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How do I become a UI designer with no experience building apps?

I have worked in design for about 10 years, I'm thinking about taking the google ux certification course or maybe a design boot camp but not sure how I will get real world experience when everyone hiring wants real world experience not volunteer or bootcamp projects.

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Stacey’s Answer

Hey Brad!

This is always the rub with job postings right? You need experience for entry level, but how do you get experience?

I really like the suggestions in this article:
https://skillcrush.com/blog/get-experience-in-tech/

A lot of what is shared here is similar to what Kseniia’s said above, but there's some other ideas like joining a hackathon or open source project that the article goes into for more detail. :)

Also since you already have design experience, you have a leg up. So many people starting out need to practice practice practice their visual design skills. Don't forget that your skills are transferrable!

Best wishes.
Thank you comment icon Thank you Stacey. I've been able to put most of this into practice in some way. Apparently my visual design skills are not transferable since I work in marketing..I've gotten quite a bit of negative feedback about that. I've done some volunteer work but nothing significant or important. Not sure what else to do at this point. Brad
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Carleton’s Answer

Ten years is a lot of experience in design. You don't say what kind of design, but it's possible there's an overlap between that work and ux design and you just need to change up how you are presenting yourself in your resume, portfolio, or interviews. I switched into UX design 10 years ago through a combination of my own efforts, taking a lower paid position in a UX organization, and giving my employer the skills I had (coding) while I got to support real world UX projects.
Thank you comment icon Thank you for sharing your experience Carleton. My design experience is in marketing, unfortunately I've gotten quite a bit of negative feedback about that experience and how it isn't useful in product design? I recently took a low paying role on a UX team however the design work is mostly production with very little design and even less UI/UX. I'm not sure how else to present myself other than what I am. Brad
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Minji’s Answer

If you are a designer with no experience building apps, there are several steps you can take to become a UI designer:

1. Take courses or attend design boot camps to learn about UI design principles, methodologies, and tools. The Google UX certification course is a great place to start.
2. Practice your skills by working on personal projects or volunteering to create a UI design for non-profit organizations. This will give you an opportunity to build your portfolio and showcase your design abilities.
3. Network with other designers and attend design meetups or events in your area. This can help you to learn about the industry and potentially lead to job opportunities.
4. Consider taking on freelance design projects through online platforms such as Upwork or Fiverr. This can help you to gain real-world experience and build your portfolio.
5. Apply for entry-level UI design positions or internships. Even if these positions don't offer a full-time salary, they can provide valuable experience and the opportunity to learn from experienced designers.

Remember that becoming a UI designer takes time and effort, and it's important to be patient and persistent in your pursuit of a career in UI design. Good luck!
Thank you comment icon Thank you Minji. I completed a free UX course and am now taking a Coursera Course. I've had a hard time finding freelance and volunteer work, my portfolio is pretty bad but it's all i have to show. I do have one new website I'm working on but it's for a charity not a tech company or start up so it's probably not good enough. I recently took a low paying contract role with a UX team but there is almost no UX or UI work, even after bringing it up with my manager and team mates. Unfortunately I need to have a full time salary to support myself, otherwise I would take an internship or work for free. I may be too old or have too much responsibility to change careers at this point. Brad
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Mahanoor’s Answer

There are a lot of tutorials online, so I'd start with that first. From there not down what sort of stuff they mention, any key terms and from there search them up and you'll find lots of links/resources.
They'll give advice on what a good design contains.
Hope this helps!
Thank you comment icon Thank you for your reply. I have tried this several times but am still struggling to have a direction. Brad
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Kseniia’s Answer

Hey Bred, what a fantastic query you've got there! Indeed, the UX/UI field is teeming with competition. But don't let that daunt you!

Firstly, let's quash any fears you may have about being a beginner. Even those new to the field can secure a job. Starting out, you might consider freelance work or joining startups. This way, you can build a portfolio with real-world projects. Sometimes, even large corporations are on the lookout for fresh talent. Plus, your existing design experience is a massive advantage.

Secondly, enrolling in courses is an excellent move. My own journey into web design began with a course, after spending five years in a totally different field. It's a swift and effective way to gain familiarity with the profession and make your entry. Plus, some courses even offer job search assistance.

During my course, we were encouraged to share our work far and wide. You never know where an opportunity might arise. My first website design job came from an old friend, who had shared my work with her friends, and they with theirs. This led to a steady stream of orders.

So, hang in there, keep pursuing your passion, and you're bound to land an amazing job!
Thank you comment icon Hi Kseniia, Thank you for your reply. I have tried some of these things with no success. I have tried freelancing and start ups, they all want to see 'shipped products and 3-5 years experience in similar roles' even the Junior and Entry level roles. I've been told my previous design skills are not helpful because I 'worked in marketing not products'. I thought about taking a course but this costs between $5,000 - $15,000 which is not something I can afford. I thought about taking the google certification only because it is one of the few affordable courses but I worry it won't make a difference and I will have spent the money for nothing. Brad
Thank you comment icon Hi Brad, I don't see a problem with doing a course and then using that background knowledge as an introduction to the industry. There are those who can piece together a curriculum online and through experiences but from your other replies, it seems like you need some more structure. You'll need to build up from course -> potentially unpaid volunteer work -> freelance -> full time job. I really enjoyed this course a while back and it was pretty affordable: https://www.intoux.design/ You might also enjoy some of the courses through interaction design foundation - and its a fairly reasonable price, too: https://www.interaction-design.org/ I see these as starting points while you build up your portfolio with other experience. Stacey Baldini
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Seema’s Answer

Embarking on a journey to become a UI designer without prior app-building experience is entirely possible. It involves a blend of acquiring new knowledge, honing your skills through practice, and constructing a compelling portfolio. Here's a simplified guide to kickstart your journey:

*Grasp the Fundamentals
*Get Acquainted with User-Centered Design
*Master Design Tools
*Get Familiar with UI Design Patterns
*Dive into App Design Guidelines
*Absorb the Design Guidelines
*Sharpen Your Design Skills
*Compile an Impressive Portfolio
*Undertake Personal Projects
*Get a Grip on Interaction Design

Remember, building a robust foundation demands time and effort. Don't let initial inexperience deter you. Steady learning, practical application of skills, and a meticulously built portfolio are your keys to unlocking a successful career in the UI design field, even without prior app design experience. For additional reading, check out: UI UX Course in Pune
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Warisha’s Answer

If you become a UI designer and learn courses online (free and paid) there are so many materials, the tool you use in UI its Figma, sketch, and Adobe XD.
1. begin with the learn the fundamentals (basic principles of design, including color theory, typography, layout, and composition)
2. Study existing apps (structured, organized, and visually designed)
3. Gain design skills in Figma, sketch, and adobe xd which I mention above are commonly used in UI design
UX Google certification is good try it!

And make sure that be consistent with your learning, I hope you will achieve that.
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