When you have decided to change careers and become a UX/UI Designer, the next thing to figure out is how long the process will take. That depends upon how you plan to get there. A college degree takes four to five years, but there are bootcamps and certificate courses that can get you working in a year or less.
What is UX/UI Design?
UX and UI stand for user experience and user interface design. This is one of many rapidly growing tech fields that offer exciting, creative, and lucrative jobs in today’s market. There are numerous video courses, tutorials, and books, as well as intensive bootcamps and certificate courses to help you learn UX/UI design at your own pace.
UX design focuses on what users need, what they value, and what their abilities and limitations are. It stands at the intersection between the experiences of users and the desires of businesses. UX is made up of many interconnected disciplines like psychology, visual design, programming, interactive design, and accessibility and accommodation. UI design focuses on the visual aspects of product design such as typography, color, balance, and consistency.
UX/UI design is an interdisciplinary field and very few colleges and universities offer a program in it, but you can land a job with several different courses of study. According to a study done by the Nielsen Norman Group, 82 percent of UX/UI Designers have a college degree in some field. Some of the most popular degrees among UX/UI Designers are as follows:
- Graphic Design
- Information Technology
- Industrial Design
- Computer Science
A bachelor’s degree in college usually takes four years to complete when attending full-time, and it will take longer if you go part-time. Some schools offer online classes that you can schedule around work, childcare, and other responsibilities. College can be very expensive. The average cost for tuition and fees for a year at a four-year public college is about $10,000, and private schools are more expensive.
Many people find that college is beyond reach, but it is possible to learn UX/UI design on your own. How long it will take will depend upon how much time you have to devote to study. Many people offer free tutorials on YouTube. Unfortunately, the quality of materials can be hit or miss.
Free Video Courses
There are many free video courses to get you started in UX design. Some of the platforms offer the option to take paid courses after the free ones, while some offer limited-time free trials. Some of the courses are offered by companies who produce design software tools.
- Coursera offers many free and paid courses on UX design.
- LinkedIn has a 30-day free trial which gives you access to all of their courses.
- The Gymnasium UX Fundamentals teaches UX Design basics
- Career Foundary offers a 90-minute self-paced class to help you see if UX design is right for you. There are six, 15-minute daily sessions.
- InVision’s Principles of UX Design is a nine-part class delivered via email.
There are many books available on the fundamental principles of UX and UI design, but here are a few that consistently appear on book lists:
- The Design of Everyday Things, by Don Norman
- Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability, by Steve Krug
- Change by Design: How Design Thinking Transforms Organizations and Inspires Innovation, by Tim Brown
- Lean UX: Applying Lean Principles to Improve User Experience, by Jeff Gothelf with Josh Seiden
- Thinking With Type: A Critical Guide for Designers, Writers, Editors, and Students, by Ellen Lupton
Bootcamps and Certificate Courses
Another way to become a UX/UI Designer is to enroll in a bootcamp or certificate program.
In a UX design bootcamp, you will learn all of the skills you will need to find a job in the user-centered design field. You will learn how to conduct user research, create scenarios and personas, and build journey maps. You’ll learn to create prototypes and test them, then present your findings to the class. You will create a case study documenting your process, and this will go into your portfolio to help you get your first design job. This bootcamp will teach you the basic foundations and practices in user experience design. Bootcamps take a few days to complete and cover the basic knowledge to get started in UX/UI design.
A visual design course covers the creation of user interfaces for websites. You will learn about composition, typography, color, and other visual design principles and practices. You will use software like Adobe XD, Photoshop, and Illustrator to design for mobile and web apps, and your assignments will provide content for your design portfolio.
A bootcamp will teach you the principles of UX design and how to put them into practice, but a certificate course is more in depth and focuses on digital design tools, like XD, Illustrator, Photoshop, and Sketch, as well as the principles of UI design, like web graphics, color, context, and more. The assignments in certificate programs are designed to create a portfolio that you can show to prospective employers and clients. You will also get 1:1 mentoring help with your job search as part of the certificate course, and this includes a critique and help with putting together your portfolio.
Another advantage to taking a UX/UI design bootcamp or certificate course is that the instructors are professionals currently employed in the design industry. They are working with the latest technology and know about current trends. Bootcamps include around 30 hours of instruction, while certificate courses are longer. You should be able to complete the courses and be looking for your first job in UX/UI Design in a few months to a year.
Join the Community
Making some connections in the design community can also help to fastrack your career. Community connections are one of the best ways to find jobs in UX/UI design. LinkedIn is a great place to make professional connections and ask questions of people who are working in the field. Look for Meetups in your area to meet other people interested in UX design. Another way to connect with UX professionals is through Instagram. Many designers post examples of their work on Instagram and many are happy to answer questions.
Build a Strong Portfolio
A strong portfolio is your best ticket to a job as a UX Designer, but how do you put together a portfolio if you are new to the field? Many training courses are designed to provide you with a portfolio after you have completed all of the assignments. This hands-on collection of work will demonstrate what you know of the design process and show what you can do.
Find a Mentor
In addition to building a portfolio, another helpful tip is to find a mentor. This is a more experienced person who has worked in UX design for a while. Mentors can be very helpful when it comes to finding a job or tackling your first few UX jobs. Some training programs assign mentors to students as part of the instruction.
It’s easy to learn UX design and start a new career. Check out Noble Desktop’s UX design classes or visual design classes. Choose between in-person sessions in NYC at Noble’s location or sign up for live online UX/UI design courses and attend from anywhere. Use Noble Desktop’s Classes Near Me to find other UX/UI design bootcamps in your area.