The tech industry is changing every day and in order to fulfill people’s upcoming needs from the design point of view designers need to be resourceful and learn new methodologies and tools. Formal education offers few classes and little to no career focus on UX or similar approaches. So how can designers update their skills in order to face our upcoming challenges?

Thankfully, there are tons of online articles, webinars, podcasts and vocational schools committed to digital education. There are also enthusiasts, like me, who enjoy sharing our knowledge and by teaching others we are discovering new things. This has made me realize that our current path is merely beginning!

Background of UX Design

To fully understand anything in life, you first need to know its history. In the ’80s Donald Norman started studying how humans interact with machines, environments and products giving birth to what he called User Experience – also known as UX. In the years following UX has grown and evolved into many different branches with a large number of methodologies and frameworks.

User Experience professionals come from a range of backgrounds, including industrial and graphic design, computer science, and others. The more the field grows the more other professional profiles become involved.

Current UX Education Alternatives

Vocational schools with a UX focus have since emerged, but they are not accredited or affiliated with formal educational institutions. The education provided tends to be remote and relies on self-taught methods.

The number of on-line courses, blogs and webinars at our reach is enormous. Among the most reliable references are:

Formal education is beginning to take part in teaching UX by creating career paths and specialized schools, for example:

Other well-known schools in the UX and interaction design space are the California College of the Arts, Parsons New School, Umeå Institute of Design, and the Royal College of Art.

The Pros of Current Ways of Learning UX

An informal, self-taught and primarily online education is accessible to anyone who is interested.

The Cons of Current Ways of Learning UX

Standardizing, validating and measuring knowledge can be challenging.

My Experience Learning and Teaching UX

I started my transition to UX Design almost 3 years ago. Over the last year I have had my first chance to teach others. I can say it’s been quite exciting. I find joy in sharing my knowledge and finding others who are interested in the same things that I am. Every time I teach something I get to learn it again but from another perspective. At times I’ve found myself learning even more from how others perceive a concept than I’d learned on my own. So if you’ve ever thought about teaching others, I strongly recommend it! As I encourage you to go for it, allow me to offer some advice:

Last but not least

If you are on your way to become a UX Designer, I would like to share a few tips.

Learn about design methods and research:
Nielsen Norman Group and Interaction Design Foundation.

Amazing Tools:
Figma and Sketch to bring your designs to life.
Invision to easily prototype and share your designs and Zeplin to share specs and assets.

Showcase your work:
Display your designs, get inspiration and feedback from others designers on Dribble, Behance and Muzli.

Continuing on the Path…

I invite you to read more about UX Team  thoughts. You can find more UX material here.

Let me know what you think! You can reach me at framirez@nearsoft.com.