After publishing my previous blog on uxplanet.org, I have been getting messages from few of readers, as to how to get started with a career in User Experience(UX) Design? This is a question that is most frequently asked when someone is planning a shift in their career from visual designer, web designer or illustrator roles to become a UX designer.
This blog provides you with:
- A list of few online courses to help one get started with learning UX Design
- Popular Certification Programs
- Blogs site that would help as good references
- Tools to Learn
- Skills required for a UX designer
There are quiet a few online courses available on the internet which should help one getting started on gaining knowledge on UX. Below are some of the popular sites and also some suggested learning that I found are good to start:
- Interaction Design Foundation
Popular Certification Programs
Popular UX Blogs
Reading blogs helps one keep up-to date with the trends, practices, methodologies and technology. Reading blogs is a habit that should live for ever to keep anyone up-to date with industry. Some popular UX blog sites are listed below:
- Smashing Magazine
- Nielsen Norman Group
- A List Apart
- Interaction Design Blog
- UX Design.cc
- UX Planet
- UX matters
- UX Booth
Tools to Learn
- Adobe Photoshop for Visual Design
- Adobe Illustrator for Vector Design
- Sketch / Justinmind / Axure / InVision / UXPin for wireframes and prototyping
Skills to get started as a UX Designer
Observation: Observe your surroundings, understand every thing you can. Observe the people around you, their behavior patterns in different social groups, online and offline behaviors, infrastructure they live in, cultural practices, problems they face and so on.
Empathy: UX is all about understanding users and providing feasible, delightful experiences for them. The ability to empathize with the user is a key skill of a UX designer. As a UX designer one needs to think, understand and solve problems for the the user.
Brainstorming: Start participating on brainstorming sessions whenever you get an opportunity. Try to initiate this activity within your teams, when you see there is a need for a solution. Try to participate with different groups. Improve your skills in planning and moderating the sessions, stimulating the idea generation process, ensuring the focus on the topic does not go off track. You should be very good at setting the agenda and intent of the session and ensure it is on track at all times.
Facilitation: As a facilitator, it is important to have good listening skills, empathy and patience. You should learn to keep your thoughts, ideas, and allow the participants to put out their ideas and concerns without being biased by you. Even small gestures, such as nodding the head, could bias the participant. As a facilitator you should learn to be very neutral in your thoughts and actions.
Sketching: Sketching is a great way of getting ideas into shape.It is simple fast and effective in communication. Sketching helps in visualizing and remembering the conversation for a longer duration. You don’t have to be an expert in drawing. Even simple line drawings should solve the purpose.
Communication: As a UX Designer, you need to be good at communication with the client, and the team you are working with. In most of the projects, the UX teams act as bridge between the clients and the development teams to take it ahead. Creating clear artifacts and documentation are very important for any successful project.
I hope the article has provided some ideas on getting started as a UX designer. Please do write to me, if there could be a couple more to add on to the list.