Starting UX as a non-designer


I am not sure if this is the correct thread to ask this question but what’s your opinion on pursuing a career in UX without any background in design? I have received a few recommendations for books that I need to start with but what about online courses ? Anything small to start with before I signup with either CF or DesignLab? Or do you think with so many courses spread out all over the place it will be better to have some structure and infact start with bootcamps like Designlab and CF? Or does it make more sense to do a combo of Springboard and Lynda ?

CareerFoundry vs Bloc vs DesignLab

@Vicky - Welcome to the community!

I’m not sure how to answer all your questions, but I do know that you do NOT need to have a background in design in order to become a UXer. From what I’ve seen, the main requirements are passion and time to devote to it.

You’re definitely in the right place to begin your journey.


Hey @Vicky – I support what Piper says, you do not need a background in design (esp. not visual design) to begin a career in UX. We come from very diverse backgrounds and there are several UX routes you could take (e.g. research) which don’t rely on any kind of design knowledge. Regardless, design can be learned.

I’d start by taking a few of the cheaper courses here. Take some diverse ones – you never know what you might like. I’d do several before I invested in a boot-camp. Lynda is a good option too. :slight_smile:


As long as there is spark inside you, no one will care do you have design background or not. :slight_smile:


I’ve been in this position and I can tell you - I had no prior experience being a UI/UX designer and still managed to get in. I started with Lynda and gathered as many books relating to UX as I could online and physical. Start off with ‘Don’t make me think’

Talk and ask as many questions as possible to all of us and people on Linkedin. We’re always more than happy to answer :slight_smile:


Hey, Vicky… So my background is in television video editing… I am not (nor do I want to be) a visual designer. I did bootcamp, have created a couple of projects on my own to build out my resume… but to be honest, it has not worked. I feel like the market here in the US is getting flooded and a lot of companies aren’t hiring jr. designers. Definitely a lot of the students from my designlab class landed jobs. And many of them excelled at visual design/wireframes, even if they were not visual designers. If you learn visual design from your bootcamp, and designlab has really started to focus a lot of their program on UI, I think it’s a fast way into the industry and you’ll most likely land a job… If you prefer to focus on research, or another aspect of the UX process, I suggest looking at the bootcamps and learning more about their focus. I’d really love to see statistics from the bootcamps on how many people get hired/ what positions they were hired for/ what their age is/ what their previous career was.


Hey thank you for the suggestions. I am starting off an intro to UX from Lynda by Chris Nodder. I was wondering if there is a pattern I need to follow for learning about UX . I mean there are videos on wireframing and prototyping and Mockups and Usability but I am not sure in which order I need to move. Would you or anyone else have any information on this :)? Thanks again for all your help.


Hey @inca431 thank you for taking the time to explain this to me so well. I plan on doing a bootcamp eventually but for now I guess I will start off with some books and online courses that are easy on my budget. But I am closely looking at 2 bootcamps as of now i.e. Designlab and Career Foundry.


Hi Annabelle,

Thanks for letting me know , that’s a relief that prior experience in this field is not really an issue. I will add the book you mentioned to my reading list :).


Chris is great.

No, there is no pattern, it’s up to you. You could start with an ‘Intro to UX’ style course which will give you an idea of the whole process first up and then you can figure out where your learning gaps are.


Hi ,

I have a list of recommendations for books on UX for a beginner and maybe this question is repetitive but I was wondering if anyone has a list of books they can recommend for an absolute beginner. Also, I think it will be easier for me to start with reading books as at work it gets difficult to view online videos . With books, I can read them on the train or during my lunch break.

I am looking for a book that can be quite detailed including all instructions on wireframing, prototyping and all the other aspects of UX. Please excuse my ignorance if books on UX do actually contain that information.

Thank You!!


Hey Vicky, I’m a bit confuse. You have a list or you’d like a list? If it’s the latter, check out: Monster List of UX Book Recommendations


Sorry what I meant earlier was that I have in the past been recommended a few things here and there but I am reaching out again because I wanted to know if there’s a book that I could use as a learning tool for UX as an absolute beginner- something that is more detailed and goes beyond just giving a general idea of what UX is. The reason for this is that right now with my work schedule am unable to invest in a bootcamp . But if I could read and I know that will not be sufficient either but atleast I will be able to learn something. And by then maybe I will be able to better understand UX and make a sound decision on a program that I could invest in to enhance my career.


Hey Vicky,
The good thing about a bootcamp is that you learn by “doing it”. It’s very important to go beyond reading, and start doing things yourself - even if it’s not as part of a structured bootcamp. The thing about bootcamps is that you usually have guidance for this process. I’m not going to lie about time expectations, either way it will be lots of work and time involved.
There’s also a link I recommend you check to understand more about your career options and what’s out there: Free User Experience Careers report, by Nielsen Norman Group


Hi @Vicky
I have been in your shoes. I made a transition from coding to UX. A degree isn’t mandatory but I won’t lie - it will give you an easy entry.

The success stories of people who do a re-design of a major brand and get a job immediately are 1 in million. Sorry for being a downer but sharing my experience.

If you have time to kill, I wrote a blog series chronicling my journey and the mistakes I did. Hope it helps.


If you want to go passed designing web pages, Id suggest a course in a Business Analyst certification, which will cover the SDLC from end to end including where UX design traditionally fits in the requirements phase of Business Analysis.

I use to be fond of IIBA CBAP, but it requires a fair amount of experience.

Take a look at BCS certifications.
BA Foundations
USer Experience

You can complete a diploma through these certification in Business Analysis which will take you well beyond simple web pages.They dont require prior experience and the pass requirement is fairly low, you can study everything from a book, but Id suggest paying for a course,

BCS is the british foundation for computing certification. Prince 2 is used widely as a Project Management methodology for example.

Personally even though you dont need experience and the pass mark is low, I find BCS to cover much more on each topic.

Dont rush into it, just explore the BCS website.