Getting a headstart in my UX training?

I have about 3+ weeks before my CareerFoundry course in UX begins. Is there anything I could start learning now on my own to get a headstart of sorts? I was thinking of learning UXPin or maybe some other wire framing tool? Any thoughts?

I’ve put a call out on Twitter. Let’s crowdsource this!

That’s very cool @HAWK, I’ve just followed @UXMastery on twitter - also do you think I should change my forum ID to my real name - Steve Crow?

If you using a Mac, I’d check out Sketch coupled with Invision. Also, if you’re on a Mac, I think you can still get Adobe XD free of charge as a pre-release, public beta. Really, though, and of the industry standard tools will accomplish what you need, and UX is going to be more about the process.

Without any idea of what your background is, I’d suggest figuring out which part of the discipline is where you have the least experience and pick up a good book. If you need help interviewing, you could check out Steve Portigal’s Interviewing Users, for example.

At the end of the day, if you know how to drive a nail, just about any hammer will work, so focus on learning to drive the nail first.

Thank you @CoffeeAndUX - Yes, I am on a Mac and have downloaded Adobe XD on your recommendation but haven’t really played with it enough yet. And another yes, the process of UX is something I am looking forward to learning, it seems that everyone has their own take on what that UX process is or should be, I guess there isn’t any agreed up standard (yet) as the field is so large.

The language gets confusing and my hope is that it is actually very simple.

On the other hand it seems you can be easily screened out of job opportunities if you haven’t listed the “right” UX wireframing or prototyping or testing etc etc software on your resume. I’m doing a little bit of research project today on what UX recruiters say they are looking for tool wise the majority of the time - [B]but I totally understand and agree with you that it matters little what software you know if you don’t have the understanding of the process or what to actually do with it[/B].

PS: So far in my mini study, Sketch is not being listed as a job requirement as much as I thought it would but it’s still very early in my research. Same thing for UXPin, that one I really don’t understand why it’s not being cited as a need to know tool.

That’s what makes UX so amazing! It’s fluid and adaptable - we design our own process to suit whatever it is we need doing.

I would recommend trying not to get too bogged down in what should or shouldn’t be done and just read as much as you can and get on things like twitter and start absobing information- be open to all possibilities. I think it’s that openness that makes us good at what we do.

I don’t know your background but you might find some of the stuff in this article useful:

Welcome to UX Mastery!


Thanks @AshleaMcKay - well I’m officially a “newbie” so I agree there is lots to learn about :slight_smile:

UX Related Tool Knowledge Sought by Employers on Dice

I’ve pasted below the result of my “mini-survey” on most requested tools that employers want you to know - it’s hardly scientific but may be informative (and controversial as well)

Here’s how I assembled the data. I searched on for UX Designer in the job title field and California in the location field. I then looked at about 50 or so resulting job postings. Every time I saw they listed a specific software package, like Adobe Illustrator, as a requirement, I added 1 to the count to come up with a cumulative number of times an application was mentioned.

I tried not to include the same job more than once so as not to skew the results too much and also aimed at not including jobs that were actually a combination of UX with others skills such as UI, Visual Designer or Web developer)

If you are wondering how I could have ended up with two packages at zero mentions, I already had UXPin and Sketchpad listed from my initial go at this when I didn’t specify California in the location field and kept that blank - but then I thought being more specific about location might be more interesting as maybe it varies somewhat by region?

What do you think of the results?

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Heh, awesome exercise!

I’m surprised by Dreamweaver and Powerpoint, but otherwise it’s pretty much what I would have expected.

Powerpoint is kind of working if you have nothing else. You can create links to other pages and simulate behavior … it´s really old school. I remember using it in school like that :slight_smile:

Generally I think classics are photoshop and sketch for more visual design oriented people, axure, balsamiq if you anre more interested in interaction design.
Personally I´d love to know all of them but in reallity I think it makes sense to master in just some of them depending on how you can make them work in your
professional enviroment.

Oh yep PowerPoint does not shock me - you’d be surprised what you can do with it! I’ve seen some pretty decent prototypes built using it.

I missed this! Real names are good for professionalism, so if you’re not attached to your current handle then yeah, I think it makes sense.

We’ve migrated since you wrote that though. You can change your own username by going to Edit My Profile under the hamburger.