User experience or UX design refers to how users perceive a product or a service, how they interact with it, and how they respond to it. The elements of UX design are shaped purely on the basis of what users want and how they feel when they use the product. UX designers use specific processes and tools to develop products that provide meaningful and satisfying experiences for their users.

Since the goal of every business is to satisfy the demands of its customers, user experience is crucial to business success. UX designers enjoy a wide variety of job opportunities, high pay, and challenging, creative work. Let’s take a closer look at how to get hired in your first UX design job.

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Getting Hired as a UX Designer

UX design is a popular career choice these days. With the increasing importance of creating optimal user experiences, demand for UX designers is skyrocketing. While it’s a lucrative and ever-expanding career domain, there’s no specific path that you need to follow in order to enter the field.

Most aspiring UX designers will decide on a career pathway based on whether they’re a professional looking to transition into UX design or a complete beginner. UX design is a vast and dynamic field branching out into many specializations, so it’s advisable to decide in advance which area you want to specialize in. For that to happen, you’ll first need identify your interest areas.

You’ll need to explore all the disciplines and then choose one that you want to focus on. Questions you can ask yourself and research include:

We’ve included below some of the key steps you might want to follow after familiarizing yourself with the broad discipline and choosing a field of specialization.

UX Design Education

This is the first and foremost step to take before getting started in your career as a UX designer. You have to learn about the field. Choose the traditional path of earning a university degree or other paths like online courses, training programs, and bootcamps. You can also choose self-learning.

Going for a university degree will help you strengthen your foundational knowledge of UX design, and ultimately get hired in a UX designer role. But it’s an expensive and time-consuming mode of learning that may not see you actually work on any real projects for some time.

Another pathway is to enrol in training programs and online courses. This mode of learning helps you learn UX practices and the theory behind them while also gaining practical experience.

Our UX/UI Design Online Bootcamp will teach you:

Tools for UX Design

Mastering the right tools will be an essential step on your journey to becoming a professional UX designer. There are a wide variety of tools available in the market and you need to select those that best align with your interests. Some of the popular UX design tools are:

Choose the tools that allow you to transition from rough prototypes to high quality prototypes quickly. If you can demonstrate a working knowledge of all of the above, then you’ve just increased your odds of landing that UX designer title.

UX Certifications

The right UX design certifications can validate your skills, and may help your application stand out from other UX designers in a competitive job market. Various universities and platforms provide a range of UX certifications. Some of the best ones are:

These certifications won’t necessarily give you a complete foundation in design principles, but they may give you a competitive edge when applying to entry-level UX designer roles.

Experience in UX Design

The next step is to get practical experience and implement the knowledge and skills you’ve learned through online programs, tools, and certifications. If you’re a working professional UX designer, then you can seek out and work on small UX design projects within your company.

You might also consider a freelance project where you may be able to take on designing tasks, such as redesigning a website or a part of its user experience. You can use freelance experience as an opportunity to demonstrate your problem-solving skills to prospective recruiters. Any hands-on experience will serve you well when competing with other UX designers for a great job.

Create an Outstanding UX Design Portfolio

In the process of getting hired as a UX designer, developing an impressive portfolio is one of the most important steps. It’s a way to demonstrate your knowledge, skills, and achievements. Tailor your portfolio to the job you’re applying for and consider adding some UX case studies that you completed during training.

Your portfolio is going to tell the recruiter about the work you’ve done, the projects that you’ve worked on, and your problem solving techniques. Your portfolio is a reflection of your skills and work, and helps employers see the value you’ll bring as a UX designer for their company.

Here are a few steps you can follow to create a great portfolio:

Network with Other UX Designers

It’s important to connect with a network of other UI and UX designers, especially when you’re just starting out. Join a UX group or forum, and look for ways to interact with other professionals in the community.

Nailing the UX Design Interview

Impressing your prospective employer in an interview is of course crucial to getting hired as a UX designer. Once you’ve acquired the necessary knowledge, skills, and work experience in UX design, you can start applying for positions. The interview process will assess your knowledge and skills, so it’s wise to research the commonly asked questions and rehearse your answers.

Ready to find out more? Read our do's and don'ts for learning UX design, and learn our favorite tips for newbie UX designers forging a career.

Launch Your UX Design Career

Learn how to design smarter websites from industry professionals, 100% online, with the security of a career guarantee when you graduate.

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