Today we are answering the most frequent question we get on UXShots: How to learn UX?
Yes, there are plenty of materials available online and courses you can take to learn UX. The best option that we recommend while doing courses online is always to choose a course where you will get a mentor.
Here are some tips from UXShots which will help you in your UX learning:
- Have a genuine passion for UX
Just because everyone is learning UX, let me also give it a try. No, that doesn’t work. Learning a big domain like UX requires lots of reading, observing and experimenting. It’s a tedious task if you don’t have a real interest.
Find a like-minded friend or friends to join your UX learning journey. This will help you do a lot of UX activities together. It is always better to work as a team (let’s call them your UX Buddies) than in silos.
- Learn the process
There are tons of articles available on UX processes. We may not be able to do all the steps in our projects. But, a deep understanding of the process helps us to develop a broader perspective on core UX concepts. For eg, if you read somewhere that ‘empathizing with users’ is a part of UX process, ask yourself
- What is Empathy?
- Why is it used as a step in UX process?
- How is it done?
- What are the deliverables in this step?
- Are there any templates used?
- Are there any case studies?
Now that you have these questions in mind, make a sincere attempt to find the answers. Discuss it regularly with your UX buddies and learn together.
- Read UX related articles every day
This is something which UXShots members do every single day without fail. Initially it may be difficult, we may get lazy. But try making it a habit. Keep track of the articles you have read, bookmarked, or documented in case you want to refer to it in future.
There will be many debatable topics which you come across. For eg: Two articles may be in favour of the Hamburger menu while three may talk against it. Try to understand the pros and cons of the concept and try relating it to different contexts. Always have this in mind, there is no written formula for UX, it varies according to context. Once you know the concepts, you can try your own formula, keeping in mind two things: users and business.
An open debate/discussion on the articles read with your UX buddies will help you understand different perspectives as well.
- Do a sample project
Once you have familiarized yourself with UX concepts and processes, try doing a sample project where you can implement what you have learnt. There is no right or wrong answers here. For eg: imagine you have a business idea and you want to try user research here. You have already learnt about the different types of user research methods. Make a plan and get into the field. Be willing to experiment and learn along the way. This is a sample project which you are doing with the sole purpose of learning. If you have a mentor in this too, awesome!
Last but not the least familiarise yourself with a lot of websites and apps and analyse their navigation models, dark patterns used, information architecture, task flow, etc. and discuss your observations. Always try and observe how people navigate through sites and apps.
Are you someone who wants to learn more on UX and find this article useful? Shoot a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will be glad to help you.