March 18, 2019 How to Start a Career as a UI / UX Designer
The first step is very important for a beginner to start a career, especially for some people who started their careers to become UI / UX self-taught, like me. There will be many inhibiting factors if the first step in being a UI / UX Designer is not started with the correct path. For that, let’s discuss what should be done to become a UI / UX Designer.
1. Learn Basic Things
At the beginning stage there are two things that must be learned: namely, how to create an attractive design view (UI Design Principle) and how the design can help users solve problems or achieve the goals that they want (UX Creative Process).
A. UI Design Principle.
Before going into the world of design, it is better to learn the basic principles of UI. By learning this you will understand how to make a good look.
Color is an element that can facilitate the user’s understanding of the information and emotions that we want to convey. Color selection errors can be fatal. Certain colors can cause the eyes to get tired quickly if not combined with a suitable color.
Pictures & illustrations
The right images and illustrations can help users understand more quickly the message we want to convey through design. This can also reduce the use of text so that the resulting design is simpler.
Choosing fonts that are in harmony with the design will help it look more attractive. Also learn to choose fonts that have a good level of readability for many devices.
Layout and Grid
Layout and grid is the art of arranging graphic elements that we make to be in harmony and attractive to users. The layout also helps (or at least makes it easier for) users to find the information they need.
Consistency will create harmony in the design. With consistency in graphic design elements they will be more intuitive and usable.
Contrast is how we organize the appearance of designs and form a hierarchy so that we can give certain emphasis on the part that we want to highlight in the design.
B. UX Creative Process
After learning about how to create an attractive design the next step is to learn how we can solve problems experienced by users through the designs we make. This is known as UX Creative Process.
UX Creative Process is divided into 4 Phases including:
In this phase the designer will begin to research the problems encountered, gathering ideas for inspiration.
In this phase, the designer will translate the results of the search for ideas he has done in the Discover phase and formulate what things could be executed in a creative brief.
In this phase, all solutions at the creative brief will be summarized into a prototype and will be simulated (trial and error process) so that the resulting idea or solution will better answer the needs of the user.
This phase is the final phase in which the design prototype results in the developing process will be produced and launched.
2. Learn the Current Design Trends
Studying the basics of UI / UX design is a good first step, but to be able to be different and accepted in the industry you must learn the trends that are developing now.
The best way to learn design trends is to look at other designers’ portfolios on sites like Dribble, Pinterest and Behance. If you see an attractive design that may be relevant to your project you can save it, take a few screenshots of the design to be inspired. Don’t forget to mention the design maker and ask how they are creative so that they get the best design results.
3. Speed Up by learning the latest design tools and techniques
The world is changing fast, especially in terms of design. There will be many new techniques and tools that emerge during your career in the world of design. You can speed up your design production process with new tools and techniques. Though there are tons of new design tools and techniques out there, you don’t have to learn them all. Choose the right one that can be most beneficial for you.
4. Find the right Mentor and Community
In any field finding the right mentor and community can help maximize our abilities. One such community is Topcoder. In joining Topcoder you will find experienced designers who will help speed up your learning process and review your design results, providing tips and tricks they’ve learned along the way.
You can join online through forums and slack groups. Also, join offline by participating in regional events and new Topcoder programs for starting designers, namely Topcoder Design Bootcamp.
5. Start Your Design Project
The best way to start a career as a UI / UX Designer is to start working on a design project. However, what often becomes an obstacle for beginners is that we cannot find clients or jobs without a portfolio or experience.
But that doesn’t matter if you join Topcoder. Because every day there will be a design contest that you can follow even though you have no experience and portfolio at all.
So, what are you waiting for? Jump in the contest and see you on the forum. Good luck!