101 User Experience Design Handbook.

Image by Liliia Mandrino.

I have been getting similar emails in my inbox; people are asking how to start a User Experience Designer career or transition into it from another field. Usually, people who are entertaining this thought are students that have limited or no financial support, people with established careers that are seeking ways to transition out of their field gradually, and people who wanted to learn something new. And so the range of questions is: Where should I start? Is it possible to transition? How do I get in? My answer to all this — everything is possible if you want it and ready to put your hours into the learning process. I know well how that all feels, to be hungry for knowledge, and having a limited budget at the same time. You have choices — try to win a grant or scholarship, learn on your own through available resources, online videos, etc., or giving up is also a choice. It’s better to learn with financial support, but it’s possible to invest in yourself as you go with no student debt. It’s harder, but it’s possible.

Get Basic Design Skills

Buy a notepad and a pen

Sketch App

Figma

Flinto

Nucleo App

Keynote or PowerPoint

Extra

Learn from the best. For free where possible.

Learn from Pablo Stanley

Sketch App Crash Course
Principle Crash Course
Flinto Crash Course
Framer Crash Course

Learn from Nguyen Le

Learn from Matt D. Smith

Prominent Tastemakers.

Videos & shows to watch:

People to follow:

Portfolios to see:

Mobile App Patterns

Game Design Resource

Websites

Best Graphic Designers

There are obviously many more; eventually you’ll discover them all.

Visual Psychology.

Books:

Typography.

Jeremiah Shoaf created this helpful resource, it will be the best investment; it’s pricey for a student pocket, but it’s worth it!

Accessibility.

Articles on accessibility:

Add Motion.

Originality.

Self-initiate.

Some designers are doing 100-day challenges where they would share work every single day. It does not have to be a complete user flow; those are just small motion or interaction examples, a great way to boost your skills in a variety of design tools.

Nonprofits and Charities often don’t have budgets, but they still have ideas and needs they need help with. That is your opportunity to hone your skill and gain experience in the environment where mistakes are less critical, or at least the team is more forgiving.

Learn Rules. Break Rules.

Seek Feedback

Grow Your Presentation Muscle.

Basic case study or a presentation has:

Once you compile case studies into a Keynote or PowerPoint presentation, don’t let people just stare at slides; talk about all the details in it. Draw attention to smaller elements and micro-interactions, type choice, and color feedback. While it might be evident to you see all what’s changed or got done, it’s not that obvious to others; help them appreciate your work and the effort you put in.

Be Nice.

There Are No Shortcuts.

Recommended Books:

  1. The Gamer’s Brain: How Neuroscience and UX Can Impact Video Game Design.
  2. How to Use Graphic Design to Sell Things, Explain Things, Make Things Look Better, Make People Laugh, Make People Cry, and (Every Once in a While) Change the World
  3. White by Kenya Hara
  4. Irresistible. The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked
  5. The Design of Everyday Things: Revised and Expanded Edition
  6. Universal Principles of Design by William Lidwell
  7. 100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People by Susan Weinschenk

Recommended Podcasts:

  1. Remarkable People by Guy Kawasaki
  2. Meet The Creatives by Rob Jonston

Director, User Experience Design @ EA

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