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How to Become a UX/UI Designer Without a Degree

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You’ll be able to become a top-level UX/UI designer and start working in the field of your dreams by following these guidelines.

The UX/UI design profession is one of the most interesting ones in the digital industry. It is a discipline that combines artistic skills with business thinking, marketing, and sometimes even programming.

Every company, from a startup to an international enterprise, is thinking of creating a website or application to promote their products and services, and professional UX/UI design agencies are those who help them fulfill their goals.

But how does one become such a professional and get UX design agency job? Is it necessary to have a formal education in design? Continue reading this post to find out.

By following these guidelines, you’ll be able to become a top-level UX/UI designer and start working in the field of your dreams.

Gather information

Start by reading books related to UX/UI design, watch Youtubers, and listen to podcasts. Learn whatever you can, as it will help you gain a better understanding of what UX/UI design actually is – very often, what beginners think is part of the profession is not at all related to design.

Look at other people’s portfolios

The works of others can inspire you and teach you how to properly represent yourself and your work. Also, by comparing the portfolios of renowned professionals with the not so good ones, you can discover the trends in the area and what sells. Study as many examples as you can find (at least 30-50), and it might teach you about UX/UI more than the best books.

Choose a course

The thing is that to become a professional UX/UI designer, you don’t need a university degree. Whether you have a diploma or not – it doesn’t guarantee you anything. What matters are the skills. However, both online and in-class courses can be very helpful for beginners.

Some of them are free, some are paid. If you have found a good free course or can afford to attend a paid thing, you should, of course, benefit from this opportunity. There are three reasons for that:

  • Courses give you discipline. You know that you have to learn this and by this date. Courses hold you accountable for your learning.
  • It’s more fun. Following multimedia content with a teacher and other students is much more exciting and fun than locking yourself in a library. While some people are organized enough to study through books, others need extra motivation from a teacher and competitiveness with our students in a class.
  • Directions. A teacher in a class is usually a UX/UI practitioner who knows what is relevant and what can be omitted. They will tell you what you should focus on and what can be saved for later.
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Make a training plan

Now that you have collected a lot of information, it is important not to drown in it. Create your training plan. Otherwise, you will randomly rush from a book to a website, from a website to videos and social networks, and then you’ll miss out on something important.

Plan what you study, but also when you do it. Set deadlines for yourself and stick to them. Combine theory and practice during your sessions.

Get a grasp of professional programs

Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator are used in different areas of design, so you will certainly need them. But others need to be mastered like Figma, Sketch, and InVision. Usually, there are several options – choose the program consciously, carefully collecting information, comparing the pros and cons. You will add one more selection criterion: how easy it is for a beginner to master it.

At the start, you are unlikely to need to know many programs. But try to master the ones that you have chosen.

Work on your portfolio

The portfolio is very important when a designer is looking for a job. Do not chase the size of the portfolio, do not include everything in it – only the most successful work, the ones that you are proud of. And do not forget to update the collection from time to time: this means not only adding new works there but also throwing out the old ones that you have already outgrown.

You can post your portfolio on Behance.net, Portfolios.ru, Dribbble.com, Deviantart, and Pinterest. You can use several sites at once, but not necessarily.

Apply for a job

It’s better to start your career working for a company where you can learn from other team members. Also, if you make a mistake (which often happens to beginners), it will not affect the project because there are more experienced professionals there to guide and correct you. You can start from being a freelancer, but the quality of your work might not be satisfactory and will affect your reputation at the start.

Conclusion

Now you know how to succeed at becoming a professional UX/UI designer. Start by collecting information about the field and studying how the pros do it. It’s always a good idea to take a course if you are certain of its quality. Do not wait for too long before making a portfolio and starting to look for a job. Do these simple things and you’ll be well on your way to becoming successful.

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