How to ace Visual Design, no matter your previous background

Raluca Maria Angelescu
Mento Design Academy
7 min readSep 5, 2022

I already lost track of how many times I’ve spoken to people transitioning into UX and being anxious about the visual side. By talking to them, I realized there are two types of perceptions:

  1. People believe they need visual or drawing skills to break into the industry and if they haven’t been remarkable at drawing so far, there is no chance for them to succeed;
  2. They acknowledge skills can be learned but do not grasp the full potential of visual skills as part of the UX Design career and focus solely on the UX side of the craft.

I’ve been in both categories before starting my journey. Then I realized it’s not only essential to combine both visuals with UX, but it’s also easy, even when starting from scratch.

Being a product designer requires a broad skillset, and visual deliverables are a big part of this role. Whether you are presenting your portfolio to a hiring manager or your latest work to your client, ensuring things are visually appealing is part of the job. This gives you a lot of advantages:

  • It helps people who don’t know your craft understand your work, reduces cognitive load, and helps them envision the final product.
  • It helps you sell your work. We are attracted to harmony, our brain is involuntarily studying proportions, and even if we cannot always point out what is wrong, we have a different feeling when we see something well designed;
  • It helps the business. How many times did you go to the store and end up buying the most expensive bottle of shampoo, only to realize it doesn’t do any miracles for your hair compared to the cheaper one? Still, it does look good in your bathroom (guilty!).

If you asked me to create a perfect screen from scratch right now, I wouldn’t be able to do it. I would still need to think, sketch, and choose my elements. And only assuming I am aiming at a Dribble shot, not an actual project, where the context plays a higher role. However, I am trying every day to improve, learn as much as possible, and see the results. I realized during this experience that there are two ways to improve your visual design skills:

  1. The one we already know and hear doesn’t quite apply to practice. Design

Raluca Maria Angelescu
Mento Design Academy

UX/UI Designer .Everyone deserves a better designed world! Starting with the morning coffee cup and all the way through digital interfaces.