The importance of UX Design has increased tenfolds ever since we had to go virtual because of COVID-19. If you were looking for a career change or plan to start the new year in the field of UX, then this blog can help you achieve your goals in the best way possible.
Blog In A Nutshell: Entering UX Design can feel daunting. Without any prior experience, starting a new project is challenging. Here’s the trick though. All of us have some experience in UX design. A UX Designer is someone who solves human-centric problems and makes the processes involving humans smoother. The likes of these projects can include coming up with a better table arrangement in a restaurant that accommodates more customers or using a color scheme to arrange your clothes better while sorting your wardrobe. These small activities have already made you a UX Designer!
If you want to become a UX Designer within three months, you will need all the support that you can get. The Proto Process has a community of Mentors. Their goal is to help you get started in the field of UX in the fastest and most efficient way. The quickest way to becoming a UX Designer is to start thinking like one. And to think like a UX Designer you need to befriend some UX experts!
Becoming a UX Designer means that you will have to do some diligent planning! Luckily most of the steps required to become a UX designer don’t need any experience.
Before you dive into the blog, here's an inspirational video of someone who entered the field of UX with no prior experience!
Your main job, as a UX Designer, is to make human-centric activities smoother. This is a broad problem set and includes everything from bettering banking services to buying groceries. When working on UX related tasks, you must define the problem that you aim to solve with your solution. Your solution can be anything that helps you do things in a better way. It can include solutions like queuing in a better way and integrating blockchain to make banking more secure.
A problem definition is often a question whose answer serves as the foundation for you to build your User Experience (UX) Design. There are many tools that you can use to define your problem definition. Using the 5 Whys technique is quite popular amongst experienced UX Designer.
5 Whys promotes the idea of digging deep into a problem until its core is reached. You iterate over a challenge five times to reach its root cause and tackle it. Continuous iterations help in reaching the main pain point, which when addressed, make things better.
Notice that by asking the 5 Whys, the above example was able to reach the root cause of the problem. Here the problem definition is. ‘How does Dan make sure that he reaches school on time’ and the answer to it is, ‘Make sure he puts ‘batteries’ on his mom’s shopping list’. 5 Whys is an indefinite tool and is not limited to asking the ‘Whys’ 5 times. You can keep iterating with the Whys until you are satisfied with the root cause. This works perfectly with the design thinking methodology because even if you do not find your solution in the first run, you will pick up your investigation right where you left instead of starting from scratch.
As a UX Designer, you need to be comfortable with failing. The first solution to your problem definition will be not the best one. It would be best if you learned how to fail fast and fail forward. Failing fast and forward is the core of design thinking. Design thinking is an agile way of exploring the best techniques for creating refined and imaginative UX Designs. To polish your design basics in the fastest way possible, I recommend you to follow me on my social media handles where I post design-related content on a daily basis.
After having a concrete problem definition, your next task is to solve it. Ideating is the process of coming up with multiple ideas. This process, too, does not require any UX Design specific experience, and it is rather intuitive. Yet this is one of the essential prerequisites needed for you to become a UX Designer. While ideating, the focus is on quantity and not quality. By generating a good amount of diverse ideas, you increase your chances of stumbling upon the ideal solution. The best possible way to do this is not to question the practicality of your ideas. Instead, you should just let them flow.
Here’s a trick that will help you come up with imaginative ideas while ideating. Think about improvisation. Find out the quickest, cheapest, and easiest way to solve a problem. De-attach your solution with all the resources that you may have to solve the problem. This will help you identify the critical things needed to execute your plan. One other thing that this exercise does is it enables you to come up with original ideas!
The best tool for ideating is idea storimg. Idea storimg is when you set a timer and sit across your team members or anyone linked to the project. Then you ‘think out loud’ and put forth whatever idea comes first to you. Many of your ideas may or may not have any practical utility, and that’s okay! Note them down anyway and keep on brewing ideas. Once you finish this step, the next step would be creating mindmaps which are tools to help you sort your ideas in accordance with the time taken and the resources required to execute the solution.
Developing your identified solutions is when you create a mock-up to test. Until now, your ideas were just vague intentions manifested in the form of a short paragraph. In this step, you take your idea to the next level and give it some tangibility. The first step towards developing your identified solution is by creating wireframes. A wireframe is a basic representation of your user interface. It is stripped of any visual design. The objective of having a wireframe is to convey the basic idea of your product eloquently. I have written in great depth about wireframes. Read the blog to learn about the best tools that you can use for materializing your solution. Once this is done, then you can move on to prototyping the finalized solution.
Once you have understood the prerequisites required to help you get started in the field of UX, you will have to start building up a portfolio and get some experience to build a resume. This will be the final thing needed for you to become a UX designer in 2021. Building up a UX design portfolio is fun! First, think of all the human-centric activities that you enriched by coming up with a better way of doing things. Those things will be the first addition to your UX Design portfolio! While coming up with portfolio ideas, remember that it’s easy to get caught up in visual excellence and the ideas behind a project. While these are important things to consider, there’s much more to choosing a project with the potential to become a truly notable portfolio piece. I have shared my method for selecting a project that will allow you to enjoy its creation, show your user experience expertise, and will be a great initial addition to your portfolio.
The Proto Process is my initiative to help people have a glorious career in the field of UX. UX Design is a rewarding career opportunity that offers satisfying work. A UX designer can impact businesses and their customers in the most significant way possible. If this is something that interests you and you wish to learn more about it, feel free to get in touch with me! I will be more than happy to help you with your UX journey. Don’t hesitate from adding me to LinkedIn and following The Proto Process! I give daily UX related tips on Instagram and Twitter, making sure you are always learning.
There’s more! I have recently launched a UX Guide helping new designers get on the fast track of their UX Journey! Make sure to check it out!
For you to navigate your way through the UX world, The Proto Process provides all the right resources! Join our community to receive invaluable insight from working User Experience Professionals. Get direction on where to put your efforts next, or even work through a problem you’re having with The Proto Process. You can also Book a FREE Consultation Now for a more personalized experience! Furthermore, you can be a part of our digital classrooms. They will enable you to stay relevant in your career and help you grow as a UX Designer.
The Proto Process: Designing Your UX Career, One Artboard At A Time.