This is a short how-to-ux. There is more to be said on each step, if you are interested in more details I will consider doing a post on each step individually. But for now sit back and enjoy.
Step 1 Research 📄
First question you have to ask yourself is ‘Why do I want to be a UX designer?’ Everyone has a different answer to this. My reason was I like to know how people think, what makes them think or feel a certain way. What emotion or need triggers a certain behavior. That’s the connection I get to have when thinking about the user. The other part is that I like to organize and keep things simple and visually pleasing which is very much related to design.
Now think what are your reasons and focus on that.
Once you got that covered it’s time to research, study, read, listen and see. Any content that you can put your hands on is useful. Start with whatever sparks your interest.
Step 2 Find a mentor 👩🏫
As always it is better to have someone to help you learn and guide you. Sure, you can do this by yourself but most of the time it takes longer and you might lose some of that enthusiasm. Try to find someone that can help you. It can be someone you know is a designer, it can be someone you found on the internet. The important thing is to have someone to look up to, ask for advice and receive useful feedback.
If you don’t know where to look for a mentor I will suggest some people to follow : Chris do, Flux , The Futur, Don Norman, Jared Spool.
Step 3 Create ✨
There is no going around this, you just have to start somewhere. Take the ux process and go through it. Pick a problem you find annoying and try to think of a solution. Start sketching, open a designing tool ( Adobe Xd, Sketch, Figma, whatever) and start playing around with shapes and try putting everything together. At this point the progress will be slow, you will have to ask for help and go back to researching a LOT. Don’t loose hope, it takes time and patience to learn this craft. ( I recommend reading the book ‘GRIT’ by Angela Duckworth it will teach you why it is important to stick with it.)
Step 4 Test 👀
Once you created something, test it out. Ask random people for their opinion. Someone with an outside perspective might see something you missed. Also, you need to learn now not to get offended and defensive. The quicker you learn to be objective about your work the faster you will grow as a designer.
Step 5 Portfolio 💼
After you have made 4-5 projects, it’s time to assemble your first portfolio. It is important you be as descriptive as possible and show the best side of your work. Never put in your portfolio something you’re not proud of.
You can look for inspiration on Dribbble, Behance, Pinterest to see how other people create their portfolios.
Step 6 Present 😃
This step might be the toughest for some of you. As a designer you will most likely have to present and explain your work. So, in preparation for this, you might want to consider doing a few rounds of mirror talking. A good example of this would be the TV Show ‘Mad Men’. I strongly recommend watching it, even just for the plot. It’s a nice show.
Step 7 Make connections ✋
Don’t become a hermit, go out into the world and try to find people that like this design thing you seems so obsesses with. There are a few cool events in our town that might give you access to some awesome people. I will some of them below.
I think this is the most important step, it will help you make friends and connections that will make you feel less alone as a designer. There aren’t so many of us, but we are a special bunch 😎.
Events in Iasi:
The steps above are just a quick go through what it takes just to start the process of learning design. This is one approach to it, there are many more. The most important thing to remember is : Learn, Be open, Make friends and Enjoy! 🙌