I’m going to go in to a lot of detail so I thought it best for the fast paced people of the internet like yourselves is to do a short and long version of my question.
Short version: I’m a middleweight graphic designer working for a voucher site as a in-house Graphic Designer. I’m looking for what I should do in my next step in my career and thought that UX/UI design would work. Is that a good choice or would I be chucking most of what I know out the window to do something else?
Long version: same as above but i’ll go into more detail.
I’ll start with my general skills.
I’ve been working as a Graphic Designer using many Photoshop and Illustrator for the past 3-4 years but been using the Adobe suite for over 6-7 years now, UNI and all that.
The other programs I’m ok but not amazing at are inDesign, After effects (Animated GIFs) and Google slides. I do a lot of presentation work for my company so it’s a lot of powerpoint presentation using Google slides. Not the greatest program in the world but it’s free and can be shared with the rest of the company (100+).
I’ve dabbled in some prototyping software such as Invision and Sketch but mainly as a teaching tool rather than using it with clients which comes with the back a worth of what I do with the rest of my work.
I’m basically the only designer that deals with all facets of the business including but not limited to:
Banner creation / Photomanipulation
SEO graphics (infographics etc)
Presentation (google slides)
Motion graphics (animation presentations)
Brochures ( InDesign)
There’s other smaller stuff but that’s a general overview of that I do.
I feel like I’m stagnating so I want to move on and with recently developments in the company I’ve been able to acquire time to develop myself in whichever way I see fit before I move on.
After a little research and thoughts on what I like to do I’ve found there’s two different career paths I’d like to go down and moving in one way or the other will put me down a completely different path.
The First is UX/UI design. Now, I know some of you will be rolling your eyes saying that these are two different disciplines and can be studied in two different ways. The problem I’ve found while looking for said job is that not all UX/UI job are treated as equal.
Meaning that the way a lot of UX only designers talk about the role is that it has a lot to do with user research and prototyping. Understanding the customer journey. Keeping it this way makes it very specialised and doesn’t give much room for UI design and more to the point all the other skills required in some of the job role in the searches I’ve done on Indeed and a like.
Some of the jobs are asking for UX/UI designers with Coding experience. HTML CSS Java and in some cases PHP.
These are developer programs and something that I’ve never dealt with in the past, and to be quite honest something that I don’t really want to learn. I’ve development myself a person that knows photoshop/Illustrator like the back of my hand and the graphic design principles that come with years of experiences in said role.
I understand that there’s an element of understanding web coding to know the limitation of what the “true” developers can do. I see it as more of a “Jack of all trades, master of none”
Is this just the corner I’ve painted myself in to or is there something I can do that’ll help?
The best way I can put it is, I like the idea of UI design but found that there aren’t jobs out there that will be looking for UI designer only.
Like all of us, we all want to be paid a fair wage and want to do something they love. These never really coincide with each other. UI only designers earning just as much as motion graphics designer. Not that much basically. At least compared to how much im earning at the moment.
So, on the note of motion graphics this is the other career idea I had but after looking in to what I’ve done in the past and what the future would hold in said role would make it hard for me to choose. Limited job roles and low wages. This is more of a passing thought but I thought id put in there so you know where I’m coming from and where id like to go.
So, to finalize. Im looking for advice on which direction i should take next and what i should look in to learning to help make my new skills more palatable to my future employers.
If I go down the UX route, should I learn coding or not? Learning HTML, CSS and JAVA is quite a tall order on top of the UX only design skills I’d have to learn to even think about getting a job in that field.
I’d love to hear from any UX/UI designers out there and what skills you have that got you the job in the first place? Although a day to day run down of what you do would be very handy indeed.
Thanks in Advance