Is UX for me? Tips and guidance needed!

Continuing the discussion from Information that will change our lives!:

Absolutely! I’ve started a new topic so we can help you out here. What are your current challenges/biggest questions?

What should step 1 be?

I am still working full-time at my current job and have limited time. I started taking courses through coursera to dive into the basics of ux. Currently doing a graphic design course since it’s a prerequisite to a UX course.

I’ve been given the advice to spend minimum of 2 hours a day on design work and do this for a month to see if I like it. Thoughts on this?

I think you have step 1 right (do some out of hours training to dip your toes in) BUT

This in itself is a bit of a red flag for me… You do NOT need to be a graphic designer to be a UX designer. Perhaps you’re not doing the right course? I’d go with something from IDF or one of David Travis’ courses. Check out some of the ones that I’ve reviewed here.

I do support the “try before you buy” sentiment but hat seems like an arbitrary amount of time. I’d say “spend as much time as you can while still enjoying it and having a good quality life”.

I was looking into the UI/UX design specialization. It was optional but recommend that if I was new to design, I should take the preq in basic graphic design.

Yup, I agree. I hope to do some self-study for several months. Go through a few UX courses online and if I enjoy it, I’ll move onto a full-time bootcamp. Any recommendations on bootcamps?

Sure thing – have a read through this topic: UX Boot Camps (Bloc vs Designlab vs Springboard vs CareerFoundry)

Thanks @HAWK!

I have few more questions.

Career -
Would you mind sharing what an UX designer does on a daily? I heard that daily tasks for designers at different companies may vary but would still love to hear it!
How about work/life balance?
What’s the ladder like for career advancement, after several years as an UX designer, what’s next? A lead or manager?
How does one become better at an UX designer? Through education, self-study, keep up with the industry news?

Portfolio -
I plan to start working on projects but want to know if I can use platforms like wordpress, wix. Would recruiters or employers frown upon it as in I can’t build a website on my own?


There are no two jobs the same. This differs across organisations, roles, teams, days of the week… you name it. Most roles are a combination of some or all of the parts of this process: UX Process – UX Mastery Some focus more heavily on UI design, others not so much.

Again, this depends on the role and the organisation that you work for. I am fortunate to work in a fully distributed organisation with a completely flexible schedule so I am able to find excellent work/life balance. I am sure others have different experiences.

Quite possibly, if that is the route you choose. The other option is to specialise in a particular aspect of UX, or consult.

All of these, but also through mentoring, networking, joining meetups and professional groups, attending conferences etc

Nope. Using a platform like WordPress (or even Behance) is fine.

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ux day to day can vary massively. I do UX and UI for a startup, so for me, id say it’s a third researching and understanding users, a third testing/prototyping, and a third designing. Generally, smaller companies/startups tend to offer these types of roles. I find that larger companies tend to split out design, research, copyrighting, interactions etc.

work/life balance isn’t derived from the job title, it’s dependent on the culture of your company/manager. Find one that offers flexible work hours/ remote working and you’ll have a great work/life balance.

The best way to get better at UX is practice. Of course, always be learning, self-study, keep up to date with industry news on the side, but your goal should be to apply everything you learn to a project. And then add to your portfolio. Doesn’t matter what you use to build it, just make sure it effectively showcases your UX skills/experience.


Thanks @HAWK & @lykc!! I’m grateful for your responses :grinning:

In your personal opinion, what’re the good, bad, and the “ugly” of a UX design career? In what ways can the “ugly” be improved?

Think this is good for everyone in my shoes to know what we’ll be walking into.

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The ugly tends to be a lack of understanding about what UX design is (or what a UXer does), resulting in the unicorn effect (and ultimately frustration). Or a lack of buy in meaning that there aren’t resources made available for the tasks that you need to do.

Is this coming from engineers, product managers, or clients? Or everyone…

What type of resources? tools/ux research funding?

Are these challenges that are being experienced industry-wide? What are some actions being taken or planned to overcome these?

It would be unfair to say everyone, but in some organisations it is worse than others.

Funding generally.

Now you’re asking more than I can answer. :slight_smile: I am fortunate enough to work in organisations that don’t suffer from these issues – I was summarising the experiences I’ve gleaned from others after running this community for many years. Hopefully others will weigh in.