What it Means to be a Digital Designer Today
Being artistic isn’t what it used to be. Back then, if you could draw, paint, or sketch, then you could pursue a career out of the comfort of your own workspace or studio. Nowadays, having an eye for design offers more career opportunities to expand your palette—using the keyboard and mouse as your paintbrush.
As businesses place more attention to conversion rates and getting more out of their expensive websites, there’s more of a focus on UX/UI design. The demand for artists to not only design, but help build and management complicated web platforms, has soared.
For the strategic-minded and career-driven designer, UX/UI and web development represents an ideal path out of college. If you’re a designer seeking to test the waters in this space, here are a few tips to kick-start your career in digital design.
Value the User Experience
When it comes to building a website for a client, function is sometimes more important than form. From a young age, we are taught to color in between the lines. But what they don’t teach you in Arts & Crafts class is that optimizing the User Experience (UX) can help drive sales. What this means is that the way you design your website affects the thoughts and actions of the user.
Whether your shopping cart is placed at the top-bar or near the hero banner makes a world of a difference for conversion rates. In today’s age, websites are becoming increasingly easy to build and refine; thus the competitive landscape is always growing and changing. Companies are searching fro ways and will spend considerable amounts of money to increase conversion rates by even as little as .01%, which could mean thousands of dollars in profitability for a large company.
Learning to build a wireframe that is intuitive takes education, research, and practice. And unless you’re your own boss, being able to master UX design for your clients is what separates the winners from the rest of the pack.
Build a Diverse Portfolio
Whether you’re a fan of negative space or have an affinity for flashy typography, know that your portfolio represents more than just your specific design tastes. Recruiters want to see your range, plus capabilities. People that would be hiring you want to know that you can comfortably take on new situations, handle multiple formats and entertain the many design tastes of your colleagues and prospective clients.
Being stubborn about color schemes and design theory won’t get you far in the beginning. Learning to be flexible and adapt is an art form. But, if you prove to be open-minded and collaborative as you climb the ladder, one day you could be art directing your own creative vision. The takeaway: be humble, ask intelligent questions, and be open to new challenges.
Enroll in a Designer Bootcamp
As you develop your craft, considering allocating additional money on education may not be soemthing at the top of your list. Sure, grad school helps the resume, but nothing benefits your skill set quite like a design bootcamp.
By choosing to enroll in a UX/UI bootcamp, you instantly make yourself more competitive in the marketplace and you will learn new skills at an accelerated rate. Devoting just a few weeks of your time to a bootcamp that won’t leave you in debt will make you wonder why you didn’t sign up sooner.
The networking opportunities are great – you’ll rub shoulders with design peers just like you, gain insightful mentors and maximize your chances for finding a job in the full-stack (ux/ui/development) design field.