image of a freelance ux designer

How to become a freelance ux designer if you don’t have education and work experience.

Recently guys with approximately the same questions have been writing to me very often:

  • What can I recommend to someone who wants to go this way, like me, what I recommend to look, read, listen and study?
  • Have I taken any courses, and if so, how have they helped me?
  • What skills do companies like Wargaming etc. require?
  • What role did the portfolio play? What kind of work was prevailing in the portfolio?
  • Where can I find a job (if I have neither education nor experience)?

So I decided to devote an entire post to this question and describe how I started out as a designer and how, after all this time, I advise others to start their careers in design.

How do you get started if you’re just a ux designer intern?

I am a graphic designer and have worked with companies such as Montblanc, Dunhill, Saks Fifth Avenue and many others. All in all, I have about 10 years experience in design. After 7 years of work as a graphic designer, I decided to retrain as a designer with a bias towards web-design, I’m just talking about the web, because at that time there were no such divisions as UX, UI and others. (The reason for the change was the interest in a new direction in design, greater freedom of expression of their ideas and no matter how it sounds typical – greater demand in the market and greater prospects for the long term).

I will write right away that I, like many of you now, who read this article, had no experience working on web and mobile design. The only advantage I had was that I had more or less ownership of Photoshop. I did not have the right portfolio and experience. But after some preparation time, I still found my first job, then another one, then the next one until I was spotted in Wargaming and invited to the Senior Visual Designer position.

And then read on, how I did all this, step by step, and what algorithm of actions I would take if I were you:

illustration of a ux designer job

Understand the directions in design

The most important thing for you now is to understand what exactly you want to do? Many people write to me: “I want to draw illustrations” and a person does not know what kind of illustrations? Cartoons or icons or animation? You have to choose for yourself what you want. No one will do it better than you.

Do you like working on the visual part of the design? You’re a visual designer (UI).

Do you like to think through the logic of working with the user, make the interface convenient, analyze, test? – then you’re a UX (User Experience Designer).

You like to do both the first and the second, and to go deep into the product, to be completely the owner of the product, to know and improve it – then you in product designers.

If you like to create magazines, leaflets, flyers and other POS materials, to invent the company’s identics – it’s up to you in graphic designers.

and so on… There are universalists who know a little bit about everything. Start by finding out what specialization you are interested in. Directions very much (!) Look for something that will please you and you can devote a lot of time to this!

Explore the ux designer tools to work with during your

I think there’s no further explanation necessary. How to work if you haven’t mastered the right program yet? You are lucky, if you are a beginner, you will not have to learn from Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, go straight to Sketch or Figma. Read their differences, think about what you would like to learn. Lifehak from me, if you’ve already chosen the direction in design that you want to go, do not go lazy on Headhunter, Linkedin or any other job search platform and see what employers are looking for, what programs you should know and dance already from this information.

Here below are some fresh programs that might come in handy for your job:

  • Sketch for interface design
  • Figma for collaborative interface design
  • Balsamiq for creating layouts
  • Adobe XD for interface design, prototyping
  • Invision App for prototyping and collaboration
  • RedPen to work together

illustration of a freelance ux designer work in progress

Start paying attention to the design.

Before becoming a web designer, I completely ignored the structure and content of sites and mobile applications, did not see the colors and fonts used, did not notice the components. If you decide to become an interface designer, start paying attention to everything and ask yourself questions: why did they put the logo here and not here? And why is there one button at the end and not at the beginning? Explore what a website usually consists of? (I talk about basic things like header, body and footer). Asking yourself questions and answering them, scrolling through the options in your head, you will not just start using the site, but assess it from a professional point of view.

Surround yourself with design and find a senior us designer to look after

I advise you to immerse yourself completely in design, every day watching someone else’s work. There are a million resources, that’s what I use:

  • Behance Platform Portfolio
  • Dribbble Platform Portfolio
  • Awwwwards is the award-winning platform for excellence in web design.

This practice of viewing other people’s works and portfolios will help you get into the design track, see what’s going on.

image of a freelance ux designer

What is the senior ux designer salary?

Similarly to a number of professions, those in the field can be quite guarded about exactly how much money they make, and depending on the location, the type of business and the seniority of the job, it can feel like a difficult task even getting an idea of how much you can legitimately ask for, and expect. In this article we’re going to clear up some of the misconceptions and give you a clear idea of what your salary can and will look like when you’re qualified as a UX designer, both now and in the future.

The average yearly income for UX designers is $73,857 a year (based on Payscale’s income information for UX designers in the United States with varying degrees of experience). According to Glassdoor, Junior UX designers with 0-1 year of practical experience have a medium annual salary of $54,894.

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