How do I get started in UX

Newbie Guide: Getting Started in UX in 2024

What Is UX Design?

Let's be real - getting into UX design can feel totally overwhelming, especially when you're just starting out. But take a deep breath, newbie. The world of user experience is waiting for fresh talent like you. In this post, we'll break down the key steps to launch yourself into an exciting UX career in 2024. From picking the right educational path to building a rockstar portfolio, we've got your back. By the end, you'll be ready to put those skills to work and start making an impact through thoughtful design. The UX field needs creative rockstars like you, so get pumped to soak up these tips and set yourself up for UX success. This is your time to shine!

Why You Should Consider a Career in UX

UX design focuses on the experience of using a product or service. UX designers aim to create designs that are useful, easy to use, and enjoyable. Their goal is to optimize the experience for the people actually using the product.

User Research

UX design starts with research. UX designers study how people interact with products and services. They conduct interviews, observe people using existing products, and analyze feedback to understand users' needs, pain points, and desires.

Information Architecture

Next, UX designers determine how to organize and structure information. They create site maps, wireframes, and prototypes to determine the layout, hierarchy, and flow of information that will work best for users. The goal is to make it easy for people to find what they need.

Interaction Design

UX designers also focus on how people interact with digital products. They design the sequence of actions needed to complete a task. Things like buttons, menus, and swipe gestures are all designed to be intuitive and user-friendly. The overall interaction should feel seamless and natural.

Visual Design

Finally, UX designers work on the visual elements of an experience. They select fonts, colors, and branding elements to align with a product's style and tone. The visual design should enhance usability and engage users, all while maintaining consistency across platforms.

In summary, UX design is all about crafting great experiences for real people. At its heart, UX design is a collaborative, empathetic, and user-centered process. The reward is creating products and services that truly fulfill human needs.

UX Skills and Qualities to Develop

A career in user experience design, or UX, means creating technology products and services that provide meaningful and relevant experiences to users. If you want to help build the digital world of tomorrow in an in-demand role, UX could be perfect for you.

Growing Field

UX is one of the fastest growing fields today. As companies realize the importance of user-centered design, demand for UX designers, researchers, and writers is skyrocketing. Salaries are competitive, and job opportunities abound across many industries.

Meaningful Work

In UX, you focus on understanding users and crafting experiences that enrich their lives. You get to be creative, solving complex problems and building solutions that make a real impact. The work is challenging yet rewarding, as you see how your designs influence how people interact with technology.

Varied and Interesting

UX roles involve a mix of skills like user research, information architecture, interaction design, and usability testing. No two days are the same, and you’re always learning new techniques and tools. If you like diversity and constant learning, UX could be an ideal field.

A Field for Everyone

UX values different perspectives and backgrounds. Whether you have a degree in design, psychology, computer science or something else, you can succeed in UX. Strong collaboration, communication and problem-solving skills are most important.

In summary, UX offers meaningful work in a fast-growing, varied field that values diversity. If you want an impactful career improving technology and people’s lives, UX is worth serious consideration. The opportunities are many, the work is fascinating, and the potential for positive change is real. A career in UX lets you help shape the future of human-computer interaction. What could be more exciting than that?

Getting UX Education and Training

To become a UX designer in 2024, you’ll need to build up key skills and nurture certain qualities.

Technical skills

Learn design software like Figma, Sketch, and Adobe XD. These tools help you create prototypes, wireframes, and high-fidelity designs. You should also know HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to communicate with developers and understand limitations.

User research

Conducting user research, interviews, and testing is fundamental. Develop skills in recruiting participants, facilitating sessions, analyzing data, and gleaning insights. Strong active listening and communication abilities are must-haves.

Information architecture

You need to organize content and layouts in a logical way. Learn how to create user flows, sitemaps, and wireframes. Understand how to group and label information so people can navigate and access content easily.


Build interactive prototypes to test ideas and get feedback. Use tools like InVision, Marvel, and Framer to stitch together designs into a cohesive user experience. A prototype should be a basic representation of the final product.


UX is a fast-changing field, so continuous learning is key. Follow trends in design systems, interfaces, and technology. Read books on UX, take online courses, and stay up to date with the latest tools and techniques.


Think outside the box to solve problems and come up with innovative solutions. Strong visualization skills help to conceptualize new ideas. An open and curious mindset leads to inspired “aha!” moments.


Put yourself in the user's shoes to create great experiences. Observe people in their natural environments to gain insights into their behaviors, motivations, and pain points. Consider how your designs will impact and benefit people from all walks of life.

With practice and persistence, you can develop the skills and qualities to become a UX designer. But at your core, stay passionate about creating meaningful solutions that enrich people’s lives.

Building Your UX Portfolio

Learn the fundamentals

To get started in UX, you need to build up your foundational knowledge. Take free or low-cost online courses to learn UX basics like user research, information architecture, interaction design, and usability testing. Platforms like Coursera, Udacity, and Udemy offer intro UX courses to teach you the fundamentals. You’ll learn UX terminology and principles to apply to your first projects.

Develop in-demand skills

Once you have the basics down, focus on developing skills that UX employers want. Some of the most sought-after skills include user research, wireframing, prototyping, and UI design. You can find free or paid tools like Optimal Workshop, Sketch, InVision, and Figma to start building up your skills. Join the UX communities on platforms like Medium and LinkedIn to see examples of projects and learn from more experienced designers.

Gain experience

The only way to really learn UX is through experience. Take on your own UX projects to gain valuable experience for your resume. Redesign an existing product, conduct user testing, create wireframes and prototypes for a mobile app, or pick a nonprofit organization to volunteer your UX services. Having real-world experience, even if self-guided, will make you a strong candidate for UX roles. You can then use these projects in your portfolio to showcase your skills to potential employers.

Continuously improve

Technology and design trends are always changing, so continuous learning is a must in UX. Stay up to date with new tools, techniques, and technologies by following industry leaders, reading blogs, listening to podcasts, and taking additional courses. Get involved in your local UX community and consider becoming a mentor to give back and further develop your skills. With regular practice and a commitment to lifelong learning, you’ll establish yourself as a UX professional.

The key to breaking into UX is gaining the necessary knowledge and skills through self-study and real-world experience. While the field is competitive, with hard work and persistence you can land an entry-level UX role and start building your career. Keep learning, stay determined, and never stop creating!

Finding UX Job Opportunities

To land your first UX role, you’ll need to build a portfolio highlighting your skills and experience. Your portfolio should demonstrate your understanding of the user experience design process and ability to solve real-world problems. Here are some projects you can include:

Case studies

Case studies are a great way to show how you research, analyze, and solve complex UX problems. Find a website or mobile app you want to redesign and go through the entire UX design process. Document your research findings, personas, sitemaps, wireframes, and mockups. Discuss how your solutions address user needs and the client’s business goals.

Concept projects

Develop UX concepts for products that don’t exist yet. Come up with an idea for an innovative new website or app, research your target users, and design an end-to-end experience. Explain your reasoning behind key design decisions. Concept projects allow you to demonstrate strong UX thinking and vision.

Client work

If you’ve done UX design as an intern or freelancer, include that work in your portfolio. Discuss the challenges presented by the client, your research and design methodology, and the end results. Client work, even if limited, shows you have experience designing for real products and users.

Open source contributions

Contributing to open source design projects is a great way for new UXers to gain experience. Find an open source website or app and redesign components like the homepage, login flow, or search functionality. Explain your design decisions and how you think your solutions improve the user experience. Open source work highlights your ability to collaborate and make a meaningful impact.

A strong portfolio, combined with your educational background and any internships or entry-level experience, can position you well to land an associate UX designer role. From there, you’ll continue honing your craft and building your portfolio to reach the next stage of your UX career. With hard work and persistence, you'll get started in UX in no time!

Preparing for the UX Interview Process

The UX field is growing quickly, with many new job openings emerging each year. As a newcomer, the opportunities can seem endless, but also overwhelming. Where do you even start?

Build your professional profile

The first step is to establish yourself as a UX professional. Build a portfolio of your UX work, either from internships, school projects, or freelance gigs. Start a website to showcase your work and skills. You should also create profiles on LinkedIn, AngelList, and other industry sites to help you network and look for new jobs. Join local UX groups in your area to make personal connections in the field.

Research companies that hire UX designers

Make a list of companies that employ UX designers, especially those that interest you. Follow them on social media to learn about their culture, products, and design process. See if they have job openings posted on their website or on general job sites. Some top companies are always hiring UX talent.

Look for entry-level job openings

Search sites like Indeed, Monster and LinkedIn for “UX designer” and “junior UX designer” openings. Look for positions with titles like UX Design Intern, Associate UX Designer or UX Designer I. These are typically more entry-level roles that will get your foot in the door. Be willing to start with a lower-level job to gain experience. Many people switch jobs within the first few years of their career to advance quickly.

Network, network, network

While job sites are useful, many UX jobs are filled through networking before they are even advertised. Reach out to people currently in UX roles and ask them questions about their job and company. See if they know of any job openings. Join local UX meetups and hackathons in your area to make personal connections with others in the field. Networking is key, so get out there and start building relationships.

With time and persistence, you'll find the right opportunity to launch your UX career. Stay up-to-date with trends in the industry so you're ready to hit the ground running in your new role as a UX designer. The possibilities in this field are endless if you work to establish yourself as a valuable member of the UX community.

UX Salaries and Career Growth

To land that UX role, you need to make it through the interview process. This typically involves multiple rounds of interviews where you’ll meet with various team members. Be ready to discuss your experience, skills, design process, and passion for the work.

Do Your Research

Learn as much as you can about the company and role. Study their products, services, mission, and culture. Be ready to speak about what excites you and how you’d be a great fit. This shows your enthusiasm and that you value understanding user needs—both key traits of a UX designer.

Review Your Experience

Think about your relevant UX experience and how to articulate your key accomplishments. Be ready to discuss specific projects in detail, focusing on your process, insights, iterations, and results. Bring samples of your work in a portfolio to showcase your skills.

Anticipate Questions

Common questions include:

- What’s your UX process?

- How do you collaborate with teams?

- How do you handle feedback and make decisions?

- What UX trends are you excited about?

- What’s an example of a poor user experience? How would you improve it?

Practice answering these and come with examples from your own experience. Discuss how you think on your feet, communicate ideas, and stay up-to-date with trends. Your ability to thoughtfully discuss your work and field will demonstrate your UX mindset.

Ask Good Questions

Interviews go both ways. Come prepared with questions that show your enthusiasm and interest in the work. Ask about challenges they're facing, opportunities for growth, mentorship programs, and company culture. The interviewer will appreciate your curiosity and it will help ensure the role is the right fit for your needs as well.

With preparation and confidence in your experience, you'll do great in the UX interview process. Stay passionate, highlight your skills, and show how you can help them build amazing experiences for their users. You've got this! Now go get that job.

FAQs: Your Top UX Career Questions Answered

The job market for UX designers is growing rapidly. According to Glassdoor, the average UX designer in the US earns $97,000 per year. Actual salaries will depend on factors like:

- Your level of experience. Entry-level UX designers earn $75,000 to $95,000, mid-level designers make $100,000 to $140,000, and senior designers can make $130,000 or more.

- The company and location. UX salaries tend to be higher in major tech hubs like San Francisco, Seattle, and New York. Large tech companies typically pay more than startups.

- Your specific UX role. UX researchers, UX writers, and UX content strategists may earn a bit less, while UX architects and managers can earn more.

There is a lot of opportunity for career growth as a UX designer. You might start as a junior UX designer, then progress to a UX designer, senior UX designer, and eventually a UX director or VP of UX. Some UX designers also transition into managerial roles overseeing a UX team. Continuously honing your craft and developing leadership skills will help open up more advanced opportunities.

Many UX designers find that after a few years of experience, freelancing or consulting can be a way to earn an even higher salary. As a freelance UX designer, you can make $150 to $200 per hour or more for your services. Building a reputation and portfolio of successful projects will allow you to land well-paying freelance work.

The future is bright for UX designers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 22% job growth for UX designers over the next 10 years, much faster than average. UX design skills are increasingly in demand, especially with the rise of new technologies like voice interfaces, virtual/augmented reality, and artificial intelligence. By learning the latest UX methods and tools, you can make sure your skills stay up-to-date and help lead the way.

Overall, if you’re looking for a fast-growing, impactful career with opportunities for good pay and advancement, you can’t go wrong with UX design. The key is just getting started, building real experience, and continuously improving your craft. With some time and persistence, you’ll be well on your way to a successful UX career.