Is UX Design Hard To Learn? A Guide To Getting Started

Sakshi GuptaSakshi Gupta | 7 minute read | February 28, 2022
Is UX Design Hard To Learn A Guide To Getting Started

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Getting started with UX design can be challenging, considering the steep learning curve and whether you have a development and design background or not. 

People without a design background need to know the requirements of getting into the field and how they can build a career as UX designers. What skills do you need to get started? How can you get better at UX design? 

You’ll find the answer to these questions along with a lot of other useful information about UX design in the guide below.

What Is UX Design?

what is ux design

UX design enhances user satisfaction by improving usability, accessibility, and pleasure in the interaction between user and product. This ensures your users have an enjoyable experience interacting with your app or website and is the main goal of UX design.

UX design involves improving customer satisfaction through effective technology use, simplicity, psychology, creativity, and other soft skills. UX designers typically have an eye for color, layout, images, and branding. They are likely to focus on details of the product’s appearance.

What Makes UX Design Hard To Learn?

UX design can be challenging to learn for several reasons, including:

  • Degree of difficulty. The skills needed to become a successful UX designer are fairly advanced, even for people who have a bachelor’s or master’s degree in design-related subjects. In addition to design expertise, you should be well-versed in research and data collection, storytelling, and presentation skills.
  • Changing career. The requirements of UX design may be very different from what you do in your current profession. If your current job is far from design-related, this shift could prove challenging. However, dedication to learning and taking a few courses should make the process easier.
  • Challenging to find resources. Although there are plenty of UX design-related resources available online, aspiring learners find it challenging to access the right tools and resources. That leads to many people seeing UX design as a difficult field.

How Long Does It Take To Learn UX Design?

is ux design hard to learn: How Long Does It Take To Learn UX Design?

Becoming a UX designer isn’t necessarily a long process. It usually takes two to four years to become a UX designer, even without a bachelor’s or master’s degree. You can take an introductory design course and then hone your skills through a UX/UI design certification course

If you have formal education in the design or development fields, you can learn the advanced aspects of UX design in a shorter time, such as a year or a few months.

How To Get Started With UX Design

If you already have a bachelor’s or master’s degree in design and development, you can go ahead and take an advanced course or certification to polish your skills and improve your resume. But if you’re a beginner, here’s what you need to do to get started.

Build Your Foundation

Build your foundation in UX design by learning about design basics, including composition, typography, color theory, and user experience. You can do this by reading books on these topics or taking online courses. There are plenty of tutorials and articles online about the basics of user experience and how to apply it to your designs.

Additionally, you should:

  • Start creating an online portfolio to showcase your work
  • Understand foundational UX design concepts, like accessibility, equity-focused design, and user-centered design
  • Identify the job responsibilities of UX designers

Utilize Free Sources

is ux design hard to learn: Utilize Free Sources

There are many free online resources about UX design. You can watch video tutorials on YouTube or follow the journey of a UX designer on websites like Medium and Dribbble.

Alternatively, you can look for free tech e-books on interactive design, information architecture, usability testing, visual design, graphics, and prototypes.

Take a Course

Once you’ve built a strong base, take an online UX Design course to learn from industry experts and understand how to apply your knowledge to real-life situations. 

A UX design course will help you develop design thinking, enabling you to engage and observe the clients or audience you’re designing a product for. It also equips you with a proper thinking process for ideation and prototyping.

As a designer, producing usable work is the best way to ensure a bright future. Learning the roles of a user experience design team and how they work will help you understand what you need to grow as a UX designer.

Ask for Help

is ux design hard to learn: Ask for Help

Don’t hesitate to ask for help, especially if you plan to teach yourself UX design. Search for industry experts on LinkedIn and Reddit, and ask them if they’d be interested in mentoring you.

Discuss your dreams of becoming a UX designer with people who have experience in the field to learn more about what’s happening in the industry, and how you should proceed. Since these folks have already made a career in UX design, they’ll be better equipped with the right information to answer your industry-related questions. Plus, they could help you avoid the mistakes they made when they entered the field.

How To Get Better at UX Design

Here are some ways to improve your UX design skills to remain competitive and ensure job progress.

Get a Mentor

is ux design hard to learn: Get a Mentor

A mentor can help you improve your user interface design skills and provide you with valuable feedback. They can help you get better at creating effective user experience designs people would love to use.

Remember that learning from a mentor doesn’t end when you finish your course or UX design bootcamp. It’s an ongoing process because even the best designers will continue to learn over time.

Build a Portfolio

Your portfolio represents who you are as a UX designer. Before you begin applying for jobs, build a portfolio that showcases the work you’ve done and the projects you’re capable of tackling. You can create a portfolio website with free web hosting services like WordPress or Squarespace.

Stay Up-to-Date With New Tools

Make sure you’re knowledgeable about new UX design trends and tools, along with their usage. With new tools released frequently, you must be up-to-date on the latest trends to create better designs and improve user experience.

Find a Specialty

Find a UX Specialty

Are you more inclined towards UX research, or would you prefer working as a UX writer? After taking a course and building your foundation, you can decide which specialty you’re interested in. Some options include:

  • UX researcher
  • UX developer
  • UX writer
  • Information architect
  • Usability analyst

Focus on Your Soft Skills

Besides your core UX design skills, it’s also important to hone soft skills like communication, problem-solving, and critical thinking. UX design is a team effort, and you’ll need to communicate effectively with other designers, clients, and stakeholders to get your work done.

Problem-solving skills are essential as they allow you to develop solutions for various problems that may arise during the design process. Critical thinking will help you evaluate designs critically and create better solutions.

Get To Know Other Design Students

Heidi Sanders

Heidi Sanders

Sr. Digital Designer at Kendo Brands

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Asel Yaşacan

Asel Yaşacan

Product Designer at Capital One

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Diego Encarnacion

Diego Encarnacion

Design Researcher And UX Designer at IBM

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About UX Design as a Career

Now that you know how to learn UX design, let’s look at the career itself.

What Are the Requirements To Get Into UX Design?

ux requirements

The basic requirements to get into UX design include:

  • A strong understanding of design principles, such as balance, typography, colors, and contrast.
  • Knowledge of common software such as Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator.
  • Knowledge of UX design tools such as Sketch, Figma, Invision, Balsamiq, etc.
  • Experience in user research, including quantitative and qualitative data collection.
  • Understanding of brand design, including brand palettes, style guides, and logos.
  • Knowledge of wireframing and prototyping.

Some companies may also require a degree in graphic design, human-computer interaction, or a related field.

However, many successful UX designers don’t have a degree in the subject. It’s more important to have the required skills and demonstrate your dedication to UX design.

Is UX Design a Good Career?

UX design is a good career option since it’s futuristic. The demand for UX designers is surging and will only increase in the future as more users rely on digital products to complete tasks every day. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the jobs for UX designers are estimated to grow by 8%.

Does UX Design Pay Well?

UX design is a high confidence job, and designers earn $115,743 per year on average in the United States. Even the UX designers on the lower end of the job scale can make up to $81k per year.

A survey showed that 84% of product designers got a salary raise in the last one or two years. Professionals also expect a 20% salary hike in the coming years.

What’s the Difference Between UX and UI Design?

UX design focuses on things that affect the user’s journey to solve a problem, on-screen or off-screen, positive or negative. Meanwhile, UI design focuses on the functionality and look of the product’s surfaces. Due to the different natures of the design process, a UX designer focuses on the conceptual aspects while a UI designer is concerned with tangible elements.

Considering the average salary for a UX designer we mentioned above, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that a career in the field will require expertise in a variety of skills. Most UX designers are versatile generalists who can do research, UX strategy, design, and even front-end development. 

However, the role of the UX designer doesn’t end there. An entire organization will benefit from user experience design. It increases efficiency, creates a better user interface, and boosts sales. While this may sound a bit daunting, you can secure a place for yourself at a top-notch organization if you follow the advice mentioned in this guide.

Since you’re here
If you want to work in design, you can. It’s that simple. With our UX Design Course, you’ll launch your career in design in 9 months or less – guaranteed. Browse our free UX salary guide to see what you could be making

Sakshi Gupta

About Sakshi Gupta

Sakshi is a Senior Associate Editor at Springboard. She is a technology enthusiast who loves to read and write about emerging tech. She is a content marketer and has experience working in the Indian and US markets.