How to become a self-taught UI/UX Designer

This article is a guide on how to become a self-taught UI/UX Designer. Simple steps in becoming a successful UI/UX designer in Nigeria.

UI/UX designers are now one of the most-sought professionals. Do you want to become a professional UI/UX designer but don’t know where to start? Well, you’ll be happy to learn that you don’t necessarily need a formal degree to build a UI/UX career in 2021.

There are a number of paths to learning UI/UX design and there’s not really a single right or wrong way. It all comes down to learning the theories behind good design and practicing them until you master them.

Can you teach yourself UI/UX design?

Most UX design concepts can be self-taught. There are many online resources to help you get started and land a UX job, including design blogs and tutorials. However, putting these concepts into practice is easier if you take an online Bootcamp, where you’ll have the opportunity to work on projects and build your portfolio.

How to become a self-taught UI/UX Designer (2021)

In this article, we’ll take you through the steps you need to become a self-taught UI/UX designer in 2021:

1. Know the difference between UI and UX

What is the difference between UI and UX?

  • UX design concerns studying user behavior and testing product usability.
  • UI design focuses squarely on determining how a user interacts with a digital product

The starting step is knowing all about UI and UX. You need to understand how it works and the things that are interconnected to it. UI and UX are vast topics that take a lot of time to learn, but before starting the journey you should know the basic and important differences between them. User Interface(UI) is about the Visual things and User experience(UX) is about the functionality of the design.

2. Learn the fundamentals of UX design

The experience of a user on a website is arguably the most important part of any successful design—which means it’s important that you understand the main principles of UX design.

UX design focuses on creating a delightful experience through meeting user needs and wants, as well as through user psychology.

Understanding why users perform certain actions and what makes them continue using a site (or abandoning that site) is key to creating a digital product that meets user needs as well as business goals.

3. Start studying UX laws

Most of the self-learners don’t concentrate on the UX laws and later regret that they have wasted quite a lot of time without knowing the basic laws of UX. So if you are getting started with UI/UX journey then don’t forget that UX is the important part and you must know UX stuff to design better.

There are lots of articles about UX on medium so go and check out those articles written by experts.

4. Learn the tool for design and invest in the right design software

Next, you’re going to want to invest in UI/UX software to start bringing your designs to life and start applying what you’ve learned so far.

There are plenty of great tools available on the market, but we suggest trying out a few industry stalwarts such as Figma, Sketch, and Adobe XD to get a feel for which you prefer.

Here’s a quick rundown of what each software has to offer:

  • Figma: Figma is a collaborative design and prototyping tool for digital projects. It’s the newest UI/UX design software on the market and has quickly become many designers’ tool of choice.
  • Sketch: Sketch is a digital design app for macOS. Designers who use Sketch love it for its plugin capabilities and its intuitive interface.
  • Adobe XD: Adobe XD was specifically built with user interface designers in mind. The best part is, Adobe XD is completely free and allows you to design and prototype with ease.

Bottom line is, there’s no one right tool for UI/UX designers. It’s really up to you to decide which software feels most intuitive and user-friendly to you.

6. Start building a portfolio of work for prospective clients

Reading books and articles or watching design tutorials will only get you so far. What you really need to do to become proficient at UI/UX is actually design digital products and start accumulating a solid body of work.

A portfolio highlighting your design process and past work shows others who you are as a designer. The process of creating a UX-design portfolio allows you to reflect on your skills and achievements.

7. Get real-world work experience (UI/UX Job Roles)

Once you’ve developed enough work that you’re proud of and you feel confident in your skills, it’s time to put yourself out there and get some real-world work experience.

In order to get hired in UI/UX design, you’ll need to create an online design portfolio that showcases your best work and the design process behind it.

Start applying to entry-level UI/UX design jobs. Even if you don’t land a job right away, the job hunt is a great opportunity to practice your soft skills such as communication and explaining the decisions behind your designs—two very important qualities that hiring managers are looking for in design candidates.

What Is Design Thinking?

Design thinking is a five-step iterative process that encourages designers and creators to examine different problems and assumptions from a variety of untested angles and is an important part of learning how to become a UX designer.

Good UX designers implement design thinking best practices in their work. The design thinking process stages are:

  • Empathy
  • Definition
  • Ideation
  • Prototyping
  • Testing

What Is a Typical UX/UI Job Description?

A typical UI/UX designer job description incorporates a mix of key responsibilities and qualifications. Potential candidates will be expected to:

  • Create user-centered designs by understanding business requirements, the voice of the customer, user journeys, customer feedback, and usability findings
  • Quickly and iteratively create user flows, wireframes, prototypes, low and high fidelity mockups in their design work
  • Communicate with product and engineering teams, as well as business stakeholders, executive leadership, and other creative professionals
  • Ensure the voice of the customer is present by incorporating customer feedback, usage metrics, and usability findings into design
  • Performing metrics analysis post-launch to inform design/UX optimization efforts
  • Know how to use prototyping tools such as Sketch, Invision, or equivalent
  • Possess excellent communication, presentation, collaboration, and interpersonal skills

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