5 tips on moving from graphic design to interaction design (from someone doing just that)


In the past three years of my professional career, I’ve been searching and working towards finding the right kind of role for someone like me. I use the phrase ‘someone like me’ because I imagine there are a lot of UX Mastery readers who feel like they don’t quite fit into just one category. Chances are, if you’re interested in user experience design, you’re probably some type of hybrid. A hybrid in the way you think &#8211; equal parts creatively and intellectually. A hybrid in the way that you don’t want to be given a brief, but you want to&hellip; <br />
<strong>Continue reading at: http://uxmastery.com/moving-to-interaction-design/</strong>


Learn how to talk confidently about UX. User experience designers are known for their communication skills.

I love this. Did you have to do work hard on this @leighrubin ? Any tips? I imagine it will be a difficult one to conquer for people that are naturally introverted, which a lot of our audience identify as being.

I know that @Louise transitioned into UX from a background in graphics, and I think that @Valencia_ is currently on the same journey.


I am indeed on this path as I started taking the course at Careerfoundry. However I am just at the beginning and it’s online so I have not had to experience the interaction thing yet…



I have had to work incredibly hard on my communication skills. Many things have held me back from being able to communicate my ideas successfully and those centred around confidence (I would get so nervous that it would be quite visibly obvious to others) and learning how to show people how I had gotten to a conclusion without rambling on.

I used to practise any conversation, no matter how large or small that I would have with others about my work in my mind before hand. Now I like to talk my process through with a few different co-workers before I go into the main presentation. That way I’ve said it a few times to others so I could confidently talk it through all the nitty gritty details if I get questioned on them.

@valencia Let me know if you need any help when you get to the Interaction side of your course :slight_smile:


This was a great article. I sent it over to a friend who had this very question in mind, thank you :slight_smile:
Some of the things you talked about, work well for people coming from other fields too.
My prior work experience was in web development.But unknowingly, I’d worked on aspects of applications that I now realize were UX.
I speak about that in my interviews now when they ask for prior UX experience.


Transitioning from Graphic Design to UX Design is definitely a challenge.

I know one thing: finding the right UX educational materials is not easy, and I think it has something to do with the exponential diversification of User Experience in nowadays society. The domain becomes so vast that its meaning is rather a matter of interpretation than definition; so, each teaching institution has a very different approach, right? Not to mention that we are all different individuals with different levels of prior training, or expectations.

Therefore, some people understand things better when information is presented in an iterative form (repeating the same info in different forms, like speech, animation, text and so on, until the student takes it in his/her mind for good), while others would consider this approach redundant.

First of all, the terminology is so crazy because of the rapid evolution in this field, that I could hardly understand it. I have felt a bit lost since I couldn’t always understand even the exact definition of it, but what encouraged me to consider UX as the next step of my career was one of the Interactive Design Foundation’s materials, namely the following article:

Their approach was so simple and straightforward, that I finally understood the whole thing, and my only question left was:

“Ok, so that was it? I mean so simple?”

Their courses are also a helping hand, as they initiate you in the UX field from scratch.
Fortunately, there are many good quality online resources out there. You just have to find them, to know how to filter through all the noise:


I transitioned from graphic design.

I have to say, it was a little bit challenging reviving the logical and verbal parts of my brain that I didn’t really used much when I was doing graphic design. In graphic design, I was designing static pieces - brochures, posters, business cards and just had to focus on what looked good and what made sense on that page. But now I’m designing user flows, multiple screens, interactions…which are all very logic based and much more complex. Also, changing from sitting in front of a computer screen every day, not talking much and just typesetting away, to communicating with multiple users, other designers and stakeholders daily, and writing big long reports, was a big change. My brain is still trying to adjust to this “paradigm shift”.


@kacheekmonstar I know what you mean about reviving the logical parts of your brain you’re not used to using. It’s been a few years now and I still get home after a day of intense thinking and find I am completely spent. After a few user testing sessions last Friday I could barely carry on a conversation with co-workers when I still had a lot more work to get done that afternoon. I do find it’s getting easier for me and on weekends my brain is all up and ready waiting for a challenge again. It’s almost like a muscle that needs to be exercised to get stronger.

@boboc_mircea2005 I think one of the reasons there are not many teaching materials out there at the moment is because UX is very much a role that needs to be learnt on the job. It’s useful to have an understanding of theories of design, psychology and research. And it’s very useful to have career guidance in this area such as is being provided on UX mastery. But the true skill of a good UXer is to connect the dots between many different areas. By learning things by rote this might turn the UX process into something set and static. Whilst the people who sit at the top of their game in the industry are the ones designing new innovative processes depending on the specific job they’re working on.


Thanks for this @leighrubin.

I particularly like your suggestion on combining UX with your existing job role. As a copywriter, I’ve been looking for ways to incorporate UX processes into my current projects.


@Kai Good to hear Kai. Have you had any success yet with these processes? UX rests heavily on good reporting so I imagine your skills would be very useful.


Still working on it, @leighrubin. Yep, I noticed that a good UX portfolio is centered around a narrative and is mostly content-based. Still need to polish up my problem solving skills. :slight_smile:


I’m coming from the same situation you’ve just described in addition to working in the “technology” field.

Following this thread.


Hi @leighrubin - love your post.

You’re so right about practising, it’s the key to your success. Because UX is all about analysing ‘behavior’ unfortunately if you are on the quiet one on a UX team - it will be noticed. You need to inform all your designs decisions with research and clearfly explain why you made those design decisions. So getting feedback and working closely with team members is so important. This comes with practise.

Warmly, Louise


Hi @leighrubin, thanks for sharing your post! Here is another helpful post suggesting how to make a shift and get started in UX design. Hope this will be helpful for you guys!


Hi Leigh, it helps I suggest booking in user testing sessions in blocks of 3 and write up notes straight after … That alone could take six - seven hours. Try never to book in testing on Friday afternoon and as much as possible book them in mornings, to leave afternoons free for notes. Unless you can get yr sessions transcribed which is awesome, saving you heaps of cognitive overload,so you can focus on more testing!


Hi @leighrubin, nice article :slight_smile: .
One thing I think might be helpful for people here new to IxD is a little more of a description of what interaction design involved on the particular mediums i.e. like with websites or mobile phone apps. A lot of what you’ve mentioned (if not all of it!) is true to most forms of UX. I.e. one very basic form of IxD is the creation and thought around how the user moves from one thing to something else, everything from their action, the animation of the thing they’ve actioned, to the resulting outcome.