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How to Become a UX Designer With No Experience [in 5 Easy Steps]

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Looking to start a career in UX design but hesitating since you don’t have any experience?

The good news is that you don’t need a formal degree or training to become one.

People from many different backgrounds have successfully started careers in user experience design.

Are you still worried you don’t stand a chance?

Never mind! We’ll show you how to become a UX designer with no experience, starting with the basics, as well as some specific steps you can take to get started.

An Overview of a UX Designer Job: A Primer

You use a lot of apps or programs every day. How do you find your experience with those apps? Do you find them easy to use?

That’s what UX designers do; they create a product or service that will give users an excellent experience.

They make products, services, or technologies usable, accessible, and enjoyable for users.

UX designers take charge of the whole design process, designing and creating elements that affect users’ experience with a particular product or service.

Remember, UX design is not the same as graphic design, and UX design jobs are different from remote graphic design jobs.

Common job duties of a UX designer include but are not limited to:

  • Conducting UX research to identify users’ pain points
  • Creating wireframes and prototypes to test user interfaces
  • Performing usability testing to identify areas of improvement
  • Collaborating with developers, product managers, and other stakeholders
  • Creating user-friendly and visually appealing user interfaces
  • Measuring the effectiveness of UX designs.

How Much Do UX Designers Make?

According to Glassdoor, the average salary of a UX designer in the US is $92,312 a year.

The numbers represent the median salary based on the salary data collected from users of all experience levels.

As with any profession, salary can vary as your experience and skills grow.

The same data indicates that a UX designer with zero to one-year experience makes about $78,540 a year on average.

What You’ll Need to Become a UX Designer [& Associated Costs]

Because UX design is a highly competitive field, you’ll need some technical skills to get started:

  • Education & training: While formal education or training is not required, it can provide a solid foundation and give you a competitive edge in the job market. There are several resources available online, such as online tutorials and courses, bootcamps, and workshops to learn UX design fundamentals and principles.
  • UX design skills: Apart from soft skills, it’s crucial to be proficient in user research methodologies, prototyping and wireframing tools, visual design software (Photoshop, Figma, Sketch, etc.), information architecture, application development, and so on.
  • Communication & collaboration skills: The job requires collaboration with cross-functional teams, including developers, designers, product managers, clients, and stakeholders. This requires strong verbal and written communication skills to communicate your ideas effectively.
  • Practical experience: It’s important to build a UX portfolio and gain some practical experience before embarking on this path. You can do so by taking internships or working on freelance projects.

How Much Does It Cost to Become a UX Designer?

You must pay tuition and fees if you decide to pursue a bachelor’s degree in UX design or a related field.

According to NCES, a bachelor’s degree in UX/UI design costs around $16,647 per academic year on average.

The cost of certifications can also vary based on the program and the organization.

For instance, the CareerFoundry UX Design Program will cost somewhere between $7,505 and $7,900 for five to ten months.

If you go for bootcamps, it can cost you around $9,148 on average, according to Forbes.

Overall, the cost can be significant, but it’s an investment that will pay off in the long run.

Is It Hard to Become a UX Designer With No Experience?

It can be a little challenging since you’re starting from scratch, but it’s possible.

Organizations have already started embracing digital transformations and are hiring entry-level UX designers to build their UX capabilities.

Start by learning the basics; there are plenty of resources available online that can teach you the fundamentals of UX design.

Consider joining a UX community to connect with other UX designers to stay updated on the latest UX industry trends.

Becoming a UX designer from scratch requires hard work and determination.

It may take some time to build a portfolio and land your first UX designer job, but you’ll get there eventually, and you can consider starting a graphic design business later on.

How Long Does It Take to Become a UX Designer?

It depends on how much you know about UX design. If you have no prior experience, it may take several years to learn the skills, build a portfolio, and land some UX designer jobs.

On average, you can expect at least two years to be qualified for a UX designer position. If you’re committed to learning and developing as a UX designer, you’ll probably reach your goals faster.

How to Become a UX Designer With No Experience

Here’s a brief overview of everything you need to know to begin your career in UX design as a newbie.

Step 1: Get Education and Training

If you’re new to UX design, finding the right education or training program can be a challenge.

While it’s possible to start your UX design career without a degree, having one opens up new job opportunities, especially if you’re starting from scratch.

A degree in a relevant field can be an excellent starting point.

Many colleges and universities offer degrees in disciplines such as Cognitive Science, Interaction Design, Human-Computer Interaction, Graphic Design, and more.

Some universities also offer online degree programs.

Step 2: Join a Bootcamp or Specialized Program

If a degree is too much for you, you can go for bootcamps and specialized programs, which typically last from several weeks to a few months.

These are short-term training courses that can help you learn critical UX skills and build a portfolio.

Some popular bootcamps and specialized programs include:

Step 3: Attend an Online Course and Get Certified

Earning a credential can be a great way to demonstrate your credibility and show potential employers that you have the required skills for the UX designer job.

There are several online courses and certifications available for aspiring UX designers looking to master the art of UX design.

Some of the reputed platforms that offer UX design courses and certifications include CourseraUdemyLinkedIn Learning, etc.

Here are some popular UX design certifications for beginners with no prior experience:

Step 4: Update Your Resume

Apart from pursuing a formal education, becoming an active member of the US design community is important.

Network with other professionals in your field to be up-to-date and get exposed to more work opportunities.

Update your resume to attract the attention of interviewers. Your resume should include projects demonstrating your job-ready skills for an entry-level position.

Even if you don’t have anything to show as a beginner, you can build some mobile app prototypes that look like real apps.

This will showcase your creativity, something that will add value to your resume.

Step 5: Begin Your Job Search

After you’ve crafted an interview-winning resume, it’s time to start your job search.

Look for opportunities on job boards or freelance job marketplaces, such as UpworkFiverrLinkedIn, etc.

You should apply to every suitable job position that aligns with your interests, skills, and goals.

Build connections with industry professionals for meaningful collaborations and more job opportunities.

Landing your first job is crucial in putting your skills to use and starting your career in UX design.

You can also apply for internships or entry-level positions to kickstart your career.

Reasons to Consider Becoming a UX Designer

Why become a UX designer? There are many reasons to pursue a career in UX design. Here are a few of them:

  • Create meaningful products & experiences: You have the chance to make a significant impact on people’s lives by creating products and experiences that are not only easy to use but also engaging.
  • High-income potential: As the digital landscape continues to transform and evolve, the demand for skilled UX designers is constantly on the rise. As you gain experience, you can demand a high salary.
  • Excellent career prospects & opportunities: UX design is a multidisciplinary field with an incredible range of job opportunities. Whether you like to work as a one-man UX band for a startup or be part of a large dynamic team, this field offers a wealth of opportunities.
  • Exercise your creative skills: It’s an interesting profession with plenty of room for growth and to put your creativity into perspective. There are not many jobs that combine your creative and analytical skills.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are UX and UI the Same Thing?

While UX and UI are closely related and often work hand-in-hand, they are distinct disciplines.

UX design lays the foundation for a meaningful and delightful user experience, while UI is about creating an engaging and visually appealing interface.

Can I Learn UX Design on My Own?

While degrees, online courses, and certifications are all helpful tools, self-study can also be an effective approach for those looking for a more independent learning experience.

It allows you to learn at your own pace, and there are no financial commitments involved with self-learning. 

Similar Gigs to Check Out

Still wondering if this is the right career path for you? Don’t worry! Here are some possible alternatives you can consider.

  • Become an Illustrator: If drawing is your thing and you’re looking for a new career path that involves drawing, this might be just for you.
  • Become a Graphic Designer: If you love to create visual concepts using design elements to communicate ideas, graphic designing can be the right path for you.
  • Become a Scrum Master: Seeking a fulfilling and rewarding career in Agile project management? Become a scrum master and explore the dynamic world of Agile.

Wrapping Up

Learning UX design can be challenging as a beginner, and you may experience some setbacks along the way. The best way to deal with these challenges is to embrace them.

Turn those experiences into opportunities and remain persistent in your efforts to reach your goals.

It’s important to make the most of your learning experience and follow our steps to kickstart your career in UX design.

If you have any questions, leave them in the comments section below. And if you liked our article, share it with others who might be interested in this rewarding career.

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