I love building things, especially one's that don't already exist. I've worked in product design, product marketing, and product management during my technology career. Chief Product Officer at Uxcel.
If you are a digital designer or looking to become one, you may be wondering how you can improve your UI/UX design skills. There are a few innovative ways to improve your skills, but a lot of it involves simply stepping out of your comfort zone, pushing yourself, and patiently working on improving your skills over time.
Most UI and UX design can be improved through learning design elements from an experienced teacher or design course. Begin by getting down the basics by way of a UI/UX course, and eventually improve your UI/UX design enough to prove them in the real world.
1. Be Comfortable Using Design Patterns
User experience (UX) designers must understand the problems that design patterns solve. This means you must be comfortable using patterns to identify guides, templates, or reference points. These patterns will allow you to save time and solve problems more efficiently. Rather than coming up with a new solution every time you find a particular issue, you can instead use a design pattern.
2. Study Designers That Inspire You
Some of the greatest artists have stated that they found their inspiration in other artists. The same ideology can be used as a UI/UX designer. Use inspiration from your favorite sources all over the internet. You can search through Pinterest, Dribbble, or even your favorite websites.
Study the different elements that they use, and how they use them. This might include the use of white space, colors, fonts, and even how they space out different elements. Create a library with all your favorite inspirations. This can serve as a reminder, or idea shed when you are struggling with your creativity.
Here's several designs and creative thinkers that we recommend following:
Similar to how you would never practice surgery on someone without going to medical school, you probably wouldn’t jump into web design without education. One great aspect of UX/UI design is that you can develop design skills from the comfort of your own home. All you need is access to a computer, and you can learn UX/UI from online programs such as Uxcel.
4. Decide on Your Concentration
At the beginning of your career, it can be good to focus on one area of UI/UX design. Try to become an expert in this area. Take as many courses as possible and become solid in the area of your choosing.
Are you interested in becoming a mobile app UI design expert? Maybe you find the user experience UX aspect more interesting?
Although they are not too different from one another, there are many components to both and you should learn the difference between UX & UI design. If you become an expert in at least one at the beginning of your career it can give you a leg up when applying for jobs.
5. Implement Your Learning
Once you have either began or completed courses from a provider such as Uxcel, you will need to implement your skills. It might seem simple when you are going through a course, but once you are in the real world things will be a bit different.
Building your portfolio, learning how to balance multiple projects, and even handling clients are all part of UI/UX design. If you are not able to find work right away you can work on personal concepts or fake projects. These will help you to build your portfolio and practice the skills you learned in your online courses.
As you may have heard time and time again, “practice makes perfect”. Many platforms like Uxcel can help you continually improve with practice lessons and design training that take only 5-10 minutes a day, which is important for those of us with busy schedules.
Give yourself tasks at recreating your favorite websites or mobile applications. Attempt to recreate everything exactly as you see it. This includes the fonts, dimensions, spacing, colors, buttons, and navigation bars. This will give you the chance to improve your design skills, learn about your design process, and might even give you material for your portfolio!
7. Offer Your Services as a Freelancer
If you are just starting in the UX/UI world, it can be difficult to find jobs. Even if you are great at what you do. If you offer your services as a freelancer you can find good design opportunities, and practice while earning income. Freelancing is also a great opportunity to learn how to work with clients, manage multiple projects, and gain some feedback on your work.
Although some people put down freelancing because it is not the best for job security, often freelancing can lead to long term job opportunities. There are a few well-known sites for freelancing opportunities such as Fiverr.com, Upwork.com, and Freelancer.com. All of these sites will allow you to exercise your skills and practice what you have learned in your online courses.
8. Gather Feedback
Whether you are freelancing or simply building a portfolio, you should always ask for feedback on your work. This will allow you to know if you are using the design tool and design system skillsets properly. After all, when you work in user experience, you are working to understand the user and how a product appeals to them. Post your work on any social media site such as Instagram or design site Behance.net.
9. Stay Up-To-Date on the Design World
Learning never ends and digital industries are constantly changing. This means that there will always be new tools for you to learn how to use, and different concepts to master. Be sure to stay up to date on the new trends regarding theory or typography. There might even be new features regarding AI integration or eCommerce that you will need to know how to implement.
Reading UX magazines will give you great insight into the next big trends and will teach you daily. Examples of these magazines include UXmag.com or UXmovement.
You should always continue your education with online courses. When a new feature comes out you can brush up on your knowledge and take a tutorial. You want to continue understanding how the user interacts with different virtual products. In the end, you are serving the user, you need to learn what your target market wants and learn how to deliver a product that they love.