How to Change Your Career from Web Design to UX Design

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How to Change Your Career from Web Design to UX Design

Designers who want to advance their careers and get hired by top website designing and development companies should consider specialization. UX design is one of the hottest trends in IT right now. While experience and education are key factors that influence your earnings, user experience agencies get paid two to three times more on average compared to regular web designers.

Understanding UX and Web Design

UX is the shorthand for “user experience” and it describes all interactions of a given visitor with a website. UX is a term that is not limited to web design services. Any interaction with a virtual or real object can be described in terms of user experience. Examples include filling your car with gas, playing a game on your mobile phone or riding an elevator in an office building.

As a discipline, UX blends human psychology and aesthetics, with structure, purpose and functionality of an object. When applied to web design agencies, UX focuses on how easy it is for a given user to find necessary information, fill out forms, use other interactive features, or access a website from different devices.

UX requires continuous testing and a problem-solving approach. Web designers with strong reasoning skills, experience in research, a keen eye for detail and deep knowledge of human behavior are perfect candidates for becoming high-earning UX experts.

Main differences between UX and web design

  • Web design focuses on creating easy-to-grasp, eye-pleasing website content.
  • UX design focuses on user behavior.
  • Web designers can be compared to artists and often take inspiration from photography, print design and drawings.
  • UX designers can be described as a cross between psychologists and engineers. They work to streamline website functionality and user journey.
  • Web design core competencies include HTML, CSS, JavaScript, knowledge of popular content management systems and plugins.
  • UX design core competencies include working with mockups and wireframes, creating task flows based on various user personas and their behavior.

IMPORTANT:

UX is at the cutting edge of web design and development. Website design companies often promote their best web designers or look for emergent talent to satisfy the growing needs of their customers.

Transitioning To UX Design

Becoming a UX designer is one of the ways that an experienced web developer could use to future proof their career. UX design will enjoy steady demand in the following years, while the niche of web design will become even more overcrowded. No-code approach, automation, AI and advanced web site builders will also enjoy increased attention from businesses of all sizes. The best website builder on the market can already offer its users all the perks a mid-level web designer can provide for a fraction of the price.

Web designers have to embrace risks and challenges that come with transitioning to UX design. There are five steps that can make you succeed in your career change and prepare you for turbulent conditions of the UX design market in advance.

Five steps to UX design

  1. Get an understanding of the UX industry.
  2. Know your strengths and skills.
  3. Take a deep dive into the field of UX design.
  4. Don’t forget about networking.
  5. Set goals that you can achieve in a specific time frame.

Get an Understanding of the UX Industry

Before you start sending out resumes to the best web design companies on your list, find out what kind of tasks and responsibilities are expected from you as a UX designer. Browse through online courses and UX bootcamps to get a grasp on the industry. If you are busy with your current job, consider putting some time aside to start a pet project.

Budding UX designers should study interactive web sites that heavily rely on user input. Most common examples include social networks, online graphic editors and website builders. For instance, you can learn which website builder is best and apply the knowledge about its functionality to your pet project.

Know Your Strengths and Skills

Take stock of your skills and abilities. If you have previous experience with engineering, construction, marketing or psychology, then it will be much easier to transition to UX design and get a well-paying job. Web designers with experience in team management already know how to work with user flows.

Take a Deep Dive Into the Field of UX Design

Total immersion is a somewhat radical but very efficient way of learning a new discipline. Subscribe to top UX blogs and mailing lists, sign up for a workshop, buy trendy books about the industry or even browse through other designers’ projects while you take a few minutes off work.

Don’t Forget About Networking

Get in touch with people who already made the career transition. Independent study is important but you might neglect certain areas and aspects of the job only an experienced UX designer knows about. There are hundreds of professionals on social media who are willing to share advice with newcomers.

Set Goals That You Can Achieve in a Specific Time Frame

You might lose your motivation if you set unrealistic goals. Start small and then move on to bigger tasks as you become more adept at UX design. Budget your time and set a deadline for finishing a course or filing your first job application.