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Pro Tips on How to Learn UX Design


The recent increase in the number of tech companies around the nation has led to an increase in the demand for UX designers. This is because UX designers are responsible for designing digital products and making sure they resonate with the users' needs and pain points.


Thus, any company that wants to solve human problems with digital products will need to consider hiring a UX designer. This implies that at one point or the other, a tech-oriented company is likely to hire one or more UX designers. So, it's no wonder that the demand for UX designers is high.


There is no better time to learn UX design than now. You need to leverage this wave of demand to learn and get into the design industry.


Is it hard to learn UX design?


Foremost, let us set the record straight. It isn't rocket science to become a UX designer, it does need dedication, resilience, and hard work. However, you don’t need to be bothered with the fear of going from a novice to a professional UX designer.


Remember, every UX professional you see out there today was once a novice. Anyone can also become a professional in the UX design career without having a university education in UX design.


Where do I start learning UX design learning?



The most challenging question in your mind could be ‘where do I start my UX design learning from? Whether you are starting out new in your career or you are in for a career change, before you get lost searching for the answers, this article will give you the pro tips to help in your learning UX design.


Read Where can I learn UX design?

Product design classes for talented individuals

Starting out as a UX designer



Every building requires a solid foundation. The same applies as you set out to learn UX design. It is fundamental that you know the basic principles of UX design as well as the problems a UX designer solves.


Understand the basics of designs


Talking about the basics of design, let’s have a short overview of what you should know about designs:


What is a Design?

Wikipedia describes a design as a plan or specification for the construction of an object or system, or the implementation of an activity or process. It can also be for the result of that plan or specification in the form of a prototype, product, or process.


For Graphic designers, the planning and placement of elements in an image, picture, or video using specialist software such as Adobe Photoshop are referred to as design. However, UI/UX design is not Graphic design.

Learn the differences between UI design and UX design


In product design, the two arms of designs you will always come about are the UI (User Interface) and the UX designs.


UI design involves designing user interfaces in software or digital devices with a focus on appearance or style.

The interface between a user and a website is the point of interaction. UI designers strive to create user interfaces that are simple and enjoyable to use.


UX design is concerned with whatever has a positive or negative impact on a user's journey to solve a problem, both on and off the screen.


UX Design places a strong emphasis on gaining a thorough understanding of the user, their needs, pain points, values, strengths, and constraints. It puts the company's business goals and objectives into thought.


Google is your friend as everyone will say. In venturing into this new career path, it is good to know the basics, this could easily be learned from using google search, and watching YouTube short videos on the subject.


Understand the fundamental principles applied by UX Designers



UX designers understand the five stages of the design process. These stages include empathy, problem definition, ideation, prototyping, and testing. To make their points, they employ soft skills such as empathy, collaboration, and communication, as well as critical thinking and problem-solving.


You cannot have a great and relatable design without understanding the user's psychology; remember, users, are human beings. As a UX designer, while you empathize with your user, you must also not forget that you are not your user.


Hence, the need to learn how to conduct effective user research.

The process by which UX designers study the target users in depth is known as user research. This process helps the designer to know their problems, pain points, values, and possible expectations from a product. User research helps a product designer to create a relatable and great digital product for the user.


Learn how to analyze a design



Train your mind to be able to differentiate between good and bad design. If you master design principles and understand the design process, spotting a bad design will be easier. This is how to do it,

  • Select a wide range of designs from your favorite websites and mobile apps

  • analyze each design

  • critique those designs based on your understanding of the theories of design.

Note: Do not only like or dislike a design, know the why. Check the layout, color theory, interaction design, etc. Most importantly, while doing this, put yourself in the shoes of the user. Remember, empathy is the first step in the UX design process. It will help to sharpen your skills and unleash your creativity.


The process by which UX designers study the target users in depth is known as user research. This process helps the designer to know their problems, pain points, values, and possible expectations from a product. User research helps a product designer to create a relatable and great digital product for the user.

Get the right design tools


During your research, you would have come across different design software like Sketch, Adobe XD, Balsamiq, Maze, Figma, etc. You do not, however, need to be acquainted with all of them. Learn about the best ones available, pick the one that works best for you, and constantly update yourself on the latest features and trends.


For a beginner, I recommend design tools like Sketch, Figma, and Adobe XD. Let's check a quick rundown of what each tool has to offer:


Sketch



Sketch is a digital design program for the Mac operating system. Because of its plugin functionalities and user-friendly interface, Sketch is popular among designers. It’s not available for operating systems like windows and Linus.



Figma



Figma is a digital project design and works together as a prototype tool. It's the newest UI/UX design software on the market, and it has quickly become the tool of choice for many designers.




Adobe XD



Adobe XD was created primarily for User interaction designers. The best aspect is that it's completely free and allows you to prototype and develop.






Start Designing

You don't have to wait till you become the master, get all ideas in the world, or become a professional before you start designing. Don’t wait till you have everything figured out.

Now is the best time to start practicing with the "little knowledge" you've gained from your research. You also don't have to worry about being perfect here. It's all about making the best of what you've got. You never can tell how far you can go.

Do something Daily in UX design



Create the habit of doing something daily that is in line with your career advancement goal. Commit to reading articles on design news daily.

You can consider redesigning your favorite websites or mobile apps. As you think through the concept behind each design, it's another great way to build an eye for good designs as well as improve your design thinking.

It is recommended that you share your work with people who can give you constructive feedback, either positive or negative. However, do not forget that your first designs are not going to be your best designs.


You don't have to wait till you become the master, get all ideas in the world, or become a professional before you start designing. Don’t wait till you have everything figured out

Enroll in online courses



If you've followed the tips given earlier, by now, you must be certain that a UX career is right for you. Then, it's time to get in for the long game.

In your career journey, the most effective method to go from beginner to expert is to take structured courses. Structured learning helps to keep your focus and enhances steady growth. It helps you to learn the right skill at the right time.


There are different ways to enroll in a structured learning path. While some chose to get an online course, others enroll in physical learning paths. Online courses are common these days because they give you the option of learning at your own pace.

The cost of online courses is also relatively cheap compared to physical training. It is also not location-bound.


Start out with free resources. Check out the introductory classes to validate and remind yourself of the personal research done earlier.

Note: Your goal is not in the number of online courses you enrolled for. When you enroll for an online course, ensure to master the skills taught in detail.


Online UX Design Learning platform



There is a wide range of online platforms that teach UX design. They afford you the opportunity to learn at your own pace. While there are tons of free courses for beginners, I recommend you take on paid structured training that gives you full access to the scope of UX design.


The specialty of the online learning platform from which you learn UX design influences how relevant or weighty the UX design certificate you badge from that platform.

Generally, a certificate from online learning platforms that offer a wide range of courses with UX designs as just one of their learning paths holds low effect in the design industry compared to a certificate badge from institutions or platforms that specialize in UI/UX designs.


This means that, when compared to other generalist platforms, potential employers and clients pay greater attention to the products of such learning platforms. This isn't to say that other platforms don't provide useful content that can help you improve your skills.

Your decision on which platform to learn UX from might be influenced by cost, design background, and a wide range of other factors.


Read this UX Online Training


Leverage Non-Profit organizations for your learning.



There are several non-profit organizations that have come up with different scholarship opportunities to support people transitioning into tech. Some are funded by international organizations. They organize free training or boot camps. Depending on students' performance they also offer internships and job guarantees for committed participants. You might check out available programs in your region.

Build a design portfolio



Your Portfolio is a means to sell yourself to your employer or potential clients. No matter what you know, until people see what you can do or have done with what you know, you are assumed to know nothing. Your portfolio as a UX designer shows your best designs and the UX design process embraced.


You can go to bestfolios.com to get ideas on how to structure a good portfolio. There are amazing designers' portfolios on the site, study how people experts built theirs and strategize your way up there.


Read The Ultimate Guide to Creating an Impressive UX Portfolio

How to Build an Impressive UX Portfolio Without Experience

Common UX Portfolio Mistakes to Avoid as a Newbie


Build real-world projects



Apply the knowledge gathered from your online courses to attempt real-world projects. Ensure your self-own projects are solving problems. The majority of the online courses come with tasks to be completed for certification.


You can also reach out to friends working on a project in order to help. It can come with a little pay or not. But getting real-life experience is more important at this stage. You can also get inspiration on real-life projects using a platform like Dribble. Structured these out to build a UX portfolio for yourself. A convincing design portfolio is a great start to landing your dream job as a UX designer.

Join a community of UX designers



A community usually consists of a network of designers. You get to meet industry experts. In such communities, there are discussion forums that focus usually on the new development in the UX industry, job opportunities, and challenges. They are a great way to connect to other experts and also find a mentor. That takes us to the next important point.


Have a Mentor

A mentor is an experienced individual who helps a less experienced person in their professional endeavors on an informal basis. He helps you succeed in your UX career by guiding you with the resources, counsel, assistance, and feedback you need to succeed. The UX design community is a great platform to meet such industry experts.

A good mentor can provide professional guidance while maintaining a friendly and supportive relationship with you. A mentorship relationship is like a friendly business relationship that is mutually beneficial. The mentor develops their leadership skills while the mentee (you) gets to hone his UX skills.

Leverage social media for your career advancement


Building an online portfolio is great. However, document your learning progress using social media fields on platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. People need to connect with you to know the stuff you are made of.

You may need to learn the use of hashtags when sharing your ideas on social media, it gives your content the opportunity to reach people beyond your current connections. Recruiters still reach out via Direct Messages.


How long does it take to learn UX Designing?

Structured Online courses usually take 8 weeks to 12 months to complete depending on your foundation and career goal. However, the courses are taken in batches. a Bootcamp takes 6-8 weeks.


Some online learning platforms like GoCreate USA offer mentorship opportunities for participants. This helps to guide their steps after completing the course to getting their path established in the UX industry.

With consistent learning and practice, one can learn the skills in 3 months. However, continuous learning and implementation will make you a relevant product designer.


Starting a career in UX design

How to get better at UX design


Do NOT stop learning

Learning never stops. The learning process is a continuous one. There is a continuous evolution in the tech industry. No matter the height you have attained in your career, you must ensure you are up-to-date with the current trend in the industry. As much as you work on your hard skills, also develop your soft skills.

Final words

I hope these pro tips serve as a framework for you in your UX journey. If you're ready to put in the time, effort, and attention, you can learn UX design and become an industry expert regardless of your current skill level. Continue to learn and hone your skills, and keep in mind that success does not happen overnight. You can do it!

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