UX Designer


Hi everyone,

Hope all is well - I recently joined the forum due to my interests in the field UX Designer. I recently graduated from Savannah College of Art & Design with a major in Motion Media Design. Included within this major I have done rebrandings, network ID’s, promos, brand packages, end-pages, animations, and cinematography such as commercials, title sequences, show opens, and videos. In addition I have done 3D work using Cinema 4D. Most of the projects I do require storyboards that I create before I proceed with a project.

Secondly, I also have done a bit with Graphic Design. Work within the Graphic Design field I have done are posters, magazines, banners, process books, etc.

After graduating I have done a lot of research with marketing and UX/UI Design. I am interested in both fields and although they are different they do relate. Many people would most likely point me in the direction of UI Design due to the design background I have and degree. However, UX Design also needs Visual Design - and I am very interested in finding out ways to make experience better and why customers do what they do within the website or app rather than only making it look “pretty”.

I have no experience with UX at all but really want to get involved and follow this path. Im going to buy the books UX Lean, and Hooked. What else can I do to help me out? I know there are courses out there such as GA but im not looking to spend 10-14k for a class due to the school loans I have already. GA also have a course for 1 week that costs 3k, but im not sure if its worth it or if researching would be the better approach?

GA Tech have a online intro class for 45 dollars for a few weeks, but I can’t see how/why this is so cheap.

Any advice or feedback to help me get started would be appreciated! For your portfolio for UX Design do you only provide the wireframes and research or do you also put the UI work? If its a personal project who would do the UI work if you do the UX?

Sorry for all these questions, and entry level questions. Thanks for any suggestions again.

My website is https://www.dfandino.com/ incase you wanted to take a look.


Hey and welcome! You definitely have a good grounding towards UI design from your background. UX design is way more than visual and really involves understanding people and how they behave, which is why many UX designers come from a psychology background. I always say you have to have a natural tendency towards empathy. While GA courses are quite good they are also very expensive as you have discovered. There is one course I would recommend on Udemy https://www.udemy.com/ultimate-guide-to-ux/learn/v4/overview - keep an eye out for their discounts as sometimes you can get the class for as little as $15. There are three books that I would also recommend ‘The Design of Everyday Things’ by Don Norman, ‘Don’t Make Me Think’ by Steve Krug and ‘100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People’ by Susan M Weinschenk.


Hey @dannyfandino – welcome.

I’ll start by saying that I agree with @websitestory – solid advice.

I’d def look at a few cheaper online courses to get started. We have a pretty good list here, a few of which I’ve reviewed.

Breaking into a pure UX role is frustratingly tricky, so your mixed background will be beneficial.

All of it. Document your process from start to finish. What problem were you trying to solve? What research methods did you use? Include images of your planning, include your wireframes, and include your prototypes. Annotate everything. A portfolio is all about showing how you got from the problem to the solution.

The UI work is the least important part.


Thanks for the advice! It has helped me a lot already.

I will for sure look into those books and that class. After I take that class will this give me enough information to do wireframes, prototypes, and whatever else is needed for UX? Or is there another one I need to take ?

Also is their a such thing as just a UI Designer? On indeed.com it seems they put UX/UI together or mistake UI with UX.

What tools would you say I 100 percent need? Sketch, Axure, etc?

Again thank you.


Thanks very much also for the information! Its helpful!

Will the classes get me trained on wireframes, prototypes, and anything that I need in order to create a personal project on my own?

What tools would you say I 100 percent need? Sketch, Axure, etc?

Thanks again.


Some will, some won’t. You’ll need to read the content outlines for each one and make a call.


There is most definitely such a thing as a UI designer. In my work I do mostly user research and UX thinking and testing, although I used to do it all. Now I work with a bunch of talented graphic designers that do the UI design. We ideate together and collaborate on the solution, I can feed in research and they provide creative solutions to the problems we’ve defined. While I also come from a design background I feel like this way of working makes for a much better outcome. I should also point out that in ideation we work as a larger collaborative team that includes business analyst, technical consultant, content strategist, me (UX) and designers.


In my jobsearch, I find this to be very different from company to company, but Sketch and Axure pop up the most.
Just pick one and get comfortable.
If you want to get a sense of what is the most common tool in your geographical area, scan through about 10 job posts
and see what software they value experience in.


Will do, thanks!


Thanks for the information, your a big help and thats awesome what you do at your job. What programs do you use for the User Research and Testing?


Will do - I will take a look at indeed.com and look at job postings. However, my next question leads me to what programs do you recommend to do with each part?

For example Sketch from my understanding is similar to Photoshop for the UI Design, and Silverback and Axure are for Prototypes?


Mostly observation and interviews. When undertaking observation I tend to take copious notes and then look for themes in what I have seen and heard. I’m a big fan of affinity mapping to make sense of my research. For testing I use Silverback (Mac only) to capture the users voice and screen interactions. I have also used lookback.io for this and it’s also great when testing on a mobile with Invision prototypes. When working collaboratively with my team in different locations I love to use Mural.


I’d love to answer, but I do not know. I am at the early stages, too. :slight_smile: Hopefully, somebody in the know will enlighten us.


I’m currently on the Lab Design UX Academy course. I highly recommend it but if you would like some more advice, drop me a message.


Sketch is definitely the way to go for UI if you’re on a Mac, otherwise Adobe XD and Figma are also good if you’re on a PC. The main difference between Sketch and Photoshop is that Sketch is specifically about screen-based design in pixels, whereas Photoshop is photo-editing software and was all we had back in the day, even though many shops still use it as their in-house software. You can work sooo much faster in Sketch!

I just started using Axure on a new client project and love it so far. I’m torn between it and UXPin for prototyping and will let you know as I get deeper in the trenches.

Regarding affordable online UX courses, @joenatoli is the man! Check out givegoodux.com. Joe has a great collection of courses that are excellent for beginners. If you’re lucky he might even chime in here :slight_smile:

Good luck and welcome! I’ve been away from the community for a while and am glad to see such enthusiasm for UX :smile:


Thanks again for your help!


I will for sure drop you a message at some point with some questions; thanks.


Thanks maryshaw! This was very helpful!

Any advice on how to get started with UX job/internship wise?


Get a mac. You’ll be more efficient and tools like Sketch are invaluable. Adobe is great but their Xd tool is no match for Sketch and its plugins. With the rich job market out there for UI I would look for a junior level job instead of doing work for free. How will you do that? Make a great portfolio–create at least 5 UI concepts (hypothetical designs) with a mix of responsive web and mobile. Similar to Facebook UI Redesign Concept, this can be fun because you have full control of what to design and what goes into your portfolio. With your “dream concepts” mixed in with your work from school I’m sure you’ll land something soon.


Hi, thanks for the reply.

I have a mac.

I will give it a go to my portfolio the UI construction. However, if you create UI designs don’t you suggest having UX material since that is the start of the project?