Starting out as a UI/UX Designer
Written by Elle Daintree
Oct 07, 2019

Is a career in UI/UX design for you?

How I became a UI/UX Designer

Experience

Three months ago, my experience of UI/UX design was an app design project as part of the Digital Design Diploma I had enrolled in the previous academic year. Six months before that, I hadn’t used any design tools since MS Paint when I was at primary school. Unless WordArt counts? 

During the course,  I taught myself the basics of Adobe Xd, a UI design and app prototyping tool included in the Creative Cloud package, as well as Dreamweaver, Illustrator, InDesign and Photoshop. I fell in love with design and illustration and knew this was something that I wanted to pursue as a career, but I wasn’t sure in what format that would be.  I had the Diploma, a bucket-load of enthusiasm and, hopefully by then, an eye for design but no idea where to start

How I got my job

One of my tutors told me about Brightec, who were looking for people to take part in their user testing sessions. Although I was mildly terrified at the thought of multiple people watching me interact with a product, the promise of a £25 Amazon voucher, and valuable insight to user-focused design, was the carrot I needed. 

I’m fairly sure I lost the ability to use the mouse at one point but mostly I felt at ease with the team as I was guided through interactions with the website in question.  The process made me curious to learn more about user testing, and more about UX design in general. 

Hungry for more knowledge, I  contacted the team to ask if I could come and do work experience for them. Their agreement and my work experience ultimately lead to my foray into a career in design when I was offered the Junior Designer role.

In the last few months, I’ve had a crash course in UX and UI design, user testing and using Sketch, Abstract and Zeplin along with all the other tools we use here more generally at Brightec. Having such a supportive team around me has helped hugely on this steep learning curve.. 

What is there to love?

The great thing about working in the tech industry is that there is always more to learn! There are constant iterations of software, devices and practices that provide the opportunity for continuous personal development; something championed by Brightec. 

UI/UX design combines so many different aspects; from what looks great aesthetically, to what works best for users in terms of functionality and accessibility (e.g. for people with visual impairments like colour blindness). It also considers the psychological aspect of user testing and the technicalities of handing over designs to developers.  It is genuinely fascinating. 

I encourage anyone considering a career in UX/UI design to find out more. Aim to get some industry experience - it’s a varied role with lots of scope for self-education, collaboration and working with a whole range of talented, creative people. 

Just don’t get too upset when the Contrast tool tells you your design fails the accessibility test and that you have to redo it all.

/ Design
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