So, have you got a passion for UX and want to become a UX designer? UX design is an exciting and dynamic field to dive into. Many UX designers hold thriving careers in which they make an irreplaceable mark on user experience. The job prospects for new UX designers are excellent. If you think the UX path is an excellent fit for you, then with dedication, you can also get hired in the UX industry and build a successful and rewarding career.In this article, we'll explore must-know tips to help you plan how to get a UX job, as well as give some insight into how UX designers work and what kind of skills they're required to possess, how to prepare breaking into the UX job market, and what to expect throughout the UX job search process,
Skills Required For A Career in UX
UX design, or user experience design, is all about creating digital products and services that are not only functional but also enjoyable for users. It's basically making things that people enjoy using with ease. To do this, UX designers need to understand what users need, how they behave, and what they prefer. This involves a lot of research and testing, which helps inform the design process.Now, if you're thinking of entering the UX field, there're various skills you'll need to have under your belt. You'll need a combination of technical skills and design skills to make it in this field. Here're some of the most prominent skills for UX roles:
- Research: Conducting UX research to understand user needs, behavior, and preferences, as well as market research.
- Information Architecture: Organizing and structuring content to make it easy to navigate and find.
- Interaction Design: Designing how users interact with the product, including user flows and wireframes.
- Visual Design: Creating an aesthetically pleasing and intuitive design that is consistent with the brand's visual identity.
- Prototyping: Creating prototypes to test and iterate on design concepts.
- Usability Testing: Evaluating the effectiveness of the design through user testing.
- Collaboration: Working effectively with cross-functional teams, such as developers, product managers, and stakeholders.
- Communication: Effectively communicating design concepts, user research findings, and design decisions to stakeholders.
- Analytical Thinking: Using data and metrics to make informed design decisions and improve the user experience.
If you're an aspiring designer, you should dive into learning UX design fundamentals stated above.
Getting Started as a UX Designer with No Experience
Many UX designers have come from different backgrounds such as product design, graphic design, and more, each of which can be a beneficial supplement for UX expertise. With that said, learning UX design principles is essential when transitioning to a UX design career, regardless of the current skill set.Starting as a UX designer with no experience can be a bit daunting, but don't worry, it's not impossible! All you need is determination and a willingness to jump on any opportunities to build your experience. There're tons of online UX design courses which teach the UX principles and practices, many of which are even free. Besides diving into the UX courses, you can also look into attending educational webinars and workshops to expand your knowledge.In addition, one of the best ways to practice UX design is on your own. You can start by designing products for personal use or practice, like redesigning a website or creating a mobile app. Then, test your designs on your friends, family, or even fellow experts to get feedback and improve your skills. Remember, practice makes perfect!
Hard Truths for Getting a UX Design Job
When it comes to pursuing a career in UX design, giving it your all is important, but so is being prepared for initial failures and disappointments throughout the job hunting and the challenges beyond. Don't worry, setbacks are a natural part of the process, and with determination, you'll overcome them. It's always best to know the potential hurdles and be ready to face them head-on. Here are some of the most common ones you might encounter.
- Rejection: Let's face it, companies receive countless applications for UX design positions, and not everyone will make the cut. It's disheartening to be rejected, but it's a reality you need to be prepared for. In fact, in Germany alone, there are an average of 46 applicants per UX job, and that number is only increasing.
- Lack of Experience: Some job postings may require previous experience, which can be a significant barrier for those just starting their careers in UX design. Hiring managers often have to choose between a talented individual with little experience and someone with years of experience.
- Competition: As the field of UX design grows, so does the competition for jobs. To stand out from the crowd, it's essential to have a standout portfolio and unique skill set that differentiates you from other candidates.
- Imposter Syndrome: Many people in creative fields experience imposter syndrome, where they feel like they don't belong or aren't good enough. Overcoming this mindset can be a significant challenge in pursuing a career in UX design.
- Industry Changes: The field of UX design is always evolving, so it's crucial to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies. Falling behind can hurt your job prospects, but keeping up can be a challenge.
With that said, should you feel left out? Absolutely not! Every successful UX designer goes through phases and overcomes them to thrive in their careers. Acknowledging these hard truths will give you a new light on how to get a UX job by stepping up with your application.
How to Get a UX Designer Job
Now's not the time to just sit around and wait for a miracle. That’s not how it works especially during this time where everyone is also of the same race as you. Instead, you need to gain hard-earned experiences and improve your craft and most of all the quality of your work. You’ll be surprised to know that there are a lot of ways not just to get experiences but also to improve your craft and quality of work.One great option is to look for UX internships. Not only will you get to experience a real-life work environment, but you'll also have the opportunity to learn from your peers on the team. And who knows, if you do well and learn fast, you might even land a permanent job!Another avenue to explore is online freelance work. Don't be afraid to dip your toes in the waters of freelance or contract work, as it can be an excellent way to gain experience and build up your portfolio. You can find plenty gigs on freelance platforms like Upwork and Fiverr, which is also a great way to develop your skills by working on different projects.Did you know that Behrad, the founder of Bonanza Design, started his career by freelancing online and bidding on projects for as low as $5 per hour? So, if you're feeling discouraged about starting small, take a cue from Behrad and keep hustling!
Best Practices for Becoming a UX Designer, Doing UX Job Search & Nurturing Your Career in UX Design
Here're some best practices to help you plan how to get a UX job and develop a solid career in the field.
1. Create a Killer UX Portfolio
Having a strong UX design portfolio is essential when applying for a job. Your portfolio should showcase your best design work, along with a brief description of the project and your role in it. It should highlight your design skills, design process, and design principles.To build a solid UX portfolio, you should include a variety of design projects, ranging from wireframes and prototypes to final designs. Provide a detailed description of your design process, including how you conducted research and testing, and how you arrived at your final design. Highlight any UX design skills or courses you've taken to show your commitment to the field.Tailor your UX portfolio and job application materials to each job posting to show how your skills and experience align with the job requirements.
2. Apply, Apply, Apply
Utilize job boards with UX designer job listings, such as LinkedIn and Indeed. You can search for job titles such as UX designer, product designer, or UX and UI design to find the job postings relevant to you. Then make sure you send out tons of applications. Being complacent with 2 or 5 applications per day won't cut it. Don't forget the amount of incoming rejections is bound to be rather ruthless.In addition, make sure that you send out your applications and communicate with companies in the afternoon around 15:00 to 18:00. In the morning, everyone gets busy with their tasks, so it's more likely that your application will be fully attended to in the afternoon.
3. Develop Self-Discipline
Self-discipline is not only important to conduct your work but it also helps you during the process of finding a new job. Self-discipline helps you to become an unstoppable force of energy to reach the greatest level in your life. If you want to become successful in life, the first thing you need to do is discipline yourself. Resist the urges of countless hours of Netflix binge-watching and dedicate yourself ot your goals.
4. Resist Quick Money Gigs
Quick money makes you comfortable and fills you up with hesitation and irresolution. Resist doing other jobs that give you quick money, focus on your long term goal. Believe in yourself. There’s light at the end of the tunnel. 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 that’s why you should only spend your time on developing your craft.
5. Join Dribble Challenge
Dribbble is a competitive platform for designers to showcase their designs. Invite yourself to a 90-day challenge through which you publish a design every day. At the end of the quest, you’ll be a totally different designer. Believe us!
6. Connect with the Other Designers
There are a lot of online platforms that you can use to connect with other professional UX designers. Aside from that, there are communities that you can enjoy a talk and relate to. Dive into the Slack communities, LinkedIn, and Facebook groups. Share your thoughts, expose your UX design processes, and learn from peers.
7. Attend Online Workshop or Webinars
They’re plenty of online courses that are excellent for learning about user-centric design to propel your UX experience. There's no excuse to not do one. You can go as far as doing as many as you can. Remember learning is key!Here in Bonanza Design every month we hold a free webinar or online workshop that can help you with improving your skills. From design thinking to UX design we are giving all of our best practices for free. If you want to avail of one, check our workshop schedule here: Design Thinking and Innovation – Only Workshops
In 2023, the UX job market will continue to grow, making it a great time to start a career in UX design. Just remember, it takes time and effort to find a job in UX design. By constantly honing your design skills and broadening your knowledge, building a strong UX portfolio, being dedicated to securing a job, and networking with other UX designers, you can land a job in the field and start making a positive impact on user experiences.Note: This article was originally published on November 2020 and updated on June 2023 reflect the current status of the market.