When it comes to design, UI/UX design is perhaps one of the most lucrative professions at present. But, where do you learn UI and UX design? Is there a university for it? What if you did not study even an iota of design during the degree that you so proudly procured as the start of your life plan? How does one become a UI/UX designer if one has neither a degree nor any experience with design? Is it even possible to get there?
To begin with, the answer is yes. You do not have to have a degree in design to be a UX designer. And yes, even without that degree or work experience you can actually head to excel in user interface and user experience design.
Here is a blueprint, a roadmap, a sequence of tips that you may begin with if design interests you.
Begin by Understanding UI/UX Design
While there is a world of difference between graphic design and UI/UX design, there is also a difference even between the UI and UX part of the design. So, your first task is to understand all these nuances in the various aspects of design. Only then will you be able to head on to zeroing down to exactly what you want to do.
Understand what your aspirations are. Do you want to draw illustrations, do you want to design for the digital? Do you want to get into product design?
Depending on what you have in mind, you will need to choose an aspect of design.
It’s like the visual part of the design is user interface design (UI Design); the working part of the design, how the user experiences the design, that part is user experience design (UI Design). And if both are subjects of your interest, UI/UX design is what you should get into.
So, find your hook.
Familiarize Yourself with the Basics
Just knowing what you like isn’t enough. You will need yourself to familiarize yourself with the basics of UI design as well as UX design. Even if you think you are creative, there are some aspects, some rules of design, the lay of the land, that you will need to ingrain in your mind so that it prepares itself for things that will arrive in the process of you becoming a UI/UX designer.
When it comes to user interface design, you should familiarize yourself with the basics about:
• Fundamentals of color, related vocabulary, the psychology of colors, etc.
• Symmetry and asymmetry
• How to contrast to systematize information, and to create hierarchy and focus.
• Typography for selecting fonts that are perfect for the audience to read.
• Consistency to create an intuitive design that has utility.
When it comes to user experience design, here are some basics that you should know as a rule of thumb:
Understand the four phases of UX design—Empathize, Define, Ideate, Prototype, and Test.
Develop a Sensibility for Design
Know there is a born designer and there is one who learns. The only difference between the two is that the latter needs to develop a sensibility for design. Knowledge is great, but the sensibility is what will take you ahead.
You will need to breathe and live design. Try to train your eyes to observe and analyze design that is good and to be able to tell it apart from a design that is bad. One should be able to gauge the positives and drawbacks of the design around them when they see it.
Explore Design Tools
It is not 1969 anymore. There are tools and they are so easily available online. You do not need to be handy with all of them, but do explore a few best ones that will help you design.
Here are some of the best ones:
InVision : Prototyping and collaboration
Figma : Collaborative interface design
Adobe XD : Prototyping and user interface design
Sketch : Interface design
Marvel App : Interactive mockups
Observe and Implement Practically
Good work often starts by drawing inspiration. More often than not, you can start by simply observing and then copying goof design. Do this early in the process and do it simply for yourself and not for publishing.
Just start by observing the websites, apps or any other digital product design that is making waves in the market. Take your stab at it. Copy it till you copy it right.
This is not mindless copying, but it should not be picked up as a professional habit. Copy till you learn. When you have done that enough, you will have internalized the good design.
Consider Online Courses
Yes, please do take a course to know what the best practices are and what the latest trends on the market are. To be honest, not everyone needs a course, but it is a great way to stay abreast of what the best UI/UX designers are doing. There are other alternatives like YouTube videos and books, which works well for a lot of learners.
But, if you are the one who needs dedicated learning space and time, courses are for you. Take them to get better at what you aspire to do. Coursera and Udemy are relatively more affordable and has hundreds of courses. There are very sophisticated courses on Lynda as well, in case you have the luxury of finances.
Find a Mentor
Yes, please. Nothing beats experience and first-hand information on how it’s done. A good mentor will bring you up to speed and you will also get into a network that you need.
That is quite a plan. But everyone is unique. This information will work as your basics in your plan to become a UI/UX designer. Take a cue and make a move.