UX design is the field of digital design that focuses on the functionality of a digital application, particularly emphasizing how users interact with a webpage or mobile application. UX design aims to help designers build applications that are easy to navigate, accessible, and user-friendly. You might worry that UX design will be too hard to learn. This guide will help you understand the best methods for learning UX design and what you should study to make the learning process easier. This way, you’ll be successful however you choose to apply your new skills.
What is UX Design?
User experience design (UX design) is a field of web design dealing with how a website, application, or other digital product feels to its users. User experience design ensures that an application feels easy and accessible to operate. It is a heavily invested field in user behavior research, prototype testing, and data analysis. It is useful to think of it as the more hands-on counterpart to its visually-oriented sister skill, user interface design. Often, user experience design isn’t isolated to work on a single webpage or digital application and instead refers to a subset of data science that strictly examines user preference and behavior regarding web applications.
Rather than simply gauging how a digital application looks, user experience design aims to rigorously test that application to understand how it feels once it is in the hands of real-life users. Learning user experience design will involve learning how to conduct research, analyze data, and use that data to make informed decisions about the interface design process. User experience design also coincides with market research, as User Experience Designers will gauge how users perceive a web application’s desirability or how they perceive that application communicating brand awareness. UX design also covers attempts to make web applications easier to use and more accessible for users with disabilities or who have other challenges accessing and navigating digital applications.
Read more about what UX design is and why you should learn it.
What Can You Do with UX Design?
UX design skills will allow you to build better digital applications and contribute to a larger pool of knowledge that helps other designers build better web applications. Whether one is working on individual projects or attempting to improve digital design as a whole, user experience training will help professionals build digital applications that are more user-friendly, accessible, and memorable than ever before.
Within the field of UX design, trained professionals will be able to fine-tune and iterate upon designs for digital applications to produce interfaces that respond to user behavior and feedback. This means they can apply their knowledge and expertise to a wide variety of projects to ensure that the finished product is functional, responsive, and accessible. UX design is a particularly enticing field for anyone who feels that digital applications need to be doing more to respond to the needs of their users, as this is the field that gathers the data that demonstrates these needs.
UX design is also the field that affords Digital Designers the most opportunity to engage directly with their users and customers. Between focus groups, user surveys, and interviews, many UX designers will spend more time interacting with the public than they will with their team of designers and developers. This makes the field particularly appealing to students interested in learning the difference between how we think users interact with technology and how they interact with it. For the empirically minded designer, UX design will open many doors for producing compelling research about user habits and behaviors.
Is UX Design Easy to Learn?
UX design can be challenging for new students because most of the skills that make a good user experience design plan differ from other digital design elements. Most of the work done in the service of UX design is in the research and testing phase, during which designers will need to collect data and user feedback. This can be daunting for new designers because the way that users interact with an application can be very different from how designers expect that they will interact with that application. UX design isn’t impossible to learn, and more data-focused students may find it much easier than other design aspects, but it can have a steep learning curve.
What to Know Before Learning UX Design
Before starting to learn UX design, there are a few things that new students may wish to consider learning. They will need to learn how to use a design prototyping tool and understand that they will be working with data and research methodologies, often speaking directly to the users of their designs.
How to Use an Interface Prototyping Tool
One of the most important aspects of UX design is the process of building prototypes of applications for testing purposes. Students learning UX design will likely want to familiarize themselves with tools such as Figma, Adobe XD, or Sketch in preparation for building prototype digital layouts. It is important to give users a hands-on experience that they can test and provide feedback on; these tools make that testing process possible.
Students looking to learn more about these programs can look at the introductory bootcamps offered by Noble.
Soft Communication Skills
Unlike other design fields, UX design will often have professionals interacting directly with consumers and users to gather feedback and collect data. This means that UX Designers will need to be comfortable talking to groups of people and asking them pointed questions to understand their feelings and reactions to a given prototype design. Learning how to conduct interviews and manage user feedback is a part of UX training. Still, new students are encouraged to understand the importance of communication skills when working in UX design.
Research Pitfalls and Challenges
Even for students who understand how research-heavy UX design will be, it is important to consider the challenges and difficulties of performing research and testing on live subjects. Unlike other fields of design, UX design is heavily concerned with how others experience and interact with an application, which requires a great deal of time and effort spent collecting and analyzing data. For some students, this may be appealing, but for others, the idea of writing a survey or building a focus group may not be what they had in mind when they wanted to enter the field of digital design. Before diving into a UX design course, new students should consider how much of their interest lies in research.
- UX design is the process of researching to design digital applications that are responsive to user feedback and accessible to consumers.
- A key element of the UX design process is prototyping interfaces for user testing. Because of this, any student hoping to learn UX design should familiarize themselves with at least one user experience design tool.
- More so than many design fields, UX design involves interfacing directly with consumers and users to collect feedback. Interpersonal communication skills are very important, particularly for tasks like leading focus groups or conducting interviews.
- In a research-heavy field, students should know how challenging it can be to collect user feedback, conduct interviews, or build surveys. This consumes a lot of the time of User Experience Designers, so those with a more creative approach may wish to consider learning UI design instead.
- Once a student is ready to start learning UX design, Noble Desktop offers many comprehensive courses to help them.
Learn UX design with Hands-on Training at Noble Desktop
Noble Desktop offers students many user experience design courses and bootcamps. These courses, available both in-person and online, offer in-depth, career-focused UX design training and are all taught by expert instructors in real-time. Even taken online, these courses will allow students to interact directly with their instructor in the classroom and during one-on-one mentoring sessions. The small class sizes ensure students won’t get lost in crowded lecture halls. In addition, students can retake any course they enroll in for free within one year. This means students can take their courses a second time to review lessons, cover material they found difficult, or get more hands-on user experience design practice.
For students looking to learn the basics of UX Design, Noble offers a UX Design in a Day, in which students will learn the basic elements of the UX design process. They will learn key terms and ideas, like personas and scenarios, and how to conduct basic user research and interview participants to receive feedback. They will also learn the basic process of sketching and building prototype applications for testing. This is an introductory course, so it will only scratch the surface of the tests and research work involved in UX design, but it is an important course for laying the foundation for more immersive training.
Students looking for a more detailed, career-focused training course can enroll in Noble’s UX & UI Design Certificate. This course prepares students for employment in the UX/UI design field and will provide students with hands-on experience building and testing user interfaces. Users will receive training in advanced research techniques, including conducting interviews, producing written user reports, and running surveys. Then, students will be taught how to interrupt this data so that they may return to their designs and iterate on them in light of the feedback. Students will also be given hands-on training in prototyping and design software, such as Figma, Sketch, and Adobe XD. At the end of the course, students will have the opportunity to build a portfolio of sample interface designs and user experience case studies. In addition to this portfolio, students will receive one-on-one career mentorship, and by the end of the course, they will be ready to enter the workforce in the field of user experience design.