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Transitioning From Graphic Design to UI/UX

Caleb Ihuarulam
By Caleb Ihuarulam
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5 min read
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After designing graphics for a while, many graphic designers switch to UI/UX design. They do this for three reasons.  

First, more money. Oftentimes, there is no inspiring, deep, or larger-than-life purpose why they switch. Money is the primary motivation. UI/UX design offers at least double the pay of a graphic design. 

Another reason for the switch is to increase career prospects. Graphic designers who want to head in a more product-related direction tend to switch to UI/UX design. A more product-related direction means going in a direction that allows you to impact customers' experience while using the product directly. 

The third reason why they transition is that their skills are transferable.  Graphic designers do not need to start from scratch in any other related field. Graphic design is a field where designers use visual content to express messages. Designers utilize typography and graphics to fulfil users' individual demands and focus on the logic of showing items in interactive designs to optimize the user experience by employing visual hierarchy and page layout approaches.

UX design on the other hand is a broad field of design. It focuses on more than just the appearance and usability of a final product. Instead, it looks for ways to create meaningful experiences and interactions for users. 

The ultimate goal of User Experience is to provide a positive digital experience for the end-user from start to finish, taking into account every factor that determines how someone feels when using a product.

To transition to UX Design, here are the steps you can take.

Step 1: Note Your Current Skills 

In the UX design process, aesthetics are just as crucial as usefulness. If you can draft a good app design with great images, you can draw a user's attention right away and build an emotional connection that creates a lasting impression. 

Your graphic design background could help you stand out in the UX area. To identify your strengths and knowledge gaps, make a list of your present skills, such as ideation, emotive design, creative thinking, and problem-solving.

Make a list of the programs you've worked with before. Having a thorough understanding of tools like Illustrator and Photoshop will offer you a significant advantage over others who don’t.

Step 2: Equip Yourself With the Necessary Skills

Once you've figured out what sets you distinct from the competition, you can start filling in the gaps in your skill set by learning the necessary UX abilities. While visual design is a particular field, user experience design is a multi-faceted endeavour. You don't need to know everything to make a change, but educating yourself will help you succeed in your work. To broaden your knowledge, consider taking an online course.

Step 3: Create a UX Design Portfolio

To work as a UX designer, you don't need a degree, but you will need a portfolio. Entrants into the UI/UX space with no experience may assume they need to find a UX job to complete their portfolios, but this isn't the only option. You can create and expand your portfolio by:

  • Finishing your personal projects.

  • Volunteering with non-profit organizations.

  • Getting an internship.

  • Taking part in online UX design competitions and challenges.

Step 4: Change Your Design Focus

The ultimate goal of a graphic designer is to create beautiful images that pass information. They also use talents such as typography to achieve this. While they typically do research, it is not as in-depth as UI/UX design. You'll want to break that behaviour and convert to user-centred design conventions that put the entire journey of the user into consideration when shifting to UX design. 

Step 5: Learn To Conduct Research

To design products that suit your users' essential demands, you'll need to do a lot of research, so choose a course that teaches you how to do that. Learning useful ways and conventional approaches to research the needs of the user is essential for a UX designer's success. Feedback is a tool that skilled designers use to make modifications and enhancements that make everyone pleased.

Step 6: Connect With People and Start Applying For Jobs

By becoming a member of a community, you can connect with possible employers and mentors. As your UX design job progresses, make sure you continue to learn. Being a part of a community can help you stay on top of trends and keep your skills sharp.

Apply for positions and don't be afraid to change careers. It's easy to get caught up in honing your skills and building your portfolio, but don't let that stop you from taking the leap, especially when you're sure you'll get hired.

Now That’s How To Transition

Transitioning to User design might be tasking, but it is worth it. Make sure you remain accountable to yourself. In the end, if you are not disciplined, you might get discouraged. As a user experience designer, you get to shape people's perceptions and feeling about a product. You will also get paid more for your skills. Good luck on your journey.


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