What is UX Design?
User experience design, or UX design, is the process of fine-tuning a product to be user-friendly through prototyping, testing, and conducting user research. UX designers can work on all kinds of projects, but they most commonly design digital products such as desktop and mobile website applications. Although they may be on a team with web designers and developers, UX designers play a fundamentally different role. UX designers don’t usually get involved with coding or debugging—they ensure that products are enjoyable, not just basically functional, for their users. For instance, UX designers are often the people who make sure a software’s onboarding process is quick and digestible for newcomers.
The UX design process often calls for a strong knowledge of software like Figma, Adobe XD, and Sketch along with an understanding of user-tech interaction and human psychology. Besides web designers and developers, UX designers often work on a team with user interface (UI) designers, who focus on how an app or website looks to users.
Why Learn UX Design?
UX design is a hot field that is growing in popularity by the day. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that UX design is appealing to many new professionals who are getting ready to enter the job market. Creating apps and websites that people like to use is a rewarding career for both technically and artistically talented individuals. Knowing UX design additionally prepares you to work in all kinds of settings, from large corporations with big UX teams to startups that are still getting their product off the ground.
There’s also plenty of opportunity for current design professionals who build skills in UX design. If you’re a graphic designer, learning UX design provides a good entry point to a career in tech without requiring coding experience. On average, UX designers have higher earning potential than most other types of designers, so cross-training in UX can literally pay off.
What Careers Use UX Design?
Acquiring a background in the software, skills, and guiding principles of UX design is essential for a career as a UX designer. UX designers work in the early stages of development for new websites, mobile applications, and other products. They employ user analysis and research to make interactive prototypes.
Another option for someone with a strong UX background is to become a UX researcher. UX researchers conduct interviews, surveys, A/B testing, and observations to determine how users navigate a product and what kind of design supports positive user interaction. They work with UX designers, UI designers, and developers.
What UX Design Classes Are Available?
Since UX design is a relatively new field, even people with tech or design education may not have had a chance to formally learn it. Taking a UX design class will prepare both beginners and advanced learners to pivot to a new career or add UX to their current skill set.
Noble Desktop, our design school, runs several UX design classes that you can attend live online from anywhere or in-person in Midtown Manhattan. Noble’s UX Design Bootcamp is perfect for learners who are ready to get hands-on with research, testing, and completing projects. In the course, you’ll transform a concept from rough drawings into a clickable prototype. While this class doesn’t require any previous experience with UX, participants should have some knowledge of Figma.
There are also classes where you can learn the software that is most important for completing UX design projects. In the Adobe XD Bootcamp, students will learn how to design web layouts for desktop and mobile applications. The course includes lessons on adding animations, making content scrollable, and inserting audio effects. Another option is the Sketch Bootcamp. Sketch is a similar application to Adobe XD that allows users to wireframe and prototype interfaces. Adobe XD works on both PCs and Macs, while Sketch is a Mac-only app.
Certificate Programs for UX Design
Are you considering pivoting to a career in UX design? A certificate program is one of the most efficient ways to get started. Earning a certificate doesn’t just boost your resume and make you a more competitive job applicant. It also ensures that you’ll learn the tools and skills you’ll need to be successful once you start working.
Noble Desktop’s UX & UI Design Certificate provides comprehensive instruction in UX fundamentals as well as Figma, Adobe XD, and Sketch (with the latter two covered in self-study). In this program, you’ll have the chance to turn your idea for an app into a real-life project. Through user interviews, sketching, wireframing, prototyping, and presentations, you’ll replicate the typical UX design process and develop a workflow. You’ll also learn about how to ensure your product aligns with business goals and meets design recommendations.
Another certificate where you can learn relevant skills for a UX design career is the UI Design Certificate. While this certificate focuses more on UI design, it provides lessons in Figma that are also relevant to those seeking some UX skills. The Visual Design Certificate also covers Photoshop, Illustrator, and important design concepts such as color theory, layout, and visual conventions for websites. This certificate comes with one-on-one mentoring sessions with a visual design expert who can give job application advice and help you polish your resume.
UX Design v. UI Design
You may be wondering whether it is better to learn UX or UI design. While these two fields are closely related, there are key differences you should keep in mind when choosing a career path. UX designers focus on the overarching user journey that people experience when using a product. They rely heavily on research, user personas, and testing to put together their designs. UI designers use their knowledge of color, typography, and design conventions to make products that are visually appealing to users. In the process of creating a new app or website, UX design usually precedes UI design.
Not sure whether you’d rather become a UX designer or UI designer? You can always learn how to do both. Many UX professionals have UI training as well, and vice versa. Some small businesses even employ a single person to serve as both a UX and UI designer. For these reasons, it’s common for bootcamps and other career training programs to teach both UX and UI skills.