A User Experience (UX) designer is responsible for the user experience of a website. They are the reason a customer or audience member stays on a business site.
To be a UX designer, you need to gain experience in graphic design, web design, psychology and more. If you’re interested in becoming a UX designer, you might wonder how to gain the skills and attract employers.
Here’s how to become a UX designer.
The First Steps
Many UX designers start in web design or development before branching out to UX design. However, there are many educational options out there to build a foundation.
Over 70% of UX designers earned a bachelor’s degree, though there aren’t many degrees specifically for UX design. However, there are many degrees that translate well to the career, including:
- Graphic Design
- Computer Science
- Information Technology
- Web Design
By getting a degree that gives you valuable UX skills, you can more easily take on a UX design program.
Whether you decide to enter into a different career first or want to go straight into UX design, an important step is to get a certification.
Some designers are able to get hired with a certification alone. Companies like CareerFoundry and Google offer certification programs you can complete in under a year. Certain certifications are excepted by a variety of major tech companies.
Build a Portfolio
Throughout your certification or during a bootcamp, you can complete projects to add to a portfolio to show potential employers.
The portfolio should show off your experience with different design tools and concepts that you can use in your UX career.
You can share your designs to programs like Behance or Dribble to get feedback from other designers.
Entering an internship or taking on freelance work can also help you build your portfolio. You can also include any reviews or positive feedback you receive in the portfolio.
Networking is an important step for almost any career, including UX design. By connecting with others in the field, you can find mentors and possible job opportunities.
Reach out to other designers in the field to get their insights on how to start and advance in your career. You can develop professional relationships and get connected to experiences you wouldn’t have otherwise.
Apply to Jobs
Once you’ve built your education and portfolio, you can start applying for UX design positions.
There are thousands of UX designer jobs out there, with a variety of titles, including:
- Information Architect
- Visual Designer
- UX Writer
- UX Engineer
- Interaction Designer
Be sure to read the job description to know if a company’s version of one of these titles aligns with the work you hope to do.
Expand Your Learning
Even once you become a successful UX designer, it’s important to stay connected with the latest advances and best practices within the industry.
Stay on top of the latest tools and technologies by practicing with them independently, ensure you’re aware of the latest trends and how you can implement them into your work. Be sure to regularly update your portfolio with your latest projects to show that your skills are up to date.
Starting a UX Design Career
Starting a career in UX design can seem challenging, but with proper skills, networking and education, you can successfully be a UX designer.