Much like computer programming, UX and UI design is a field that is constantly cutting edge. Advancements happen faster than education can follow up. Industry demand for skilled designers continues to grow. Many people take on a non-related degree, only to become self-taught UX/UI designers much later!
In 2018, all of this is happening and more – and the number of self-taught UX/UI designers continue to rise.
If you’re someone who has a keen eye for detail and design, loves providing creative and effective solutions to usability problems and working in a fast-paced field, then this is a role for you!
It’s not as hard as it sounds. Becoming a UX/UI designer without a degree is not impossible, and only requires you to have ready a pool of resources. If you’re interested or in need of some direction in your journey, here’s a list of what you can utilise!
1. ONLINE COURSES AND CLASSES
It goes without saying that you need at least some instruction to get started.
Whether or not you already have a career, switching over to the life of a UX/UI designer is made easy through platforms like General Assembly (GA). It’s worth mentioning that GA has an office here in town; take a look at this page and feast your eyes on all the events held this year! 10-week courses led by industry veterans and practitioners ensure that you’ll receive all the training and help that you need – and even a UX job after you graduate!
2. FINDING YOUR OWN MENTOR
You’ll never get further than with a mentor by your side. Think of it as getting remedial/tuition lessons – but much more in-depth and rigorous.
Some notable leaders in the industry include Melissa Ng, founder of MELEWI, and Anna Rehermann, founder of Growth Hacking Asia and current guest lecturer at NUS, both of whom have been invited to UX/UI design events and conferences in the past!
Get involved with the local UX community through Meetup.com (some prominent groups in Singapore include IxDA Singapore, UX TL;DR, and Design Bootcamp Asia!) and extend your reach into cyberspace with the UX community on Slack, or even HelloMeets! The List SG also provides a useful list of local events and conferences centered around technology and development.
Engage yourself with like-minded individuals and people who have far more experience than you. Ask questions. Learn richly. UX/UI design is an ever-evolving field, and you will be glad to have the knowledge.
Create value in the relationships you forge – especially in the local community – because more than anything, a strong network will ensure a steady path. Rest assured knowing that this will all be worth it in the long run!
3. BOOKS AND OTHER RESOURCES
Reading widely is also a must, especially if you’re new to UX/UI design. Websites like Awwwards, Behance, and Pinterest offer plenty of inspiration and advice (and the chance for you to engage and showcase your own projects and work – this is crucial for building up your portfolio).
The UX Magazine is bursting with information and insight as well! Subscribing to blogs like Prototypr wouldn’t hurt, either – you’re looking for as much information and resources as possible without spending too much money!
Books on UX/UI design are also highly recommended (like this one). Dig deep into materials from the library as well. Explore titles and be disciplined in your readings; becoming self-taught requires a lot of motivation and passion, as you’ll soon realise!
Last but not least, platforms like UpLabs offer a wide range of resources you can use, so long as you keep exploring and digging in!
Much like our earlier article on self-taught computer programmers, UX/UI designers can look forward to a dynamic and exciting journey of growth. It’s another one of those careers that remain attainable even without formal degrees – people like U and I (HA HA HA) only need to be creative, motivated, and inspired to follow through with our desire.
Without further ado, let’s get started!