How To Become a UI/UX Designer With No Experience
It’s easy to see why UI (user interface) and UX (user experience) design are two of the fastest-growing sectors of the tech industry. Given our increasing reliance on digital devices, organizations are more invested than ever in ensuring their users have a smooth experience with their websites and mobile apps. This puts UI/UX designers in high demand, as they’re responsible for anticipating a user’s needs, and then building a seamless, tailored experience.
If you’re interested in a career in UI/UX design, then you’ll probably be relieved to know that it’s absolutely possible to launch your career without any experience—everyone has to start somewhere after all! Follow these six steps to land a UI/UX design job with no experience.
Take Stock of Where You Are
Before you dive into learning about UI/UX design, ask yourself these questions:
Why do I want to be a UI/UX designer?
How much do I know about UI and UX design?
Which industry am I most interested in?
What are my salary expectations?
The answers to these questions will help you determine if a career in UI/UX design is right for you, and where you want to specialize.
Even if you’re coming from a background that has nothing to do with tech, you may already have transferable skills that are useful in UI/UX design. For instance, if you’re a digital painter with proficiency in Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, visual UI design could be a nice fit for you. Or, if you have a scientific background and know qualitative or quantitative research methods, UX research might be your match.
Research the Industry
UI/UX design is an intricate, multifaceted field, so make sure that you understand the landscape of the field. There are many different jobs available within UI/UX design that call for a specialized skill set, such as:
It’s crucial to understand what each position entails so you can make an informed decision about which to pursue.
Chart Your Path
Once you’ve mapped out where you’re headed, determine how you want to get there. Do you prefer self-directed study? Want to go to a traditional college for an accredited degree? Or are you open to an online bootcamp? Keep in mind that each option has different advantages and challenges, so do your best to make the right choice for you. Here are some different paths you can take:
Most employers looking to fill UI/UX positions care less about where you got your education, and more about your skills. So while an undergraduate degree has value, college isn’t the automatic best option anymore, especially if you lack the time or resources to dedicate to a four-year program.
Self-directed study is obviously the most flexible and cheapest option by far. But there are countless ways in which you can doom (or at least disadvantage) yourself through self-directed study. If you’re not the type of individual who thrives in an environment where you’re your own boss and teacher, you could be setting yourself up for hardship. You won’t have the guidance, structure, and support that comes with a formal education, and you may be unprepared to work in the industry. So make an honest evaluation of your ability to keep goals and deadlines before choosing this option.
An online bootcamp combines the best of self-study and a more formal university education. The University of Florida’s UI/UX Design Bootcamp, for example, takes months to complete and is designed to be fast-paced so you can build your skills and UX portfolio quickly. Bootcamps like this are more cost-effective than college degrees but share many mutual benefits, like structured learning, networking, and professional guidance. Furthermore, you get a 100% online curriculum formulated specifically to fit the schedule of an adult already working full-time.
Hone Your Skills
Once you’ve figured out how you want to acquire your UI/UX design skills, it’s time to start learning. Find out what soft skills and technical skills are required for each position you’re suited for. Here are some examples of common skills in the industry:
Wireframing and prototyping
Development of application
Storyboarding and website mapping
Written and interpersonal
Organization and prioritization
Create a Portfolio
Whichever education method you choose, building a portfolio of your work to display to potential employers is vital. Include coursework from a college or bootcamp, assign yourself some projects, do freelance work, or get an internship.
Additionally, demonstrate your mastery of some common UX design tools like Figma, Adobe XD, or Origami Studio. Pick the best tools for your specialization to use in your portfolio projects, then present as a case study in order to showcase the decisions you made and why.
UI/UX designers are in demand, so once you’ve got a portfolio that you’re proud to share, you can start applying. Comb through general job boards and LinkedIn to find open positions, but don’t forget to tap into your network too.
Are you ready to get on the fast track to a career in UI/UX design? Take that next step and enroll in University of South Florida’s UI/UX bootcamp today!