Like many UX designers in the world
How do you become a UX designer?
The job of “UX Designer” has quickly developed into one of the most sought-after jobs in the technology industry. No wonder, because the creative and diverse areas of responsibility, the high degree of flexibility in the work organization and, last but not least, the lucrative salary are good arguments for this position.
The question of why you should pursue this career dream is quickly answered. With the “how”, however, it is not that easy. But no worry: In the following blog post we have summarized the most important information for a successful start in the world of UX design for you.
What exactly is a UX designer?
The UX designer is responsible for the user experience and thus for the experience of a product in the course of its application. Its task is to design a user interface that enables the user to experience a product from start to finish.
UX designers use various programs such as Photoshop, Sketch or Illustrator to create storyboards, wireframes, mockups and sitemaps and test the result with real users.
What is the difference between UX design and UI design?
UX design and UI design are closely related and are often combined in a work area in companies. Although they overlap, they are still different. While UX designers focus on the user experience, that is, the user's journey across the product's numerous interfaces, the focus of the UI designer is on the interaction of the user with the visual elements and notes of the product.
Take the design of a car as an example. The UX designer has to ensure that the entire driving experience, i.e. looking at it, sitting down, driving and parking, offers a positive experience for the user and feels logical, intuitive and entertaining. The UI designer, on the other hand, ensures that easy interaction between driver and vehicle is possible, that every button has an understandable icon, that features do not interfere with each other, and so on.
What are the characteristics of a great UX designer?
UX designers often come from a wide variety of fields, but there are some qualities for this profession that are definitely helpful:
- Passion: A real fascination for patterns and the way things work are the prerequisites for a convincing product presentation.
- Empathy: In order to design great products, you have to understand the wishes but also the frustration potential of the users. Only those who are able to understand the real use cases for a product will be able to stage it convincingly.
- Modesty: The UX designer always works in exchange with various departments, users, programmers, executives and stakeholders. It is also necessary to be able to receive and adopt some feedback from all of the above parties.
- Initiative: You have to train yourself in various areas and be able to work independently. In this way, your very own UX designer portfolio will be created, which will make your start in the professional world much easier.
- Love of technology: The possibilities to experience a product are constantly expanding. Only those who are really interested in technology and always stay up to date will find their calling in this profession.
If you feel that you have all of the above characteristics, then you have the best prerequisites for a long and successful career path.
How much does a UX designer earn?
In Austria, the average annual salary of a UX designer is € 48,118 and is therefore very high in the industry comparison. In other European countries, the earning potential is similar. The average annual income of a UX designer is in:
- Italy € 34,765
- Spain € 36,261
- Ireland € 55,795
- Denmark € 62,853
Anyone who would like to work as a UX designer in other countries can find out more about the corresponding salary prospects.
How do you become a UX designer?
The interest in an apprenticeship or in a job as a UX designer has increased dramatically in the last few months. Most of the interested parties are graduates from technical courses and graphic designers who want to push their careers, but also creative people from the advertising industry. The good news is that the demand for UX designers is extremely high right now.
However, if you dare to enter the industry with little or no experience, it will be difficult for you. Even companies desperately looking for UX designers prefer candidates who have relevant prior knowledge and a meaningful UX design portfolio. So what can you do?
1. Reading and learning
Find out more about UX, chat with experts, listen to relevant podcasts and most importantly: read, read, read!
- The Design of Everyday Things: This book by Don Norman, former director of the Institute for Cognitive Science at the University of California, explains how how and why some products delight customers while others frustrate them. It's not just about the design of computers and software, but about mundane objects like chairs and tables. After reading, you will have a completely different view of the design of all the things that surround you in your everyday life.
- Smashing UX design: This is a highly regarded and highly recommended UX reference guide. It offers a detailed Overview of the 16 most commonly used UX design and research tools, plus a collection of case studies on real-world projectsexplaining why certain techniques were used in certain circumstances.
- Don't Make Me Think: This book by information architect and UX professional Steve Krug was hailed as an "instant classic" in 2000 and is still considered one of the most important books on web usability. Other UX design books have even been written about this book - pretty compelling evidence of its validity. Since then, Krug has published a second issue and also an update entitled "Don't Make Me Think, Revisited".
There are many other recommended books for you to read about UX design, but to get you started, these 3 classics are our clear recommendations. Aside from books, there is also an almost inexhaustible range of UX designer blogs, podcasts and articles that you can visit in your spare time.
2. Find an experienced mentor
On the way to becoming a UX designer, new questions will constantly arise.So it is essential to have an experienced mentor by your side. But where can you find someone like that?
First of all, your goal has to be to become part of the UX designer community. Search for local UX events on meetup.com and make first contacts. Even the most experienced designers had to start somewhere. So don't be afraid to start this conversation and ask their advice.
This thread on Quora also has some great advice regarding the UX design mentors. If you are rather shy or are more familiar with online hangouts, the best thing to do is to read the SUX community.
3. Learn the most important tools
Mockups, prototyping, wireframes, responsive web design, and much more. - Broad software knowledge is the basis for your success as a UX designer. We'll give you a brief overview of the most important UX tools.
- Wireframesketcher: Wireframesketcher is a wireframe tool that enables designers, developers, and product managers to quickly create wireframes, mockups, and prototypes for desktop, web, and mobile applications. It's a desktop app and plug-in for any Eclipse IDE.
- InVision: InVision is by far the most popular prototype tool in the world. On the InVision project management page, you can organize design components in a status workflow. You can define columns for tasks and drag and drop your design components into the corresponding column. You can work with a wide variety of file types including JPG, PNG, GIF, AI, and PSD. InVision also has push-and-pull integrations with apps like Slack, Dropbox, Box, Trello, JIRA and many more.
- Adobe Experience Design:Adobe XD lets you create, reuse, and remix vector and artwork to create wireframes, screen layouts, interactive prototypes, and production-ready elements in the same app. A big plus is the possibility of integrating other Adobe products such as Photoshop or After Effects.
- Sketch:Sketch is similar to Photoshop in many ways, but with the addition of some very useful features. So the vector shapes of Sketch can easily be adapted to changing styles, sizes and layouts, so that you can save yourself a lot of time-consuming manual adjustments. Sketch's fully vector-based workflow makes it easy to create beautiful, high-quality designs from start to finish.
- Dribbble:Dribbble describes itself as the home of the world's best designers and offers an almost endless selection of creative showcases and visual design options.
- Last but not least - Post-It: You won't find a UX designer without sticky notes. They are an important tool in the brainstorming, planning and development process. So, stock up on your stock of different colored Post-It and off you go.
4. Start your training to become a UX designer online
A good UX design course prepares you for the most important UX design concepts, tools and resources and enables you to practice in a practical environment.
In the Talent Garden Innovation School, for example, there is that comprehensive full time UX Design Online Bootcamp. The intensive online course is very hands-on and relies on speakers from the field.
For people who work, the more flexible one is available UX Design Fundamentals Online Course at. In this online course, classes take place in the evening. So nothing stands in the way of your UX design career!
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