Let’s switch to UX design — NOW!
Beginners like me always keep on asking this question - what is the best way to learn user experience design? Here is the answer.
How should I start in UX Design? Where should I start? Are there any per-requisites? What are the best courses? What certifications would help me?
As soon as I posted 6 course certificates from Interaction Design Foundation, I got around 100 new connections on LinkedIn and a dozen of messages regarding two topics “How should we start in UX?” and “Is Interaction Design Foundation’s course worth it?”
Hence I am writing this article for anyone who wants to transition from any field to UX/UI design or Product design. Following are few of the points that you should know and follow.
Start somewhere at something
Do not procrastinate
Whenever we start a new habit, the most difficult part is to actually start. If you are planning on transitioning to UX design, then you ought to start somewhere. It could be anything — from Youtube videos, to medium articles, to LinkedIn posts, to books.
There is a plethora of information online and offline, for beginners and experts alike.
Start your transition today. Not tomorrow, not day after it. NOW.
Being regular is a game changer
Be punctual and true towards your goal
Whatever and however small you learn, adding few points in your head everyday would definitely help. Even if you can provide 15 mins of your daily schedule for learning something about UX Design, then you are 7.5 hours worth of knowledge stronger than you were a month before. And believe me, that helps.
Try the project and do not be afraid to fail multiple times!
Being honest here, my first project was pathetic, my second project was also pathetic but still a lot better than my first project.
Please, do not be afraid of starting out a project from start to end and make mistakes; possibly fail too. Go ahead, keep on picking up individual projects that you think are actual problems that you face everyday.
You can do a introspection of your daily routine to get ideas on what are the existing problems. It could be anything from forgetting your bus pass to not being able to get enough sleep.
Do not try to fake your numbers
It’s overwhelming I know, but always try to do the research
User experience is bad.
Okay, but how do you know it is bad? What data are you having to support your argument? Here comes the user research part.
I agree, researching about your user and their orientation towards your idea or their own life can be a little difficult. But you need to do it. How to do it and what are the things that need to be taken care of are just one google search away.
As soon as you have data available for your project, you’ll be really confident in presenting your idea to your peers and hence, moving that idea further.
Say Hi more often
Do not be hesitant to contact someone
I was once told by my peer —
“How would you know until you won’t ask?”
And this line hit me like a ton of bricks. At this point of time, we are having so many choices to connect, learn and share on — and we should make use of such platforms.
Ask questions that are confusing you. If possible, then ask for their portfolio link and have a look at the process that they follow.
NOTE — There will always be people who are not able to reply back to you and it doesn’t mean they are ignoring you. Maybe they are just busy with their work. Move on, send request to the next person. And then next. and so on.
Courses < Will to learn
Courses does matter, but your will to learn matters more
Springboard, Interaction Design Foundation, Ironhack, Human Factors International and lot of other courses are available online and every single one of them is good. It depends on two factors — your budget and your will to learn.
If you are ready to commit, then courses are just a stepping stone for you. A lot of learning comes from directly implementing the things that you have learnt. Otherwise everything becomes quite redundant.
Be receptive to critique
Accept your mistake
Though I have not seen any person till now in UX design who is not receptive towards the critique they were offered. Maybe it is the inherent quality of being a UX designer.
But still, I would like to tell everyone to accept your mistakes and be receptive to the idea of constructive feedback.
Lead if there’s a chance and give 100%
Do not be afraid to lead even if you are a beginner
Lead. No matter what is your experience level, or your educational background or the number of projects that you have done.
If there is a small hackathon or a challenge that needs to be done, then please come forward to lead it. This will provide you with two main benefits —
- You’ll understand that UX design is a team effort and you may have to lead one in the future. This is the starting point for that.
- Even if you are amateur or knows less than your peers, giving your 100% to the task increases your credibility towards them. They do understand that you are giving yourself all in towards that task, and that motivates and drives them too.
Ear over mouth
Listen extensively, speak minimally
As I said, accept your mistakes. I am still working on this part of the process. One of the key skills that a UX designer needs irrespective of their backgrounds is the talent of listening to your user, stakeholders as well as peers.
This skill is of utmost importance during each phase of the process and one must inculcate this. It is hard for few like me I agree, but not impossible.
This sums up all the learning from my end of the experience of learning UX Design. I transitioned from architecture to UI/UX design by self learning through Interaction Design Foundation’s courses.
If there are any points that you want the readers to know then please let us know below. Hope you liked the article. Have a nice day!