Is UX Design a Good Career? Tips & Ideas on Getting Started

Picking a good career path to pursue is a challenging task these days. Especially with the rise of AI, the future of many careers is uncertain. Rest assured, you don’t have to worry about that when following a career in UX design.

While many careers are at risk of being replaced by AI, User Experience Design (UXD) is a career path that will stay strong for a long time. Because, well, who knows better about what humans want than humans?

So to answer the question: Is UX Design a good career? Yes, it is!

If you’re thinking about getting started as a UX designer this year, you’ve made a wise decision. In this getting started guide, we’ll give you helpful tips and ideas on where and how to start your journey.

Let’s get started.

What is UX Design?

what is ux design

User Experience Design is a broad term but it generally refers to the process of designing products or services that provide the best experiences to the end users. UXD involves many aspects that come together to create seamless experiences for users.

For example, think about the last time when you went on Amazon to order something. How seamless was it to find the product you want, place the order, and get it delivered to your home? That’s what UX design is all about.

While UX design has high demand in digital products like apps and websites, it spans across all sorts of products including physical products, branding, and even marketing campaigns.

Why Become a UX Designer?

UX designers are like the unsung heroes of product development. People praise the founders and developers for creating great products, but it’s UX designers who truly help design products for human use.

Have you ever wondered why there aren’t any round-shaped smartphones? Or triangle-shaped soap? Can you even imagine the struggle you’ll face when trying to hold those things in your hand? Well, you can thank the UX designers for that.

It’s the UX designers who think about what’s best for the users. They do the research and studies to figure out how people use products and come up with the right designs that serve people best.

Needless to say, you’ll be in good company.

Is There Demand for UX Designers?

UX and UI design were among the top 10 most in-demand skills in 2023, according to Upwork. And the demand for this skill is growing in the freelancing marketplace. If you’re planning on becoming a freelance UX designer, you don’t have to worry about finding gigs.

Even if you prefer to work at a startup, there are plenty of opportunities in the industry. Platforms like Wellfound, Cutshort, and indeed make it much easier to find UX designer jobs, including remote jobs from reputable companies and startups.

The Impact of AI On UX Design

AI will never be advanced enough to understand humans because we are evolving creatures with ever-changing habits.

It’s reasonable to be concerned about the impact of AI when starting a new career. AI tools have already replaced many careers and jobs and no one knows what comes next. But, as long as humans are in control of the world, UX design will be a career path that will be safe from AI.

User experience design is something that requires humans. AI will never be advanced enough to understand humans because we are evolving creatures with ever-changing habits. Only humans can understand what our needs are, what kind of things we like right now, and how products need to be designed to serve those needs.

However, you will be able to take advantage of AI tools to make the process easier to do research and come up with wireframes and mockups without effort.

How to Get Started in UX Design

how to get started uxd

Now that we have the basics covered, let’s see what you need to do to get started in UX design.

Step 1: Skills and Requirements

To become a UX designer, you’ll need some specific sets of skills. The good news is they are easy to learn and you can even become a self-taught UX designer, with a little bit of dedicated learning and practicing.

These are the skills you’ll need:

  • Learn the basics and concepts of UX design
  • Learn to use UX design tools like Adobe XD, Figma, and Sketch
  • Learn to research like a pro, both online and offline
  • Good communication skills are also important for conducting interviews
  • Learn to look at things from the user’s perspective

Step 2: Building the Foundation

Once you have a basic understanding of UXD, you should look into becoming familiar with UXD tools.

First, see if UX design is right for you. The easiest way to do this is to take a UX design course online. Sites like edX and Coursera have lots of great courses you can follow. UX Design Fundamentals course by Joe Natoli on Udemy is also perfect for beginners. This course drops to around $15 during sales and it packs a lot of valuable insights into the world of UXD.

Once you have a basic understanding of UXD, you should look into becoming familiar with UXD tools. While you should learn to use all popular UXD tools, you should master at least one tool to use for day-to-day work. Figma is a great choice for beginners since it’s free and cross-platform.

Step 3: Practice Is Key

Practice is key to getting better as a UX designer. While you continue to learn about UXD, also practice the craft. Create cool wireframes, unique approaches to UI designs, learn to conduct research, and come up with concept designs of your own for popular products.

Step 4: Creating a Portfolio

While you practice your craft, don’t forget to share some of that work on your portfolio. You can create your personal portfolio website to showcase your work but as a beginner, you should use sites like Behance and Dribbble to share your work. It will make your work discoverable and even attract potential clients.

5 Tips for a Headstart in UX Design

These tips may seem simple but they are crucial to getting a headstart in your UX design career.

1. Curate Your Portfolio

Don’t treat your portfolio like a diary. It should only include your best work. Curate it carefully from time to time to highlight your greatest projects and showcase your best clients with pride.

2. Teach and Share Your Work

As the great Roman philosopher Seneca once said, “While we teach, we learn”. Create content like articles and videos and share what you learn with others. It’s the best way to learn and also get feedback.

3. Attend Events and Network

Networking is very important to growing your UX design career. Attend and take part of any events and meetings in your area to establish yourself as a UX designer. You can also attend webinars and connect with other industry professionals on social media.

4. Find a Mentor or Idol

Having a mentor will boost your UX design career exponentially. But not everyone has that luxury. If that’s not possible, you can find an idol to follow. There are plenty of great UX designers you can learn from. Find them on social media platforms and consume their content daily to get better at your craft.

5. Don’t Stop Learning

UX design is an evolving industry. There will always be something new to learn. Read blogs, magazines, books, and follow YouTube channels to always stay on top of your career.

In Conclusion

UX design is a career that’s easy to get started but difficult to master. It takes a lot of learning, practicing, and research to truly understand how human interactions work and design great experiences.

But don’t get discouraged by the difficulties, stay on your path and chase that dream position at your favorite startup. With determination, hard work, and a little bit of luck, you will get there, eventually.