What are UI and UX?
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Simply put, UI (User Interface) is a graphical layout of an application and UX (User Experience) is how the user interacts with it. User interface design consists of creating the application page layout, user-clicked buttons, sliders, data entry fields, images, transitions – the list goes on. User interface designers design anything that a user interacts with.
User experience relates to how the user interacts with the application’s page layout, buttons, slides, data entry fields, images, transitions – anything in the user interface. Does the user find it difficult to type data into a specific field? Does the user enjoy the process of getting the job done the app strives to do? User experience is determined by how easy or difficult it is to manipulate user interface elements designed by user interface designers.
Considering a career in UI/UX
UI/UX Design currently has great prospects in Bangladesh. People are moving away from browsing websites and focusing on using apps that are easy to browse, straightforward and easy to use. UI/UX designers play a major role in making this happen. Some examples of such apps that are easy to navigate and use are BKash, Nagad, MyGP, Maya and Pathao. Starting your career in UI/UX Design is the first step towards securing your place in the future world of UI/UX. Here is a step-by-step process on how to start your career as a UI/UX designer.
Step one: Courses to learn the principles of user experience design
When you are a junior designer, it is to be expected that you do not know much about the topic you are exploring. Therefore, it is essential that you gather the basic knowledge to build your own basics. There are many resources to use. You can take free online courses to get an idea.
Coursera, Accenture, and Udemy offer great free courses. To get the certificate, you have to do paid courses. Certification is not an integral part when it comes to UI/UX design because a good portfolio will give you a job even if you don’t have a degree. Creative IT Institute, Shikhbe Shobai, BASIS Institute of Technology & Management (BITM) and Userhub offer paid courses with certificate.
The second step. Find a design program that suits you
A good way to start is to sign up for a course or watch a YouTube video, to do a simple UI design on a program that is difficult for you to navigate. Test a different program and find the right one for you. For some, Adobe XD is great and for others, Figma is their preferred choice. Mockplus, Miro, Pencil Project, and InVision Studio are other free programs that will provide you with essential tools for designing interfaces.
Step 3. Find inspiration to develop a strong aesthetic sense
Finding inspiration is a huge part of UI/UX. Apps that you think require a little effort to navigate and use as well as designers on Behance, Dribbble or social media can give you ideas and build your sense of beauty. This includes UI elements (reusable components), as well as standard brand guides including color palette, typography, and icons.
UI/UX Principles courses will teach you the basics you need to create designs, but developing your own style depends on your creativity and uniqueness as a designer. Developing your aesthetics also allows you to apply your new skills to every step of the UI/UX design process – from network planning to user research, prototyping, and user testing. Finally, use the knowledge gained at each step to learn how to perform the other steps for future tasks.
Step 4. Create a collection of your works to receive feedback
After developing your own aesthetic, you have to apply the skills and principles you learned to design. You can redesign an app to your liking or an app you find working for a smoother experience.
Good Design Remodeling will show you how to create good designs and the ideas that go into design. Recreating a bad design using user requirements research and design skills can also be great case studies. You can write about your case study and publish your design on platforms like Behance and Dribbble. Publishing your work will help you get feedback from experienced designers and improve your skills.
Small bags should be a true expression of the designer’s personality. Every piece in your portfolio should tell a story – not only about the project but also about your unique abilities, processes, and creativity.
Step 5. Join the Communities
When you start your career in UI/UX, you may not know many people who specialize in design. Joining the communities helps the beginners tremendously because they can ask different questions, get professional answers, receive feedback on their designs and expand their skill set.
Best UI/UX Developer and Designer Community, Bangladeshi Designer and Graphic Designer community are some of the communities where members give feedback on designs, help members create better designs and build networks of designers.
Step 6. Get hands-on experience in the workplace
There is no common path for all. Some designers do internships, freelance at Upwork or Fiverr, focus on the market or join a company. Communities play a huge role in creating new projects. Doing different projects will enrich your portfolio and push you to develop your skills.
Viewing job descriptions for the position you wish to apply for is crucial because you have to adjust your portfolio accordingly. Your portfolio should not only contain images of the redesigned app. There should also be a script to explain the process of redesigning the app from scratch.
Rajab Shahryar, a UI/UX Designer at a fast growing Bangladeshi SaaS startup, started his career by doing an online course and watching UI/UX videos on YouTube to build his creativity and aesthetic. He has done a master case study on The Daily Star using skills he learned by doing an internship and several independent projects. He says, “Build your portfolio while you practice to get into the UI/UX design scene and connect with fellow designers by joining the communities. Feedback is the only way you’ll get better.”
UI/UX design has a lot of hope in Bangladesh, but it must be emphasized that going from a junior designer to a working designer can take anywhere from six months to a year. You will discover about yourself and the designs around you in this learning process. Being consistent with your efforts, following the structure and staying motivated by browsing the countless design resources online, you can make the change before you know it.