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Can You Learn UX Design on Your Own?

Jan 06, 2022

If you’re wondering if UX design can be learned through self-guided learning, you’ve come to the right place. The internet provides new possibilities for sharing knowledge. With enough patience, you can even learn UX design online on your own.

There are several ways to learn UX design. Besides learning on your own, you could pursue a degree in a related field or you could attend an online bootcamp. All options offer unique advantages and disadvantages. For example, a college or bootcamp can help you build your network and offer you deadlines and structured learning,but can be expensive and require a time commitment that may not work for everyone. If you have decided that self-directed learning is the most suitable option for you, read on!

To start, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the responsibilities of a UX designer. Let’s see what the job entails so that you’ll know what you’ll need to teach yourself.

What do UX Designers Do


  • Product Research and User Research


First, UX designers ask questions to learn about who they’re designing for and how their product fits into the market. 


  • Create User Personas


UX designers then analyze the data from their research and identify user groups. They will then create fictional characters based on this data. This helps the designers empathize with their potential users in order to design a more user-friendly product. 


  • Define Information Architecture


In this step, UX designers figure out the content and layout of the product.


  • Wireframe


With the general layout determined, the UX designers create a wireframe - a detailed blueprint of the product. 


  • Prototype


Once a wireframe is created, the UX designers will begin work on a functioning model of the product, called a prototype. 


  • User Test


Finally, once a prototype is created, it is evaluated through user testing. Users will interact with the prototype and allow the UX designers to see if there are any problems that need to be fixed.

UX Design Skills to Learn

Now that you know what the job involves, let’s explore how you can learn UX design on your own.

When starting out, it’s essential to understand design thinking and principles. Without a mentor, you will need strong knowledge of design concepts to guide your designs. It never hurts to explore UX literature to gain more insights into what makes for good UX design.

Being a technical field, UX design requires proficiency with the digital tools of the trade. This can be challenging since, as covered above, UX design requires working knowledge of a variety of tools for a wide variety of duties. You will need to learn how to use tools for research, wireframing, prototyping, and user testing.  

Next, it’s important to explore trends and engage with the UX/UI community. Without a school to provide a network, you will need to build one yourself. You can learn a lot from the feedback of others, and a solid network is invaluable when job searching! Follow UX influencers for insights into the industry, as they can help get you acclimated before you start applying anywhere.

Experience is prized above all else in UX design. As a self-directed learner, you won’t have the security of a degree or a bootcamp on your resume, so you’re going to need a killer portfolio. With no mentor to guide you, it’ll be important to learn from solid professional portfolios.  

It can be tricky to structure your learning and to keep yourself accountable to self-imposed deadlines and goals. If you find yourself struggling, it may be worthwhile to spend just a little money on an online course to give your self-guided learning organization and scope. You should also consider your other options: bootcamps and college degrees. Both have their own strengths and weaknesses, and maybe one of them will suit your needs better than learning on your own.  

Ready to Start Your UX Career?

Want to ask a pro if self-directed learning is right for you? Schedule a free mentoring session! We will help you navigate this vibrant industry! 

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