I'm sure you have heard the term UX design on several occasions. Do you know what it really stands for? Or do you want to become a UX designer? How can you become an expert UX designer?
We'll provide answers to these and many more questions as we go along in this post.
On a side note, it is important to point out that the term UX designer has been abused and misinterpreted in the design and tech industry.
Being a graphic designer doesn't make you a UX designer, a lot of people misconstrue that, and give themselves the title of UX designer. Just because you add some wireframes to your portfolio, or you know how to use Balsamiq or UX pin doesn't make you a UX designer.
UX design is far more than that.
So, what really is UX design? What makes a good UX designer and how can you become a guru at UX design?
Grab a seat and let's dig right in.
What is UX Design?
UX design, which is also known as User Experience design is a process where a team of designers creates a product while putting the interest of the users at the top of their minds.
This means that at the stage of creating a product, the designer or creator, the product takes into consideration all the needs of the end-users and how the product will meet such needs.
The primary goal of every UX designer is to create a product that users can interact with effectively and easily. It is about finding solutions.
In the course of creating a product, a good UX designer has to take into consideration the needs of the users, brand requirements of the product owners, and how feasible it is to come up with such a solution technologically.
UX designers look into the why, what and how as it relates to the usability of a given product.
Peter Morville identified that a good UX product should be: Useful, Usable, Desirable, Accessible, Credible, Findable, Valuable. A good UX designer is one who can solve problems.
Here's the good news though, you can actually become an expert UX designer if you are ready to put in the effort.
Now that you have a basic understanding of what UX design is, let us dive into the meat of this post.
Here are some guidelines or steps you can take to become the guru UX designer you've always desired.
- Learn The Principles Of Design
Familiarizing yourself with basic design or UI principles is very important if you want to be a good UX designer. Armed with this knowledge, you'll understand the psychological aspects of design as well as the dos and don'ts of design elements.
Here are some basic design principles you need to be aware of;
- Color: You need to understand the principles behind colors, how to use colors in a professional way so that you can get the best result for your designs.
- Balance: How do you create balance in your design? How do you deal with the concepts of symmetry and asymmetry.
- Contrast: How do you use the design principle of contrast to organize your design, grab attention, and create focus?
- Typography: How do you come up with good fonts and improve readability for users?
- Consistency: This principle is not only good as a design principle; it also applies to everyday life. You need to learn the principles of consistency if you want to be an expert UX designer.
- Know The UX Creative Process
Every good and result-oriented design goes through a process, and as an aspiring UX designer, you need to be familiar with this process. They are;
- Discover: This is the first stage where you identify a problem and start conducting research or developing ideas to provide a solution to them.
- Define: This is the stage where you clearly and properly define the creative idea that you believe would solve the problem.
- Develop: This is the trial and error stage where you begin to test, re-test, refine, and improve on the creative ideas or solution defined in the second stage.
- Delivery: This is the launch phase, where the final product is delivered to the end-users.
- Have An Eye For Design
Start building your design instincts based on the principles of design. How do you identify a bad design when you see one? How do you train your eyes to be able to point out the strengths and weaknesses in given design work?
One good way to start is by looking at the designs created by others, and identifying the things you like and the ones you don't like. This way, you'll begin to develop your own creative design instincts, and you'll also have some inspiration you can refer to when creating your project. You can visit dribbble.com or pttrns.com for some design inspiration.
- Presentation Skills
You need to be able to properly present your ideas to your team or clients in a professional way. Even if you have the best idea and you are not able to present it effectively, there could be some misunderstanding along the line. With localization services such as PickWriters, you can get the best out of your presentation.
This is all about knowing how people feel and what they need. As a good UX designer, you are always looking to solve the problem and provide a solution to end-users. So knowing the fears and desires of your end-users would be a good start.
- Read Articles On Design Every Day
Read inspirational articles about design, so you'll also be up to date with the changing trends. It's a good way to start each day. Examples of great design blogs and articles website are; blog.marvelapp.com, medium.com/design, webdesignernews.com, etc.
- Familiarize Yourself With Design Tools
Ultimately, your pen, paper, and your brain are the most important tools you ought to develop first. Then, you can start practicing with some digital tools and applications which can come in handy for your design projects. Here are some great tools you should consider learning; Sketch, Figma, Balsamiq, Adobe XD, Marvel App, Invision App, etc
Practice, Practice, Practice
Practice they say makes perfect. You need to continually put everything you learn into practice. This is the best way you can develop yourself and become a professional.
Find A MentorGet outside motivation, an accountability partner who would really push you beyond your limit and give you the right motivation you need to continue learning.
- Design Fake Projects
Imagine a problem or need based on your observation and create a fake project addressing that need. Make sure you put all the UX design stages into focus as you come up with your solution.
Come up with a fake project just for the fun of it. You can take a look at Dribbble for some good ideas.
Becoming a professional UX designer shouldn't be a hard nut to crack if you are willing to put in the effort. With determination, patience, and the right attitude, you can achieve your desires of becoming a guru UX designer.
The UX design industry is dynamic, as new updates come up every now and then, so you need to keep learning and upgrading yourself in order to meet up with the changing trends.
**This post is written by guest author Donald Fomby who is a communications professional with more than five years of experience. Donald runs his own blog BestWritersOnline and is proud of his remarkable ability to explain the most complex subject in simple terms.
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