User Experience (UX) designers are the new gold. The demand for UX UI designers rises with the increase in demand for digital products. So, if you are looking to start a career as a junior UX UI designer, welcome to a new dispensation. This article is your guide to securing your UX design bag.
Are UX Designers in High Demand?
Gone are the days when UX design was the least of companies' worries. Now, businesses are constantly trying to improve user experience as the success of their products depends on it.
Good UX UI design does not only benefit the customers but also the business. On the one hand, a good UX design solves the user's problems and improves users' lives by creating a seamless experience for them.
On the other hand, it generates conversions and increases ROI (Return on Investment) for the company. It is not surprising that nearly every company has a product and design team. The design industry is growing rapidly. There are currently more than 20,000 UX design jobs in the USA alone, according to Glassdoor. So yes, UX designers are in high demand locally and globally.
Where do I Start to Become a UX UI Designer?
The work of a user experience designer is a combination of different technical skills. To become a junior UX designer, you need to learn the fundamentals of UX UI. Some of the technical skills you will need are:
User Interface Design/ Visual Design Skills
Responsive Web Design
Thankfully, there are online design courses and UX bootcamps that will ground you in these areas. These skills coupled with soft skills like project management, collaboration, and communication, will prepare you for the role. They are your organizational skills self-starter.
We must also inform you that some of the qualities you should possess as a UX designer are natural curiosity and understanding human behavior ability. The next step you want to take is to familiarize yourself with wireframing tools like Sketch, Illustrator, Adobe XD, Figma, Axure; UI tools like Photoshop; and Prototyping tools like InVision, Flinto, or Framer.
Additionally, challenge yourself with projects that test your knowledge of user research, UX strategy, and design thinking process. It is also very important that you gain some experience. Apply for an internship for a junior UX position. During your internship, you will have a firm grasp of the design systems, gain some analytical thinker experience, be familiar with design trends, and acquire some organizational skills.
Finally, create a portfolio for your projects and document how you solved users' problems. Your portfolio serves as your design components library. There, every project should describe the unique user story, the process, and the creativity involved. Your portfolio must show your organizational skills as it tells a lot about your visual design skills.
Generally, you will be doing almost all the work that is required of a senior UX designer or lead product designer but as an assistant. You will collaborate with the design team in product development. The product development process work is the responsibility of the Product Manager, UX Designer, Product Designer, and other junior team members. The junior UX is also expected to work with other team members in creating responsive designs and in creating high fidelity prototypes; ensure high-quality implementation and build interactive prototypes.
How Much Does a Junior UX Designer Make?
According to Simply Hired, the salary range is between $60,000 and $85,000 per annum. According to Glassdoor, it is between $85,000 to $100,000 and on Jooble, the estimated salary is between $65 and $100,000. The salary depends on the location. Interestingly, some of these jobs come with additional benefits.
Interested in more tips and opportunities?
How do I get a job as a junior designer?
A junior user experience designer has opportunities awaiting him/her in offices and especially remotely. Junior UX designer jobs are listed on job sites under different titles. Examples of such job titles are:
Junior UX UI designer, Junior product designer
Junior digital designer
Lead product designer
User experience designer
User Experience Collaborative
It is important to read the job descriptions very well to know your specialization. This is so that you know your capabilities as some companies advertise requirements meant for a senior UX designer because they want to cut costs. A UX designer should also have some knowledge of the other team members' skills to be able to collaborate with them effectively. Web design skills, UI design, and other relevant technical skills will be an added advantage.
To know what to prepare for, we have taken the time to put together the requirements expected of a junior UX designer. Below are some of them:
Strong writing and communication skills
possess experience working collaboratively on a design team and learning from senior designers
Collaborate with the design team to build interactive prototypes and experiences
Contributing to design workflow, including production of web/UX designs, graphics, video, and print.
Working with front-end developers to deploy designs.
Assist the Senior UX designer to analyze user flow.
Help the lead product designer establish high-quality implementation research
Research technology compensation and design payment processing
Constructively receive feedback, effective communication skills; possess UI design skills
Possess organizational skills- self-starter with the ability to work with a fast-paced design team
Now that you know some of the requirements, let us help you prepare for the interview process. First, write your resume.
Your resume details your personal and professional background. This is where you outline your technical abilities to suit the UX job requirement. Most companies do not look for a separate UI designer, rather they hire one person to do the UX/UI job.
This is why it is important to know about graphic design. In each section of your resume, showcase your UX experience, projects, and transferable skills. Each of these projects should detail the process you used to solve the problem. You may also include the different web and mobile applications used in solving the problems. Position yourself for the job by creating a responsive design.
Next, write your cover letter. Your cover letter should focus on your professional background; It should highlight your achievement and experience; and the design tools that you are familiar with. In your cover letter, express how willing you are to provide unlimited human support.
Lastly, arrange your portfolio, putting at least three of your best designs in it. During the interview, you may not have to do much practical work because your portfolio must have shown your design projects. However, you will need to defend both your technical and soft skills verbally. Likewise, you must ensure that expected outcomes support your highlighted design system when designing for your interviewers.
The following are some of the places you can get junior UX designer jobs:
LinkedIn is a professional job site with loads of UX job ads. You can follow Senior UX designers and product designers. Advance your job search by sending messages to Senior designers for guidance and opportunities. Glassdoor is another jobs site with thousands of UX job ads. You can also check Jooble and Simply Hired. Many of these sites let you register so that they can send you job alerts.
Another sure way to land interview opportunities is through community meetups and networking. These UX communities will introduce you to UX jobs and remote startup environments where you can get firsthand UX job alerts or a recommendation to the hiring company. Research how small community organizations conduct their recruitment process and download web and mobile applications to track your job alert and access pdf format job type.
Twitter is another platform where people network, build communities of UX designers, post job ads, and organize mentorship classes.
Jobs boards like Designer News, UX Writing Hub, and Smashing Mag will send you curated UX job alerts. This will save you from time wasters. You can also shoot your shot at small community organizations while at it. Upwork and Fiver are freelance sites for UX and UI designers if you decide to work remotely.
Although there are thousands of UX design jobs available, so much competence and performance are required of any UX UI designer, so you must endeavor to practice your skills regularly. Bear in mind that you will be working with a fast-paced product team. And while some designers would advise you to take office jobs so that the learning process is less difficult, it is advisable to consider freelancing. Freelancing will position you in the global market and as an equal opportunity employer.
Finally, do not stop designing. Whether it is for your business, pro-bono work for a fundraising platform, or recreating UI designs, you must never stop designing. And as you design, read. A UX designer is a life-long learner.
Here are some insightful books that you can explore today.
The Design of Everyday Things, by Donald Norman
Lean UX, 2s: Designing Great Products With Agile Teams, by Jeff Gothelf, Josh Seiden, and
Thinking, Fast and Slow, by Daniel Kahneman
Looking for a community of designers to share and learn? Join our community on LinkedIn here.