Do you have a keen eye for design and a flair for creativity? If yes, then User Experience (UX) designing might be a suitable career choice for you. The main purpose of UX design is to enable customers to find value in a product or service offered by a business. Many organizations in the traditional and digital landscape have witnessed how quality user experience positively influences customer satisfaction and business growth. Given its wide scope, it is hardly surprising to see why UX designers are in great demand. So if you are ready to jump into the fray, read on to learn how to become a UX designer and build a successful career in the field.
Is UX Design a Growing Field?
As e-commerce, mobile applications, and web-based activities expand, they will continue to generate a demand for digital professionals such as UX designers. According to the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the overall employment of UX designers is likely to grow by 23% from 2021 to 2031. With retail businesses shifting to online platforms, there is a constant need for human-centric design skills to create seamless user experiences.
Further, UX isn’t something that will go out of style. As long as businesses want to provide customers with enjoyable, user-friendly products and services, there will be a demand for UX designers.
The Purpose of UX Design
Before we get into how to become a UX designer, let’s understand the role UX design plays in business. In simple words, the purpose of UX design is:
- To understand the customer and make products as user-friendly as possible
- To deliver effective solutions that address pain points and customer needs
- To optimize every stage of product development
- To integrate function, usability, and branding
- To boost customer experience and retention
Who Can Become a UX Designer? What Skills Do You Need?
Anyone with a creative mindset and a strong aesthetic sense can train to become a UX designer. A good UX designer will have a combination of technical and soft skills to effectively serve both the business side and the customer side of product design.
These technical skills primarily include Information Architecture, User Interface (UI) skills, wireframing, prototyping and responsive designing. They must also develop other skills such as project management, user research, communication and collaboration, stakeholder management, networking, empathy and problem-solving.
How to Become a UX Designer
This is a four-step guide to help you learn how to become a UX designer.
Step 1: Understand UX Design Fundamentals
You cannot dive straight into UX designing without building a strong foundation around its key principles. Typically, a UX aspirant should learn about the fundamentals of product development, market research, and the design process to begin with. Building the right technical and soft skills is crucial to kickstart a career in UX design.
Step 2: Learn About UX Design Tools
Once you have a broad overview of the UX design process, start exploring the key tools required to design a smooth user experience. The most popular wireframing tools include Sketch, Adobe Illustrator and XD, Figma, Marvel, and Axure. InVision Studio and Framer are common platforms used for advanced prototyping.
Step 3: Develop UX Design Skills
While it is important to understand UX principles in theory, their practical applications will help refine your skills. Practice creating responsive designs and develop the right skill set to understand how to align design with customer needs.
Step 4: Build a Strong UX Portfolio
Working on UX projects will help you develop a strong design portfolio. A design portfolio is one of the most valuable assets for a UX designer. Once you have polished your UX skills, it is time to start building a portfolio that reflects your abilities and potential as a UX designer. Work on your own UX projects or apply for internships to hone your unique skills and showcase the technical expertise you bring to the table.
How to Become a UX Designer Without a Degree
Many successful UX designers are self-taught and do not have any formal training in designing. Most employers are interested in the skills you bring to the role, which is why a degree may not be a deal-breaker. Apart from learning the basics, you can opt for an online course, a UX design bootcamp, or using free online learning resources can be a great way to kickstart a career in UX design without a degree. Work on building a strong portfolio and network with industry experts to fast-track your career in this field.
How to Become a UX Designer With No Experience
Gaining experience in such a highly competitive field can be daunting, especially as a beginner. Many UX designers start off in a related field like graphic designing or web development and gradually transition into a UX designer’s position. However, if you come from an entirely different industry, the key is to grasp the technical and non-technical aspects of UX before applying for internships or an entry-level position in the field. Once you learn the concept of unsolicited redesign and how to use it to enable user-centricity, it will become easier to land a UX job.
How Much Can UX Designers Expect to Earn in 2023?
The average annual salary for a UX designer in the US is $100,221 and typically ranges between $86,402 and $116,846. The pay scale will vary based on experience, skills, location and job title.
According to McKinsey, design-led organizations lead to better performance and contribute to higher overall revenue. This is why the demand and pay scale for UX designers are projected to grow in the coming year.
Which Degree is Best for UX Design?
There are very few UX-specific degree programs as it is still a relatively new field. However, if you are working out how to become a UX designer, identifying the learning path is key. Many related fields overlap with the concepts of UX that can help you develop the required skills to build a successful career as a UX designer.
A degree or major in human-computer interaction, information architecture, psychology, computer science, web design, communications, multimedia systems, or graphic design are some of the popular pathways to learning UX design.
How Emeritus Can Boost Your UX Design Portfolio
The number of digital products and services being launched each year has skyrocketed. UX design is one of the key tools to curate seamless, user-friendly experiences which sets apart one digital product from another. With Emeritus, you can choose from a broad range of online product strategy, design and innovation courses from renowned global universities, and upskill yourself. Sign up to learn from leading industry experts and launch a successful career as a UX designer.
By Neha Menon
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