There are a number of paths to learning UI/UX design and there’s not really a single right or wrong way. It all comes down to learning the theories behind good design and practicing them until you master them.
YOU CAN'T DO SOMETHING GREAT BY OCCASIONALLY DOING IT.
1. Learn the fundamentals of UX design
The experience of a user on a website is arguably the most important part of any successful design—which means it’s important that you understand the main principles of UX design.
UX design focuses on creating a delightful experience through meeting user needs and wants, as well as through user psychology.
Understanding why users perform certain actions and what makes them continue using a site (or abandoning that site) is key to creating a digital product that meets user needs as well as business goals.
Luckily, there are plenty of affordable (and free) UX tutorials, courses, and resources all at your disposal as well as tons of books on UX. A good place to start is with Steve Krug’s Don’t Make Me Think. Krug is widely regarded as the godfather of UX design.
Listen to the podcast below.
2. Develop your eye for good UI/UX design
Learning the basic principles of design will only take you so far. To really take your skills to the next level, practice studying the designs of websites and mobile apps you love with a critical eye.
Next time you see a website you love, for example, take a few minutes to analyze what about it works so well for you. Is it the color palette? The interaction design? The typography?
Look at every part of the design: the spacing between elements, the grid the site is designed on, the visual hierarchy of the site, and even the specific images and icons used. Ask yourself what’s working and what’s not? This is key to developing a strong visual eye for design.
Just as important as what you love about a site is what you don’t love. Study the site with a critical eye. Try to figure out why you don’t like certain parts of the site, not just that you don’t like them.
3. Learn designing tools
There are plenty of great tools available on the market, but we suggest trying out a few industry stalwarts such as Adobe XD, Illustrator & Photoshop.
3.1 Adobe XD
3.2 Adobe Photoshop
3.3 Adobe Ilustrator
4. Start designing
Reading books and articles or watching design tutorials will only get you so far. What you really need to do to become proficient at UI/UX is actually design digital products and start accumulating a solid body of work.
If you’re starting from scratch, we highly recommend downloading some free UI kits (or user interface kit) to help get your designs started. A UI kit is a set of pre-made design components containing essential visual elements for a specific UI design (think buttons, icons, fonts, menus, etc.).
Use these UI kits to design your own website or mobile app for starters. But also consider doing redesigns of existing sites. Pick some of your favorite websites and explore how you could redesign them to look and function even better.
Participate in daily UI/UX design challenges to develop your design skills.
5. Ask for feedback (and learn from it)
Contrary to popular belief, negative feedback can actually be much more useful than positive feedback. It can help you grow as a designer, level-up your skills, and create better products.
Learn to seek and embrace negative design feedback and use it as fuel to improve your designs. Post your work on Dribbble and ask for constructive criticism—the community is here to help.
In the end, negative feedback can be one of the most positive things that can happen in your design career. Just remember, you don’t need to overhaul all of your skills overnight. Trying to become one percent better every day will bring steady progress to success.