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UI/UX stands for User experience and User interface design. Think of your favourite app, how easy is it to navigate, to complete tasks to find the things you need? Now, think of the worst website you’ve ever visited, what exactly about that experience was frustrating for you? That’s user experience design.
It essentially refers to the experience of (mostly) digital products and how efficient they are in solving the problems they claim to solve.
User interface design refers to how the products look. The colours, pictures, icons and other elements, how well do they work together in being part of that user experience. We are certain your favourite apps/ websites have delightful interfaces that make it easy for you to navigate and complete tasks.
Now how do you decide if you want to be a UI/UX designer? Here are a few tips:
- Find out if it’s actually for you. Do some research into all the possible career paths that are available in tech, read all about them before you decide if UI/UX is truly for you.
- If/when you have decided that UI/UX is right for you, the next step is to read voraciously about it. Learn as much as you can about the basics. Take courses, watch tutorials, learn about the software you will use.
- Practise: there’s no learning without applying your hands to it, so start practising. Find out the software that works best for you – I’ll suggest Figma because it’s easy to learn and use. One of the best ways to get better at design is to copy already existing products. This isn’t for your portfolio: that would be wrong, but it helps train your eyes and mind to spot good design and to know when a particular design doesn’t work. Learn UX practises, and try your hands at a case study.
- Collaborate: another thing that will help build your skills is to collaborate with other people. Find other designers and developers, and work with them. This will help you create work that can go into your eventual portfolio.
- Follow the experts: some people have experience in the field. Follow them on social media, reach out to them for design critique(you might not always get a response but people are often happy to help), follow hashtags that relate to UI/UX, etc. this way, even when you’re scrolling through your feed, there’s subconscious learning going on.
- Develop soft skills: you have to be able to receive criticism of your work without getting offended. Communication is also important in creating a good user experience and in writing your case study.
- Don’t stop reading and don’t stop practising.