With zero knowledge and experience, starting out in UI design can be somewhat intimidating. In my little time as a UI/UX designer I’ve found out some really amazing tips that helps.
Have head knowledge of what you are getting into.
UI design is something that is frequently talked about recently and its awareness seems to be on the rise. Understanding what it is all about is the very first step to becoming a UI designer.
What is UI design? who is a UI designer? what is UX design? Why are they called such? what do they entail? why are they important? What career opportunities are in there? How do designers work? How much are they paid? What is the future of design?
All these and more are important questions to ask and find out about. The goal here is to have a solid understanding of what this is all about so you know where you’re going, plus you can confidently and correctly explain to someone out there who might have questions about your work.
Create with problem solving in mind.
Consuming contents, specially from great design sources is good but consuming alone wont get you there. You have to create.
When creating, create with problem solving in mind. Don’t just jump in to start designing. If you do so, with time you end up designing stuffs that are visually appealing but with bad experiences.
Create as fast or if possible faster than you consume. The more designs you are able to create the more improvements you make, the more you master the craft.
The goal here is to keep creating as much as you consume contents and resources.
Feed your mind with great designs.
Feeding your mind with great designs and experiences helps to increase your taste and standard for design. When you have a high taste and standard for designs, it will reflect in your works. You will not want to make anything less than your taste.
Go on dribbble, behance, and look at other designers works. Even on your phone, pay attention to the everyday apps you use, look out for fluid and seamless experiences, good design patterns, try to feel design differently from the way you have felt it before. You’ll notice that you begin to generate questions as you understand the flow of things.
Always look for people to point out the flaws in your works. Also not everyone has a great eye for design, its always going to be helpful to have someone around you that can criticize your work. If you are in an environment where there are no such persons, find design communities to upload your works online and ask for honest feedback.
A good feedback is always actionable, specific and kind.
You’d be surprised at the improvements you’ll make when you get people to criticize your works.
The goal here is to get better and understand people experiences from different standpoint.
Have an online presence.
Search for industry leaders in design, find top UI designers, UX influencers, and follow them on twitter, quora, facebook, instagram, dribbble, behance, medium, etc.
The benefit of this is that you get to see their posts, know whats happening in the industry, see how they do things, know what they are talking about, etc.
You shouldn’t be quiet either, get talking, let people know your stuff.
If what you do excites you, talking about it should come easy. Keep talking, on twitter, facebook, instagram , the more you do the more the chances of opportunities knocking are.
Start a blog if you like here on medium, push out contents, publish articles, talk about what you do, from the seemingly insignificant things to the great stuffs. When you talk and teach people what you do, you move from just knowing stuff to deeply understanding stuffs.
Invest in yourself.
Becoming a better designer is directly proportional to how much you give to investing in yourself. Read books, watch videos and webinars, listen to podcasts, etc, every week make sure to watch a video or webinar on design conferences on youtube to hear industry leaders speak about design, the future of design and everything in between.
UXpin has a great collection of free ebooks you could start with any of those or check online for great design books to buy.
I hope you find these tips useful, they’ve been very helpful for me in my journey so far. I’m not where I want to be yet but I’m also not where I used to be either.