truly do want the job, and are ready to work hard. However, without experience, actually getting invited to a job interview becomes the hard part. If your CV is empty, chances are that you’re not going to get the opportunity to show your dedication to UX research and design – you simply won’t get invited to the job interview, in general.
That being said, there are ways of how you can make your CV more approachable to potential employers. Certified online courses, seminars, various projects, and other activities can enrich your CV and show your employers that, even though you lack actual work experience, you are constantly participating in activities related to UX design, and thus are motivated and eager to get the job.
Now that we’ve covered everything from the UX designer job description up to how to become a UX designer with no experience, let’s take a closer look at why people choose UX design as their career path, in the first place.
Why UX Design?
One of the main reasons why people want to learn user experience design has already been mentioned a few times in this tutorial – it’s the salary. It is no secret that this profession can yield you a pretty good pay at the end of the month – but just what amount of money are we talking about?
According to Glassdoor.com, the average annual salary of a UX designer should be almost $90,700. This equates to around $7560 per month! Without a doubt, that’s a great salary – and it’s only an average estimation! If you’re just starting, chances are that you’re going to make a lot less (especially if you don’t have any prior working experience in the field). However, once you get a hang of things, you can expect to earn even more – it all depends on your work etiquette!
Another attractive thing that makes many people wonder how to become a UX designer is the specificity of the job itself. You not only get to work on your own, unique designs, but also get to work with a lot of different people. This means that your job will never become boring, and there are going to be new challenges to deal with every single day. Although this isn’t easy, it does result in you being able to learn a whole lot, and then apply your knowledge in your own, personal work.
At this point, you should now have a pretty good idea of both what UX designers do and all of the different things you need to know to learn how to become a UX designer. Although the profession truly isn’t easy, it’s one that will grant you new and interesting tasks every single day. If boredom and stagnation are your biggest enemies, and you love to both design things and work with people, then UX design is the field for you. Be sure to check out the latest courses on user experience design to receive the best information from our instructors!