Happy New Year everyone!

I’ve got a lot of requests to talk or write about how to start in User Experience Design (UX). Yes! There are a lot of great sources and awesome people already talking about this for quite some time. But since so many of you asked me about my ¢2, I can’t just sit aside.

Now is the best moment in time to start thinking about a career switch or doing something new like switching to UX. It’s the start of the new year; motivation is freaking high so let’s jump into it.

I first talked about this subject on Twitch TV where for an hour I’ve streamed it.

Watch UX 101 | How to start in UX from Paaluu on www.twitch.tv

Before we talk about how to star in UX, I’d tell you what UX is. I’ll quote some of the best and let you find out more if you click on this link.

“User experience (UX) design is the process of creating products that provide meaningful and relevant experiences to users. This involves the design of the entire process of acquiring and integrating the product, including aspects of branding, design, usability, and function.”

Interaction Design Foundation – https://www.interaction-design.org/literature/topics/ux-design

When you think about UX imagine this diagram. UX sits at the crossroads of three things. Business goals, user needs, and technology. Our job is to make peace with everyone, not war. After all, everything we do needs to be aligned with the business goals, giving users what they need and built in a reasonable amount of time. Your closest allies are engineers (developers). Don’t be a dickhead with them 🙂

Oh! If you’re scared you don’t have a fancy art degree, you don’t’ need one.

Good! Now we can dive into getting you all set up.

Understand your local job market.

This is probably the most critical part because depending on where you are companies might look for different things when they post jobs for UX Designers. Trust me. I’ve seen a lot of crazy job posts from Web Designer, Designer, UX/UI Designer, UX Engineer to Full Stack UX Designer whatever that might mean.

Make sure to look for job post who emphasized understanding users needs before jumping to design. Information regarding their process like Desing Thinking, Desing Springs, Lean UX, etc. is usually a good sign.

Engage with the local UX community.

Join all local UX groups and attend their events. Networking is the most powerful way of putting yourself out there. Be curious and ask questions regarding what they do and how they do it. You’ll be surprised how visible this approach would make you and next thing you know someone will reach out offering you a starting point. Plus, it’s an excellent way to make new friends.

Additionally, you could follow great leaders in the industry you’ll be surprised how accessible and helpful they are.

Most of the time inVision, Marve, UX Pin, Abstract and other are hosting regular webinars about UX. Subscribe to their newsletters and never miss on the excellent articles they share.

It’s easy to start UX if you know UI.

Three years ago when I’ve started building a UX team here in Cluj, I looked at two characteristics for every candidate which interviewed. First decent UI design skills and second empathy and curiosity regarding how and why we build specific solutions. This is the most common path.

Some aspects of UX, you can learn along the way if you have a good mentor and team around you.

Let’s say you want to do UI Desing and don’t know where to start, worry not. You can start by doing daily or weekly UI Challenges http://collectui.com/challenges my only suggestion is to put a deadline like 30 days / 15 UI Challenges. A timetable will help you track progress and keep you motivated.

Enroll for a UX Training

My suggestion is to start from here https://www.interaction-design.org/courses/user-experience-the-beginner-s-guide The Interaction Desing Foundation is one of the best, just by browsing their website you’ll find out a lot of new and relevant insights about UX.
Make sure they offer a free sample, to get an idea about their curricula and trainers.

If you decide to join a UX Training near you, make sure that the price tag provides value, and the trainers are leaders are well prepared. You can easily find out more about them by reaching out to them or follow their social media profiles.

Lastly, don’t give up, ever.

Every beginning is hard and even harder when you start a new job. It’s important to keep at it and don’t give up, because you’ll see the results in time, not instantly.

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