How to become a UX designer
If you're interested in problem-solving, want a career that's in demand and typically pays well, you might consider becoming a UX designer. According to the 2016 design salary guide created by The Creative Group, a UX designer with little or no experience may potentially earn anywhere from $49,000 to $75,000.
What is a UX designer?
Many aren't familiar with what UX designers do. In short, UX designers take a product or a system — such as a website, for example — and design it in a way that's appealing and functional for users. This requires developing a prototype (to bring the idea from a concept to an actuality) and then combining the visuals with the information in a way that makes the experience for consumers enjoyable and not overly-complex and frustrating.
Think of it like a happiness assurance agent. Your job, if you become a UX designer, is to make users happy, with a clean, visually stimulating product.
How do you become a UX designer?
Because this career is relatively new, not many college degrees specifically in user experience design exist. But there are many degrees that are sought out by employers looking for UX designers. Here are the most common steps that many UX designers take:
- Earn a high school diploma or GED
- Earn a bachelor's degree in UX design or related field
- Earn industry specific skills — Understanding code, knowing the Adobe Suite and learning the tools used may give you an advantage.
One of the most important things to know about how to become a UX designer is that you should care about, understand and empathize with people. This career is all about making people's lives easier and better.
What schools offer UX design courses, degrees and certificates?
Although it's not a widely offered degree yet, there are some options if aspiring UX designers truly want to get an education in the subject. More and more schools are offering UX design courses and degree programs.
The job of a UX designer is quite technical, so if that's not your background, you've got some learning to do. But it's potentially well worth the effort. For more information on how to become a UX designer and an extended list of sources, please check out the infographic below.
- Secret Sauce 2016 Salary Guide, Robert Half Creative Group, https://www.roberthalf.com/sites/default/files/Media_Root/images/tcg-pdfs/the_creative_group_2016_salary_guide.pdf; accessed Dec 2017