Planning to switch your career path to UI design but have close to zero relevant experience? While some opt to join formal training, many exceptional UI designers taught themselves about it in the beginning. Of course, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to studying this branch of design. However, in this article, you’ll learn the essential steps to becoming a self-taught UI designer.
Master the UI Principles
Linkedin listed UI designers as one of the most in-demand occupations in 2021 and is still going strong right now. In order to start learning about it, you need first to comprehend the fundamental principles of UI design. This is the gate that gets you to the design world.
You will learn about the psychological components of user interface design and preferably the kind of design to give users a positive experience. After all, the focus of UI design is how a design can meet the needs and desires of users. And this, you can obtain from vast affordable resources, courses, and even tutorials on YouTube.
Develop a Keen Eye for Great Design
Having an in-depth understanding of design principles is not enough to prepare you to start a UI design career. You need to also develop a critical eye for what is considered a great and bad design and how to identify design flaws and strengths.
The most effective method to do this is by obtaining inspiration. You may get one through a website you like the most and try to take a few minutes to study what makes it so appealing to you. Is it because of the color scheme? What about the typography and interface design?
You may also look at other professional UI designers’ works. Pay attention to every single design element employed. Consider what’s working effectively and what isn’t. This is how you develop a sharp eye for excellent design.
Invest in UI Design Software
Next up, you will need to invest in decent software for UI design. This is the tool you will be dealing with every day the moment you start a career as a UI designer. Indeed, there are tons of tools for this endeavor, but you don’t need to have them all.
Designers with years of experience usually use Adobe XD, Sketch, and Figma. Here’s a quick overview of what each program offers:
- Adobe XD: Specifically intended for user interface designers to prototype and design in a quick manner. The best thing is that it’s compatible with all OS.
- Sketch: It’s a macOS-based design program popular among designers because of its user-friendly interface and plugins.
- Figma: While it’s considerably new among the other programs, this collaborative design tool has quickly become the staple of many designers, even professionals.
Whichever software you pick, make sure it’s the most user-friendly and practical to you.
Start a Project as a Portfolio
What get you hired as a UI designer is your portfolio. Yet, how can one get employed without actual job experience? You can get started using free user interface kits. It’s a comprehensive set of pre-made UI design components you can use as a tool to start designing an actual digital product.
Pick your most-used website or app and take some time to consider how to redesign them to improve their existing functionality and appearance. You can also manifest your own product idea. In addition to practicing your skills, this can also help you build your portfolio, which is essential to start a UI design career.
Ask for Feedback from the Experts
Finding a UI design mentor who is willing to help is another excellent method to do. They will provide you the assistance that can accelerate your learning process. It’s also advisable to ask them to review your work. They might be a chance for you to get negative feedback instead. It may hurt a bit, but it will enable you to grow up.
Consider this step a shortcut. Ask those experts about some of the most essential lessons they have learned from their design experiences. So, go ahead find a proficient UI design mentor. Ask as many questions as possible and discuss any of your brilliant ideas.
Ready to start a career as a UI designer? Teaching yourself about it may seem overwhelming, particularly when you have no relevant design background. But it doesn’t mean it’s impossible. You need great dedication and determination to keep learning because great designers were not born artistic, and design should always be learned.