What’s the best advice you can give me on honing my skills and being the best UX designer?
Spend as much time sketching as you can. Draw everything you see. It will become your primary communication tool so should come as easily as talking.
Work on the soft skills, listening, observation etc.
Try and become a people person, if your not already.
Think about the interaction with computer or thing going around and how can you solve the problems
Don’t try to learn and master to many things at once. Pick one or two and practice them everyday until you feel confident with them, than move onto the next one or two items.
Obviously this can be applied to almost anything.
I have had the opportunity to work with a UX Designer coming directly from school in the past year. What helped her become a confident practitioner I think was:
- Work on real problems: Real products that affect real peoples lives.
- Work together with more senior UX Designers
- Listen, be humble, devour user feedback and peer feedback
hope that helps.
And for what you can do during the course I would agree with Mike: think about what area of UX you like most and what you are good at. Dig deeper. Specialize.
See if you can do some practice user testing on your colleagues. It helps you practice formulating questions, and the actual asking, listening and thinking on your feet required in user testing. An old boss of mine got me to do this. He sat in and gave me feedback afterwards. It was a great way to learn.
Thank you for your feedback Martin. What areas do people specialize in?
Thanks Gillian, that was helpful!
Be open to constructive feedback / design critique. On the flipside, understand how to explain design decisions you and / or your team makes. This will help you defend your design decisions.
Use both situations to seek to understand why decisions are made or why feedback is given.
Test your ideas, usability testing is, in my opinion, the most important and valuable tool that you can have. If you have an idea you can see if it will work, you can test anything from sketches, all the way through to the final product. You don’t need any specialist equipment to start with, just observe and take notes. As you become more advanced you can start recording users and videoing. But start simple!
Always, Always, think about the user centered process. Learn about the users, Analyze their tasks and goals, Design with them in mind, test the designs with them and iterate to fix the issues… Never stop learning, study the experts and network with fellow designers.
Some UX Designers go deep into research and do things like usability audits and persona research.
Others go more towards UI Design.
Some learn to do front end web development.
There are also more specific fields like UX for Virtual Reality.