Did you know that you can become a UX/UI designer and start earning money in less than a year?
Now, yes you do need to put in the hard work to start or change your career in less than a year, but it's extremely plausible and I know loads of people who've done it.
Being a UX/UI designer is amongst the few jobs in the world for which you do not need a formal degree to start with. Some designers opt to join a Bootcamp or online courses, however, some of the best designers out there are self-taught.
There are several paths to learning UI/UX design and there's not a single right or wrong way. It all comes down to learning the theories behind good design and practising until you master them.
So here are five steps for you to take to become a self-taught UX/UI designer:
UX stands for user experience and this is probably the most important aspect for any successful design. You need to understand how the user interacts with the digital product, doesn't matter if it's a website, an app or software. You need to know how the user uses it. UX design focuses on creating a delightful experience through meeting user needs and wants, as well as through user psychology.
The best way for you to think and act like a UX designer is to watch as many online tutorials and even listen to as many podcasts as possible about UX. This will train your mind to design the best interface for the user. Of course, you can keep an eye on my channel for tutorials on UX, but also here are a few podcasts that I personally enjoy listening to.
UI Breakfast, User Defenders, What is wrong with UX?, Wireframe, High resolution
You may have some favourite websites or apps, like Shopify or apple, or candy crush, etc. Start studying those and see where they have similarities, analyse what works so well for you as a user, the colour palette, the gridlines, the spacing between elements. It's important to have a critical eye for what you love on the website but also for what you don't like that much or even hate. Believe me, once you start doing this, it will be automatic and you will critique all the digital products out there forever, for both their design but also their functionality.
For this, you need to start investing some time in learning design tools. The best ones out there are Figma, Sketch and Adobe XD. I will also upload plenty more videos on how to use them. The best part is that once you learn one software, the others are like riding a bicycle. You are still riding a bike with the same elements, it just has a different design, and maybe some extra shiny features.
Reading books and articles or watching design tutorials will only get you so far. What you need to do to become proficient at UI/UX is design digital products and start accumulating a solid body of work.
If you're starting from scratch, I highly recommend downloading some free UI kits (or user interface kits) to help get your designs started. A UI kit is a set of pre-made design components containing essential visual elements for a specific UI design (think buttons, icons, fonts, menus, etc.).
Use these UI kits to design your website or mobile app for starters. But also consider doing redesigns of existing sites. Pick some of your favourite websites and explore how you could redesign them to look and function even better.
Once you start designing, you could post your designs online and ask for feedback. You can do this on social media, or designer communities or platforms such as dribble. Another way to receive feedback and maybe even earn some money is to start bidding on projects on 99design and fiver. I've started this way back in the days. It's a bit of a hassle for the first few projects but after a while, you will get the hang of it and get real-time feedback from clients. But please do not invest too much time in trying to grow on these platforms as they are terrible for designers and I do not recommend them if you want to start making money from design, they are good for when you first start out but once you get the hang of it close your account and never look back.
After a top-notch portfolio, which in my opinion you need to keep updating as you go, you should start applying to entry-level UX/UI designer jobs. These jobs are quite in high demand nowadays and as long as you show them that you have the soft skills for it, but also have practised your hard skills via freelance platforms, and by showing your portfolio, you should be hired in no time.
Working full time, in the beginning, helps you a lot because you have loads of people around you with experience in product development. And let's not forget the fact that you will be doing this a lot of hours a day, so practice makes perfect.
I think being a UX/UI designer is one of the best jobs in the world and this is a very good time to start somewhere. There is a necessity for better and more digital products. All businesses want to get online now because here they can make more money, and can reach more people around the globe. The IT industry it's filled with nice, fun, interesting people, the projects are never boring and the pay-check is attractive, so don't waste any more time. Start learning and working to become a UX/UI designer in 2021.