Want to be a UX Designer? Here are 3 Things You Need to Know

Interested in becoming a UX designer? You’re not alone. In 2019, UX design remains a great professional and financial move for people looking to build a new career. But how do you make the leap? Here are three things you can do to successfully transition into the job of your dreams.

1. Remember: It’s All About Your Portfolio Not Your Coursework

Don’t have a degree in UX design? Don’t worry. Getting into UX is all about showcasing your skills, not your diploma. Learn what you need to develop the work in your portfolio so by the time you’re in front of a recruiter, your UX designs will speak  for themselves.

Create a portfolio that speaks for itself ( image source )

Create a portfolio that speaks for itself (image source)

How?

  • Consider your current work environment. Are there past successes that make great UX case studies? Can you reframe a current project into a UX success?

  • Can you do a heuristic evaluation on your current website, or build personas for a project that you’re already working on? Can you do user research that will help your current team and build out your UX skillset?

  • Taking a UX bootcamp or certificate course can be a great way to flesh out your portfolio with projects. A lot of programs will provide real-time interaction and project-learning on actual products with in-the-flesh clients. Don’t have time for a class IRL? If online learning is more your speed, Skillshare’s got you covered.

2. Network With the UX Community and Practice Talking UX

If you want to get a UX job, you need to be able to explain and discuss UX work. The best way to practice? Network with your local UX community or find a professional group online.

Take time to network with other UX designers ( image source )

Take time to network with other UX designers (image source)

One tip: don’t come to online and in-person spaces to ask for work right off the bat. Instead, participate in the existing conversation. Ask other designers for advice on how to level up your skills. Share UX problems that you are working on, or discuss solutions you’ve considered.  If you demonstrate that you can be a valued member of the community, you’re much more likely to make valuable friends in the field -- the kinds of friends who might just recommend you for a new UX position down the road.

3. Cultivate a Growth Mindset

A growth mindset is the simple belief that anyone can develop their abilities through dedication and hard work. Instead of just resting on natural talent, curiosity, resilience and a dedicated love of learning are actually what lead to accomplishment.

Never stop learning ( image source )

Never stop learning (image source)

For UX designers, this is especially true because they work in an industry that is constantly evolving. The projects that UX designers work on today are very different from what they worked on five years ago -- or what they could be working on next year. That’s why even senior-level designers understand that there’s always value to knowing how to level up. UX professional success is never just be about the tools you’ve already learned, it’s about how adaptive you are to new situations and when new technologies emerge. For some, that’s the heart of what makes the field so exciting, even for people who have been in it for 20 years!


Ready to learn more about UX design? Check out Skillshare’s tech classes for a great way to get started.