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The Ultimate Guide to Becoming A Designer Without Going To Design School

UX Design

Careers

The Ultimate Guide to Becoming A Designer Without Going To Design School

Chances are you landed on this post because: 1) you hate your job, 2) you need a change, and 3) you’re thinking about making design your new career. If so, congratulations – you’ve already taken the first, and perhaps the hardest, step. You’ve set your heart on a career in design, and you've committed to a new, more rewarding professional path. If, however, you’ve only recently started considering a career change into design, it’s worth taking a bit of time to get familiar with the design profession, to explore the different career paths that are open to you, and to think about whether you might eventually want to specialize in any particular field.... Read more

Am I Too Old To Switch Careers?

UX Design

Careers

Creativity

Am I Too Old To Switch Careers?

Does this story feel familiar? You once had your heart set on getting that perfectly-chosen degree, pursued what you thought was the perfect major for yourself, and then landed what seemed like the perfect job, only to discover — either immediately or after several years — that your career didn’t bring you the joy or sense of fulfillment you thought it would. At times (okay, maybe often) you actually dread going to work, you feel stuck, and find yourself fantasizing about doing something else. Well, you're not alone.... Read more

15 More Quotes To Inspire UX Designers

UX Design

Creativity

UX Academy

15 More Quotes To Inspire UX Designers

We've put together 15 more quotes from design greats like Paul Rand, Lindon Leader, and Paula Scher to inspire you in your work.... Read more

Meet Kiruthika: From Graphic Designer in India to UI Designer at Tadaweb

UX Design

UX Academy

UXA Success Stories

Meet Kiruthika: From Graphic Designer in India to UI Designer at Tadaweb

Before joining UX Academy's Hadid cohort, Kiruthika was working as a Graphic Designer at a multidisciplinary studio in India, handling Branding, Print and Web design projects. This was when she discovered an interest in the web and digital design. So, after a year and a half of mainstream Graphic Design work, Kiruthika decided to transition to UX/UI Design with UX Academy. We caught up with her to talk about her time on the course, and find out how things are going in her new position!... Read more

What does the iPhone X’s AR engine mean for UX Designers?

UX Design

What does the iPhone X’s AR engine mean for UX Designers?

Apple today announced the latest iteration of the iPhone – the iPhone X. Alongside the usual incremental improvements that most of us are now largely indifferent to, the arrival of iOS 11 does deliver something more significant: a mainstream, mass-market mobile product that for the first time has an Augmented Reality (AR) engine baked right into the OS. Read on for an explanation of what AR is, and a look at its current and potential future applications. We also explore what AR could mean for UX designers, and, finally, our take on the $162bn question: are people going to use it? ... Read more

How Glenn Pivoted From Software Engineer to UX Designer at Hewlett Packard Enterprise

UX Design

Careers

UX Academy

UXA Success Stories

How Glenn Pivoted From Software Engineer to UX Designer at Hewlett Packard Enterprise

This month, we're talking to Glenn Ryan, a graduate of UX Academy's Hadid cohort. After completing the course, he successfully moved from a software engineering role at Hewlett Packard Enterprise to a UX Design position within the same company. Read on to find out how!... Read more

12 Amazing Books To Get You Started In Design

UX Design

Careers

Creativity

12 Amazing Books To Get You Started In Design

There are thousands of great books out there covering every imaginable corner of design. So, as a beginner, where should you start? Read on for our list of 12 essential books to kick off your learning. They include introductions to visual composition, color, typography and user experience – as well as helpful guides to working in the industry.... Read more

How Molly Went From UX Academy To Founder Of Quanti Design

UX Design

UX Academy

UXA Success Stories

How Molly Went From UX Academy To Founder Of Quanti Design

After graduating from the University of Vermont with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications, Molly Hellmuth began searching for a career path that would combine her problem solving and community development skills with her interest in art. She became drawn to UX, and chose to hone her skills with Designlab. ... Read more

Are Notifications A Dark Pattern?

UX Design

UI Design

Are Notifications A Dark Pattern?

Have you ever had a nightmare where you were literally drowning in little red notification badges? I did once, and it got me thinking: what actually are notifications? And are they just another dark pattern – a form of coercion and online trickery? In this article, I explore the phenomenon of “pseudo-notifications”, and conclude with some thoughts on what the future might hold for notifications as a design pattern.... Read more

Great Design Thinkers: Frank Chimero on The Shape Of Design

UX Design

Creativity

Great Design Thinkers: Frank Chimero on The Shape Of Design

This is the second in our series on contemporary design thinkers. In the first article, we explored how Tim Brown, CEO and President of IDEO, developed the idea of “design thinking”. This time, we’re taking a look at the ideas of Frank Chimero, who describes himself as a multi-disciplinary designer, accidental writer, and lapsed illustrator. He’s best known for his beautiful and insightful book The Shape of Design, which has recently been reissued in paperback and is also available to read online for free. In this article, we’ll explore 4 key lessons from Chimero’s work.... Read more

What On Earth Is A Brutalist Website? 5 Things Today’s Designers Can Learn From Brutalism

UX Design

Creativity

What On Earth Is A Brutalist Website? 5 Things Today’s Designers Can Learn From Brutalism

Last year, the Washington Post reported that “the hottest trend in Web design is making intentionally ugly, difficult sites”, an approach which they called “web brutalism”. Since 2014, the site Brutalist Websites has been collecting examples. But is this what Brutalism, a twentieth-century architectural movement, was really about? In this article, we’re going to take a look at the history of Brutalism, examine the principles behind the movement’s architectural designs, and see how those compare. To round up, we’ll set out 5 key lessons that Brutalism could offer to today’s designers.... Read more

Great Design Thinkers: Tim Brown on Design Thinking

UX Design

Creativity

Great Design Thinkers: Tim Brown on Design Thinking

This is the first in a new series of articles on contemporary design thinkers. We begin with Tim Brown, who is CEO and President of IDEO, a global design and innovation firm founded in 1991. He is best known for his work advancing user-centred design – and in particular for developing the idea of “design thinking”.... Read more

7 Must-See TED Talks For Designers

UX Design

Creativity

7 Must-See TED Talks For Designers

It’s over 10 years since TED Talks first appeared online, bringing expert research, wisdom, and inspiration in just about every discipline. We’ve gone through the archives, and picked out 7 of the best and most relevant talks for designers. Do you have another favorite TED Talk? Let us know in the comments!... Read more

Introducing the new UX Academy

UX Design

Product Updates

UX Academy

Introducing the new UX Academy

Revamped curriculum, Career Services, Group Crits: today, we’re pushing the button on a *huge* update of UX Academy. UX Academy first launched in late 2015 as an experiment — to see if the Designlab online platform, which we’d pioneered for short courses like Design 101, could be extended to train full-time designers. Just 18 months later, the experiment has been a resounding success — with huge value delivered to students, and 95% of graduates landing a UX design job within six months of completing the course.... Read more

10 Ways To Excel In A UX Bootcamp – Even With A Full-Time Job

UX Design

Careers

UX Academy

10 Ways To Excel In A UX Bootcamp – Even With A Full-Time Job

In his Commencement Address to Stanford University in 2005, Steve Jobs told students: “The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.” If you're dissatisfied with your current path and are passionate about design, programs like UX Academy offer a portal to a new career. But retraining can be tough going, as you learn and apply new skills, complete demanding coursework, and often hold down the day job as well. To help, we've put together 10 tips to help you excel as you study, including advice on how to manage a packed schedule, eat right, and dispute self-doubt.... Read more

5 Ways To Create A Winning UX Academy Application

UX Design

Designlab

UX Academy

5 Ways To Create A Winning UX Academy Application

UX Academy is an intensive, rigorous program – requiring at least 40 hours of coursework each week on the full time track, and 20 hours part time. We want students to succeed, not struggle – and that’s why we enforce strict admission criteria for the program. We’ve received over 500 applications to UX Academy in the past year, and in this article we’re sharing with you the 5 qualities that set apart successful applications. ... Read more

Meet Stanford: From Marketer to UX/UI Designer at RainFocus

UX Design

Careers

UX Academy

UXA Success Stories

Stanford Kekauoha was a member of UX Academy’s fourth intake, the Disney cohort. He talked to us about how he came to switch from his Masters in Education Technology, enroll in UXA — and land an awesome new job at UX/UI designer at RainFocus... Read more

Where will UX design be in 5 years? 5 Predictions

UX Design

Careers

O'Reilly's recently published 2017 Design Salary Survey showed not only that designers working in UX command the highest median salary ($89,000), but also that those adopting new tools like Sketch, and agile, iterative ways of working, attract the highest pay. In this article, we explore the future direction of UX design within the wider industry, and explain why we believe the trend towards hiring UX expertise will continue in the years ahead.... Read more

Meet Lisa: From English Teacher to UX/UI Developer at Dell

UX Design

Careers

UX Academy

UXA Success Stories

This month, we’re talking to Lisa Lehrman, a member of Designlab’s Eames Cohort of UX Academy. Before starting out on the course, she’d been working as an English teacher in Spain, and had recently returned to the Bay Area ready to take a chance and move her career in a new direction. We talked to Lisa about what happened next!... Read more

Sketch Tips To Maximize Your Productivity - Part 4: Symbols

UX Design

Tools

Visual Design

Creativity

Sketch

Have you ever decided to make a change in a design project, and found yourself working your way through a screen full of artboards updating Every. Single. Button? Chances are you could have saved yourself a lot of time and frustration – and got a better result – by using the Symbol function in Sketch. In Part 4 of our series of Sketch tips, we’ll give you the lowdown on how to get the most out of symbols.... Read more

Meet Rachee: From Web Designer To Product Designer at Eved

UX Design

UX Academy

UXA Success Stories

This month, we’re talking to UX Academy graduate Rachee Jacobs, who studied with the second cohort of UXA students in 2016. Before UXA, Rachee was a digital designer, tackling everything from logos and brochures to websites, landing pages and even conference booths. We talked to her about her passion for design, her experience of the UXA program, and how she landed a new job as Product Designer at Eved in Chicago.... Read more

User Personas: What Are They And Why Use Them?

UX Design

Creativity

When I started learning design, I had never heard of a “user persona”, and certainly had no idea how to research them or use them effectively in my projects. In this article, I’m going to summarise what I’ve learned since then about what a user persona is and why they’re important not only to experience, interface, and interaction design – but even to visual and branding design. ... Read more

9 Ways Projects Will Make You Love Learning Design

UX Design

Careers

Designlab

When I decided to get serious about learning design a couple of years ago, one problem I definitely didn’t have was a lack of information. However, my experience of learning design changed when I started working on projects — small-scale design briefs that allowed me to learn new skills incrementally by challenging me to solve specific problems.... Read more

The Ultimate Guide to Getting Started In Sketch (With Free 99-Point Cheat Sheet)

UX Design

Tools

Visual Design

Creativity

Sketch

Whether you’re a total novice, a designer in training, or a seasoned pro switching from another product, this article is for you. First, we’ll introduce Sketch — what it is, why it’s popular, and how to claim a free trial and install it on your Mac. Second, we’ll explore Sketch’s user interface, explain the basics, and walk you through some tips and tutorials. Third, we’ll take a look at some of the app’s more advanced features (Bézier curves and blending modes are especially fun). And finally, we’ll point you to a heap of quality Sketch resources, and link you to our free 99-point Sketch Cheat Sheet to download and refer to as you learn. Sound good?... Read more

12 Days of UXmas: Day 12 - Iterate, and take stock

UX Design

Creativity

On the twelfth day of UXmas, Designlab sent to me... congratulations on completing all the challenges!... Read more

12 Days of UXmas: Day 11 - User Testing

UX Design

Creativity

On the eleventh day of UXmas, Designlab sent to me... user testing tips... Read more

12 Days of UXmas: Day 10 - Prototyping

UX Design

Creativity

On the tenth day of UXmas, Designlab sent to me... some prototyping funtimes... Read more

12 Days of UXmas: Day 9 - Sketching

UX Design

Creativity

On the ninth day of UXmas, Designlab sent to me... a sprinkling of inspiration... Read more

12 Days of UXmas: Day 8 - Sitemap & User Flow

UX Design

Creativity

On the eighth day of UXmas, Designlab sent to me... a shorthand way to design user flows... Read more

12 Days of UXmas: Day 7 - Brainstorming

UX Design

Creativity

On the seventh day of UXmas, Designlab sent to me... new year greetings... Read more

12 Days of UXmas: Day 6 - Point of View Statements

UX Design

Creativity

On the sixth day of UXmas, Designlab sent to me… some how-might-we questions... Read more

12 Days of UXmas: Day 5 - Map Out Scenarios

UX Design

Creativity

On the fifth day of UXmas, Designlab sent to me... five gold user scenarios... Read more

12 Days of UXmas: Day 4 - Outline Some User Personas

UX Design

Creativity

On the fourth day of UXmas, Designlab sent to me... instructions on how to make user personas... Read more

12 Days of UXmas: Day 3 - Create an Affinity Diagram

UX Design

Creativity

On the third day of UXmas, Designlab sent to me... something about post-it notes... Read more

12 Days of UXmas: Day 2 - Make a Research Plan

UX Design

Creativity

On the second day of UXmas, Designlab sent to me... a user research challenge... Read more

12 Days of UXmas: Day 1 - Choose a Project

UX Design

Creativity

On the first day of UXmas, Designlab sent to me... the first challenge... Read more

Are You Ready For 12 Days Of UXmas?

UX Design

Creativity

For 12 days starting on December 26th, we’re going to take you through the user experience (UX) design process from beginning to end. Each day, you’ll have a choice between a 5-minute and a 30-minute challenge.... Read more

3 Obsolete 1990s UX Design Classics That We Love

UX Design

Tools

In this article, we’re going to take a look at three iconic pieces of consumer gadgetry from the 1990s, and analyse what it was about their user experience design that made them so popular. We’ll examine the Psion Series 3 line of palmtop computers, the much-loved Nokia 5110 cellphone, and the PalmPilot personal digital assistant (PDA), the last of which helped to push the mobile device sector towards embracing touch screens and gesture input. Picking up where we left off in our Getting Started in UX Design article, we’ll analyse how each device matches up to the UX honeycomb, and conclude by asking what today’s UX designers can learn from these products, how they succeeded, and why they declined.... Read more

Sketch Tips To Maximize Your Productivity - Part 1: Getting Started In Sketch

UX Design

Tools

Visual Design

Creativity

Sketch

Welcome to Part 1 of our new series of tips to help you use Sketch more productively. In this installment, we’re going to look at some shortcuts to working with objects, layers, and artboards quickly and efficiently. ... Read more

7 Reasons Why You Should Get Into UX Design

UX Design

Careers

What is user experience (UX) design? And why is it so big right now? As well as answering these questions, this article will explore how UX design can enhance people’s lives, how the industry will change and grow in the coming years, and how you can get trained up as a UX designer without going to design school. Oh, and did I mention that the average salary of a UX designer is approaching $90,000?... Read more

Halloween special: the tricks and treats of UX design

UX Design

Visual Design

Creativity

In the midst of the strange celebration that is Halloween, it seems fitting that we take some time to consider the ways that designers are also engaged in the business of disguise and deception, of tricks and treats. In this article, we’ll first ask how designers are called upon to trick their audience – whether by designing seductive packaging, choosing attractive typefaces, or crafting addictive apps. Then we’ll examine some examples from history, where the manipulative capacity of design has been used to glorify war, sanitize scandal, and draw people in with promises of meaning and belonging. Finally, we’ll look at 10 of the most common tricks and treats in user experience (UX) design today.... Read more

Meet Sammy: From Biosciences Into UX Design

UX Design

Careers

UX Academy

UXA Success Stories

This month we’re talking to Sammy de Joya, another UX Academy success story who successfully made the switch from a career in biosciences, landing a UX design job a couple of weeks before she finished her studies at Designlab.... Read more

Getting Started in UX Design

UX Design

Tools

Ask anyone who’s recently browsed design job listings, and they’ll tell you that the demand for UX designers is high. More importantly, the demands made of those designers are constantly shifting in light of new and improved technologies, and in response to changing user needs. In this article we’re going to explore what UX design is, and how it’s different from user interface (UI) and visual design. To help those deciding whether to embark on the journey of becoming a UX designer, we’ll demystify core UX terminology, introduce some key tools, and point to further reading and resources so you can continue your learning.... Read more

From Management to UX Designer at Backbase: Meet Celeste North

UX Design

Careers

UX Academy

UXA Success Stories

Welcome to the latest in our series of interviews with Designlab students. This time, we meet Celeste North, a UX Academy graduate who made the transition from a job as Country Manager for MUBI to become a UX Designer with Backbase, based in Amsterdam.... Read more

Meet Wendy: From Customer Service to Product Designer at Microsoft

UX Design

Careers

UX Academy

UXA Success Stories

Wendy Pei's journey into UX started out in customer service, and then freelance graphic and UI design. After joining and graduating from the first cohort of UX Academy, she landed a position as Product Designer at Microsoft. Read this interview to learn more about Wendy, her path to becoming a Product Designer, and her mission to design a safer, happier, healthier and more informed world.... Read more

Meet Marko, the self-taught freelancer

UX Design

Careers

Designlab

When Marko Vuletič was a teenager in Slovenia, he made a promise to himself – he would never be average. This decision made over a decade ago has shaped and transformed how Marko has approached his career, from dropping out of college to deciding to specialize as a designer. ... Read more

The Art of Critique

UX Design

Visual Design

Careers

Critique is a foundational part of art and design education. Critique is the process of evaluating others work and ideas. The process is simple, but there is definitely an art to giving and receiving a meaningful critique. ... Read more

The History of 5 Well Known Icons

UX Design

Visual Design

Creativity

What is an icon? Icons are visual representations of objects, concepts or ideas. When used correctly, they can educate, communicate and increase usability. The most successful icons are those that are universally recognized around the globe. But here is the thing?—?the most widely recognized icons and symbols are rarely looked at for more than 2 seconds before understanding what the intention is. Meaning, people don’t give much attention or thought to them because they naturally blend in. In my opinion, a symbol that has become so embedded in mankind's everyday life deserves some attention! So let’s look at how these icons were born. ... Read more

What is Service Design?

UX Design

Most design disciplines draw from other areas and fields. Technology, cognitive science and aesthetics all contribute to design as we know it today. Service design, a more recent application of design expertise, is no different. Service design draws on many concepts, ranging from user experience, marketing and project management in order to optimize new services. ... Read more

The Power of the Grid

UX Design

Visual Design

Both budding and expert designers know how important a layout is to design. It’s the most basic and fundamental element of every project. Grids help ensure a consistent framework to organize graphic elements, like type and images, into a hierarchy. If you want to use a grid, or break it altogether, you have to first understand the basics of a grid system. ... Read more

Designlab Course Review: Engineer Alicia Jackson Gets Creative

UX Design

Designlab

As an engineer, Alicia Jackson’s day-to-day design experience was mostly technical drawings and blueprints over typography and color palettes. But, she says, “I’ve always had a love of designing more creatively.” For the past 10 years she worked on her graphic design skills and developed her talent into creating invitations, flyers, and web designs. So why would Alicia choose to take a design course after her success with self-study? She says, “Although I heard many good things about my work and have done some independent study, it was not until taking Design 101 that I really got a chance to work with someone that is a professional in the industry.” Read on to hear more about Alicia’s experience as a Design 101 student and first-time online learner.... Read more

UX or UI - Which Career is Best for You?

UX Design

Visual Design

Careers

Both UX and UI designers work on creating beautiful interfaces, but their involvement and skill sets are required at different times during the design and development process. So how do you know which career is the best fit for you? Learn more about what UX and UI designers do on a daily basis to figure out where you’ll excel.... Read more

Pattern Libraries: What They Are and Why You Need One

UX Design

Not every design project should start from scratch. It's true – there's a time and place for creativity, and there's also a time and place to use fail-proof and time-tested solutions. Some of the best UX and interaction designers rely on pattern libraries to bring previously tested and usable solutions to their digital projects. Here's what you need to know about pattern libraries and how to make them work for you.... Read more

Interaction Design: What Is it, and Why Does It Matter?

UX Design

Last week, we wrote about the basic set of skills a junior UI/UX designer needs for their first role. Now, we’ll delve a bit further into a core part of that skillset: Interaction Design (also referred to as IXD). This blog post isn’t intended to be a thorough dive into the topic; rather, it’s an introduction to what IXD is... Read more

UI/UX Designer... what does that even mean?

UX Design

Careers

We’ve noticed something funny at Designlab over the past few months. The web/mobile design industry, for a variety of reasons, is particularly tricky to break into if you don’t already have a deep background in the field. No one seems to agree on the terminology of what UI and UX design even are... Read more

Why User Research Matters

UX Design

Let’s tell the story of a typical tech product. It starts with a great idea — maybe a personal pain point you’ve faced, or a hunch about where the market is headed. You spec out an amazing app. You get a team of engineers to build it, and find a designer to make the product look and feel awesome. You’ve nailed it! Only thing is… you launch, and no one cares.... Read more

Startup Essentials: You Should Be User Testing

UX Design

Startups

You might have heard about how usability testing is all the rage these days. But, you’re a 2-person startup working out of a garage (or, more likely: a coffee shop in the Mission). Resources are tight, time is of the essence, and you wouldn’t even know where to find a UX Researcher if you wanted.... Read more

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