4 answers

Can you share your experience as a UX or UI designer? What's like? What takes you there?

Updated Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Undergraduate student thinking about future career options.
I don't really know much about UX or UI
Do I need to know programme language before taking UX or UI courses?

Major in Psychology ; Want to explore different career options & where to apply psychology knowledge in real world.

Any recommended online courses or schools that offer UX/UI courses?

What makes you want to become a UX or UI designer? pros and cons?

BIG THANKS TO YOU!

#education
#designer
#user-experience
#user-interface-design
#career-counseling
#career
#career-choice
#career-path
#undergraduate
#online-learning
#certification
#psychology
#explore
#lifeishard

4 answers

Federico’s Answer

Updated San Jose, California

The comments above are all great, I'd like to add some perspective related to the strategic part of UX / UI design, the part that is most commonly referred to as 'UX Research'.

In fact, I'd recommend you to consider all the following skills related to this area:

  • Trends and competitive analysis, interviews and focus group, survey... everything that will allow you to understand who your final users really are and what they want
  • The ability to write a brief to inform a creative team (or the design exercise you're going to do next), that you can develop up to the point of being able to write functional and/or technical requirements

These are just a couple of examples, but might be useful in terms of understanding the breadth of an UX professional, also offering yourself an alternative in case you're not so into the development side of UX/UI design.

If you get this skill, you might be able to be considered for jobs such as design / experience strategist and help your career as a creative director.

Happy to continue the discussion if you'd like to know more.

Federico recommends the following next steps:

  • Sketch, InVision and Adobe XD are great tool to start with and have amazing tutorial
  • Not only you need to create your own website, you have to make sure that it's the shiniest example of your portfolio so make it shine!
  • Don't forget to share your ideas and personal project on platforms like Behance and Dribble, that's where designers and customers go to

Evin’s Answer

Updated Newark, New Jersey

UX/UI skills are great to have along with psychology to expand your career options. Human computer interaction (HCI) and graphic design courses will broaden your knowledge about user centered design as well.


A lot of companies are looking for hybrid designers that have these skills. Forbes wrote an article on this topic.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesagencycouncil/2017/03/23/the-bottom-line-why-good-ux-design-means-better-business/#12afef4d2396


I received my bachelor’s degree in graphic design and later on went back to school for a certificate in computer science. I went from graphic design to web design, to front-end-web-development, to digital design and now to UX/UI.


I found out along my career path that I loved exciting apps and websites that made my life easier and I wanted to be a part of creating those enjoyable experiences for other people. So, I took a bunch of courses on Lynda.com, Treehouse.com and Udemy.com just to learn other bits and tips outside of school. Lynda and Treehouse is discounted for students and Udemy is just really cheap. Most of the courses I took on Udemy range from $10 - $25 bucks. The most helpful course I took was a UX designer portfolio course on Udemy. It taught me exactly what to put in my portfolio. Companies not only want to see that you can design but they want to see the thought process behind your designs. As soon as I did that, I started applying for a job in UX and got one.


In my opinion, it never hurts to know the basic HTML and CSS. It’s not required for you to know how to code in order to be a UX/UI designer, but it helps when your interviewing for a job and they know you have the ability to understand the development process. A lot of designers and developers don’t speak the same language, so if you’re that person who can bridge the gap and help lessen any confusion or miscommunication, you’ll be a great asset to any team. You can learn to code for free on codeacademy.com


The con of being a hybrid designer is that some companies will want you to exercise several of your skills on a daily basis but not really want to pay you for it. You’ll be involved in more areas of a project than anyone else at times and that could get stressful. You’ll want to discover what your passionate about and focus on it. Being excellent at one thing is much better than being ok at many things.


The pros in being a hybrid designer is that you’ll always be needed somewhere. You’ll be able to move through your career seamlessly and still be able to explore industries until you find your niche. I wish you the best of luck!

Evin recommends the following next steps:

  • Take some online courses
  • Start building a portfolio online. You'll need a website. This can easily be done on WordPress.
  • Find a mentor to help you with your resume
  • Make up your own projects and work on them in your spare time
Updated
Your answer is great Evin, thanks so much for sharing your expertise! At this moment there are more than 800 unanswered questions so I wanted to encourage you to keep going! So many students will benefit tremendously from hearing from you. Keep up the great work!
Updated
Thank you so much Evin!! I really appreciate your advice!

Angela’s Answer

Updated New York, New York

Hi Cindy,


I heard about UX when I was a senior in college and knew it was the right career path for me. I was a double major in Information Systems and Psychology with an Art minor. I really enjoyed both technical and creative classes. I then went to graduate school to study this field. For someone just starting out I would recommend taking some online courses to see if you are interested in the material. Lynda.com is a great place to start.


Coding experience is not necessary to obtain a position; however, it greatly helps your communication with developers. As a UX designer my role consists of conducting research, creating interface designs and working with developers to build out products. Having a knowledge of technical programming languages will definitely help you communicate with coworkers so I would recommend taking some HTML and CSS classes.


To become a UX designer you need to make a portfolio that shows your thought process on how you approach problems. Create a website that shows your coursework or make up side projects. Also, try to get an internship while you are still in school. An internship will give you real world experience, connections with people in industry and a project to add to your portfolio.


Good luck!

Angela recommends the following next steps:

  • Take online courses to see if the material sparks your interest
  • Create a portfolio of side projects
  • Get an internship for more experience
Updated
Thank you so much! Angela! wow that's a cool combination (Information system and psychology!)

Ifran’s Answer

Updated New Rochelle, New York

In 2016, I did an internship as an UI/UX designer in a company. They were building a cross platform mobile application for a university. The general purpose of the app was focusing on achievements a student can make throughout their 4 or 5 years in college as a challenge and when they graduate they would get medals depending on achievements/challenges they have completed.


I was assigned to create a landing page for advertising this mobile application and it's features, as well as tweak/design icons and graphic images for the mobile application. Any web designer can make a simple landing page, but going through a proper documentation maintaining a good user interface design and also making sure it was user friendly was a bit hard at first, as I had to go back and forth and show it to my co-workers to find out how it looked like from their perspective. I was confident as I had hands on experience in various web programming languages. At first, we planned out the landing page in a piece of paper, then from that initial idea I made a mockup using Adobe illustrator and then converted that to HTML and CSS, then later on added some JavaScript and jQuery libraries to get a visual effect of the animation on the site. At the end, I was successfully able to make a commercial landing page as well as help with the UI design of the mobile application.


As an UI/UX designer you must be able to use Adobe tools such as Photoshop, Illustrator & InDesign as well as have basic experience in HTML, CSS and JavaScript.


Courses:

  • If you are a type of person who likes to read and figure things out you could try codeacademy.com for learning basic web programming languages.
  • Otherwise for video based lessons you could use lynda.com , udemy.com


Major wise:

You can learn all of these even no matter what major you are. I have a friend who's majoring in psychology but she's also a great painter/artist. So I influenced her to get involved in graphics design and now she's a freelance designer besides studying in psychology and doing pretty well.

Ifran recommends the following next steps:

  • First of all you need to have a lot of patience.
  • Learning basic web programming languages such as HTML, CSS and JavaScript.
  • Learning how to use graphics design tools such as Photoshop, Illustrator & InDesign.
  • Having a personal website to build an online presence.