Starting out on a career in UX Design is not a sprint but it is an adventure full of ups and downs.
This is my advice to anyone interested in pursuing a career in UX Design.
Do a course on UX Design.
They’re plenty of online courses that are free and excellent for learning about user-centric design. There is no excuse to not do one so go do some. I would go as far as doing as many as you can, learning is key. Here are some sites that provide design courses:
- UX Design Courses & Global UX Community
- Design Thinking Online Courses
- Nanodegree Programs and Free Online Classes | Udacity
- Online Courses – Learn Anything, On Your Schedule | Udemy
Books, blogs, podcasts, and websites on UX Design.
We are lucky that they are so many different mediums available to us that we can use increasing our learning. These include blogs, books, podcasts, videos and websites. Here are some of my favourite resources for learning and keeping on top of UX trends:
- UX Collective
- UX Books: the essential reading list
- My top 5 must-listen UX/UI podcasts
- Boagworld Podcast
- The best YouTube channels for designers and developers
- Nielsen Norman Group: UX Training, Consulting, & Research
- Inside Design Blog | Thoughts on users, experience, and design
- Learn UI Design – Blog
Work on UX Design projects in your spare time.
You’re not going to have a lot of design work to show off to potential employers but there is a solution. And that is to take time to redesign some of your favourite apps and websites. You can also practice by completing design challenges on the following sites:
- Briefbox – Home
- I'm taking the #DailyUI challenge by @Daily_UI to become a better designer in 100 days!
Create a portfolio.
Create a portfolio that focuses on UX Design. There are plenty of options for creating a portfolio. A quick one is using something like Behance to create a free portfolio and upload all of your work (no matter how big or small). Here are some excellent articles about creating a portfolio:
- How to build a UX portfolio if I have never worked in UX?
- Things I (honestly) don’t want to see in your portfolio
- How to build a portfolio and get a job in UX? — tools, processes, tips & tricks
- How I Built My Design Portfolio from Scratch
Tailor your CV for UX Design.
Tailor your CV for UX Design and say what makes you different than the rest of the candidates. Make sure to remove the parts that are irrelevant. Here are some resources that will help improve your CV:
Prepare for interviews.
Interviews are not meant to be an interrogation but employers do want to find out if you are the right person for the job. The key thing is to prepare for it and the better prepared you are for it, the better it will go. Make sure to understand the role and the company, do your homework on them. It is worth noting that some interviews will go good and some not so good but understand that this is ok. Remember that you’re interviewing them too so make sure to find out if the job is right for you. Here are some brilliant resources about interviewing for a design role:
Prepare for potential design tasks.
We ask candidates to complete a short design task. This is so that we can get an understanding of how they think and that we’ve got something to chat about during the interview. Ask questions if the task comes with vague requirements. This is to find out if you will have the initiative to ask questions, become comfortable with asking for clarity.
Embrace imposter syndrome
Your work is not going to perfect from the start or anything like it. Mastering your craft takes time, a lot of time and practice so just accept that your designs now are not as good as what they will be.
Network with others.
Reach out to other designers in your area and online. If you’re shy like me this will be tough, I find it awkward meeting new people but I know its good for me. Networking helps you to learn, share and grow with other designers. A great place for meeting other designers online is the Designership slack community.
Find yourself a UX Design Mentor.
One of the best things you can do is finding yourself a mentor. Someone who will share their experiences with you and answer your questions. I was lucky to have a brilliant mentor who was also a close friend, every week we’d chat a about any design issues I was experiencing. Below are some resources about why you need a mentor and how you can find one:
Be a nice person.
Be compassionate and empathetic to both yourself and others. Don’t have an ego and don’t be an asshole. People remember assholes so don’t be one.
Each week I listen to a great podcast, the Blindboy Podcast is a great source for being mindful and compassionate. I’d recommend giving it a listen!
Don’t compare yourself to others but compare yourself to who you were yesterday. This is the biggest advice I can give you as it will help you grow. You have your own skills, style, and personality so embrace it.
Thats it from me! I really hope this helps and best of luck on your journey. I too have been in your position and it does take time but it will all be worth it.
If you liked this article then it would be great if you could tap the 👏 button below or share it with your friends.
And finally, learn more about me and my work @ shanedoyle.design