How to become a UX Designer

user experience coursesUser Experience (UX) Design is literally the process of designing an experience for the user. It is a complex science which changes rapidly as user desires do. It delves into the psychology of the user, usability testing, and the designing of paper prototypes and final wireframes. Get Introduced to User Experience at Udemy

So you are thinking about becoming a UX Designer? You know that UX stands for User experience. You are prepared to think about your user and work hard to ensure their needs are met. It can be a truly rewarding career. Learn the fundamentals of UX Design at Udemy.com today.

Salary and Location

This infographic from Onward Search shows salary information of various UX/UI careers by location. For instance, UX/UI careers are most needed in New York, San Francisco,  and Seattle. There are places in the US other than the coasts that need these professionals, some midwest cities did make it into the top 20. A UX/UI Developer or UX/UI Designer are the most in-demand professions.  A UX/UI Designer in Washington DC can expect to make 83K-118K.  Take a look at the  infographic and see what you want to do, where you want to live, and what your salary could be.

The infographic does not show you the telecommuting opportunities. My online Topics in Professional Writing class for my Professional Writing degree, was on UX Design. My UX Design Instructor is an Experience Architect for Critical Mass of London; she started with their office in Canada a few years back and now telecommutes from wherever her wheels take her.

UX Designer in Practice

I have written several articles on UX Design for Udemy’s blog. All the elements I have included in these articles just touch the surface. It took me eight weeks to learn the process, working eight hours a day, completing a UX Design project along the way, and I still simply got a taste of UX Design and all that it entails. It has far less to do with design than it does research. It is not quiet alone work all of the time. You must be able to interview, observe, and create useful personas and scenarios based on the research. This pre-work will never be seen by customers, but it leads to the usable product they will appreciate.

Want to learn a more in-depth analysis of UX Design? Learn at Udemy.com.

UX Design Graduate and Undergraduate Programs

Some colleges and universities offer degrees or certificates in User Experience. Most are at the graduate level. Others, like Missouri State University, where I attended, offer a course on it at the 500 level for dual credit in both undergraduate and graduate level credit offerings. Most employers want you to be knowledgeable and skillful; they want you to have a degree. A related degree in programming, communications, or technical writing can be close enough if you have some UX training as well. At the bottom of the article, I have included a  list of US colleges offering UX programs I found compiled on Wikipedia.

Online Non-Credit Courses

There is a lot of information online to learn about UX Design. You can take online skills courses. Many education sites offer courses for fast online learning of UX Design. Check and see if it is rated well and how many students have taken the course. Udemy offers several great courses. This page tells you all about one of Udemy’s premier UX Design courses.

This course teaches you how to create a winning UX Design.

Other UX Design Learning Sources

There are many sources out there. Some are in print and available at Amazon.com, and other locations. Others are available online. Great books have been published on the subject. There are a few magazines on the subject with great articles. Many blogs on UX Design are published regularly. You can follow influential UX professionals on LinkedIn, their blogs, or listen to their podcasts. One great source where information on UX Design is compiled is Hints from the Lazy Bear.

Books

Steve Krug’s Don’t Make Me Think is an excellent source to learn about user experiences and usability. Designing for the Digital Age by Kim Goodwin and Alan Cooper is considered to be a great source. Smashing UX Design is put out by Smashing Magazine. Don’t Make Me Think and Smashing UX Design were my text books for my course in UX Design.

Magazines

Some great magazine sources are found. Smashing is widely considered to be one of the best. UX Magazine is another great magazine. Both are available in print or online.

Conclusion

You may want to pursue a rewarding career in UX Design. Be prepared to research and test, as well as design. Be aware that your design will be more architecture-based than colorful graphic design. Get educated at the level that suits your need and work technical jobs that can lead toward a great career in User Experience.

Appendix

Below  is the list of US Colleges offering interaction design programs. It is not complete.  Click here to see the whole international list.

Arizona

California

Florida

Georgia

Illinois

Indiana

Kansas

Maryland

Missouri

New York

Ohio

Pennsylvania

South Carolina

Texas

Washington

University of Washington has a Bachelor of Design (Formerly BFA), and a graduate program.