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How to Become a UI/UX Designer: A Complete Roadmap

Last Updated : 25 Aug, 2023
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Never been to a design school, but want to become a UI/UX designer? Worry not! It’s not that hard.

Many successful and amazing UI/UX designers are self-taught which means they also never went to a design school and don’t have a design degree. It is pretty common in the design field as it only requires one to have skills and passion to solve complex problems through designing digital experiences. On the other hand, some designers opt to enroll in a UI/UX design course or boot camp program and even have a design degree. Both ways lead to a successful design job. 

Become a UI UX Designer


There are many ways to learn UI/UX design, and there isn’t a right or wrong way to do so. It all boils down to understanding effective design principles and honing them through practice.

Here in this article, we’ll look at a complete roadmap for finding a job as a UI/UX designer.

What is UI Design?

There is a lot of buzz about UI and UX nowadays, Everyone is talking about these two terms so often, but generally, most of them are unaware of the terms and their implementation. UI stands for “User interface” and UI design is the designing of user interfaces. 

The basic idea is to make the screens look aesthetically pleasing and catchy to grab user attention. Its application lies within the product only, the idea of a design screen with hooks that catch user attention. UI Design is the combination of good typography, colors, and graphics. Screens act as visual touch points through which users interact and navigate to a goal or destination.

Must Read –  How to Become a UI Designer?

What is UX Design?

UX stands for “User Experience” and UX design is the process of designing a user experience for a product. The basic idea is to make the screen flow easily, simply, matching the user’s mental model. UX works based on the “Human First Design” approach, where the user’s point of view, behavior, and ideas are kept front and center to design an experience that matches their expectations. UX makes things very obvious for users, making things obvious would help in quick navigation and meeting their goals. 

UI vs UX - Difference Between

UI vs UX Design

A UI/UX designer comprehends people, articulates their issues, and designs creative solutions that can be prototyped and tested. UI/UX designers employ design thinking and incorporate design principles and frameworks to develop the most optimal solution for a problem. Though UI and UX are 2 separate fields that lead with different OKRs. 

A UX designer is someone who understands the problem, carries out research, ideate and brainstorm design solutions then create wireframes that are further refined to get pixel-perfect screens. They also facilitate usability testing to verify that the conceptual model is aligned with the mental model.

A UI designer is someone who is responsible for making pixel-perfect designs, by adding the best graphics and screen elements. Picking the right color and making the boxy wireframes the actual screens is something they do.

Both UX and UI are related and dependent on each other, we can understand them as the human body where UX is the brain(deciding overall experience) and UI is the skin(giving the best look and aesthetic to experience).

Before making the final decision of which job you want to do, ask yourself a question that would help you come up with a clear picture of what is right for you. Please generally follow the trend and forget to ask what they want, it is very important to start with. Ask yourself what is right for you based on what you are good at, such as:

How to Pick the Right Design Career?

  • Do colors, fonts, and illustrations basically the visual part of design fascinates you? If “YES”, then you should become a Visual Designer – UI Designer or Communication designer
  • Do you like to know how concepts work, how research is carried out, and how ideas are drawn, if this is something that drives your attention then you should become a User Experience Designer. 
  • If you like a mix of both where you can solve a problem and make screens look pleasing along with usability then you should become a Product Designer.
  • If you like to design white papers, posters, and stickers, you should become a Graphics Designer.

We hope these questions and answers to each track would help you know what would be the right fit for you. 

Different Roles of UI/UX Designers

Now let’s also look at some relevant job positions that a beginner can explore and try applying for because UX designers work in so many different industries sharing here a handful of the most typical job titles for UX designers once might come across when looking for work as an intern or full time:

  • UX Designer or Experience Designer
  • User Researcher or UX Researcher
  • Usability Tester or Usability Analyst
  • Information Architect
  • Interaction Designer
  • Communication Designer
  • Product Designer
  • Graphic Designer
  • Visual Designer
  • UX Engineer or UX Developer (Need some coding background as well as skills in HTML, CSS, and Javascript)

Salary of UI/UX Designers 

Beginners also have doubts related to salaries and the scope of the job, to clarify based on the research and data on Google, The average UI Designer pay in the US is $85,270, according to Glassdoor. Senior UI Designer salaries often reach $106,700. 

Also to talk about India UX Designer’s salary in India ranges from ₹ 2.1 Lakhs to ₹ 15.0 Lakhs, with an average annual salary of ₹ 5.5 Lakhs. For freshers with 0-1 year of experience, the salary can range to ₹3 Lakhs per year.

More than 4,500 UI Designer jobs are currently available in the market, making UI design one of the most trending technology fields with the fastest growth. The demand is expected to grow by 15-20% over the next 10 years.

With all this data it would be right to say that choosing UI/UX design as a full-time career has a lot of scope and demand, but at the same time, the career requires a lot of soft and technical skills which one should always keep on exploring & learning new things.

Is UI/UX a Good Career Option?

To anyone who wants to be interested in designing experiences or interfaces, and has a keen eye for details then Yes, UI/UX design has the potential to be a very rewarding career with lots of prospects and high compensation. UI/UX designers can be largely independent and creative, this is the nature of their work. You will work closely with product managers, engineers, copywriters, graphic and motion graphics artists, and many others. 

These two fields have a lot of potential to sustain a rewarding job, due to the richness of collaboration with cross-functional teams. since design acts as a bridge between aesthetics and usefulness. In reality, working as a UI/UX Designer has several advantages, including an attractive salary, a lot of freelancing opportunities, and creativity.

Must Know: UI & UX Developer – Education, Skills, Salary, and Career

Skills Required to Become a UI/UX Designer

To become a UI/UX designer there are a lot of skills that one requires. Few skills are essential for both UI and UX designers, whereas some are very specific to either. Let’s look into each field and learn what skills they require.

  • UX Research: UX designers must be able to gather both quantitative and qualitative information about users through in-depth investigation and analysis. 
  • Wire-framing & Prototyping: To give shape to the ideas and to represent the actual design, wire-framing and prototyping are crucial skills that one should attain as a UX designer.
  • Creative thinking: This is a must to have skill for a UX designer, to think broadly over complex problems and ideate creative solutions.
  • Typography & Colour: For a UI designer to do justice to the field, it is very important to have sound knowledge of typography and color to design beautiful and aesthetic screens.
  • Communication: To express and explain how and why a certain design decision is made, having good communication skills for a UI/UX designer is very important. Not just verbal but non-verbal skills as well.
  • Product Thinking and Analytics: A UI/UX designer must continually track and test usability data to make the product experience better. They must test any new websites or apps that are developed. They can evaluate the design if they get the meaning of all the analytics.

For more details, refer to: UI Design Process: Everything You Need to Know

What Does a UX Designer Do?

A UX designer is more inclined towards the overall theory, research, and experience of the designs which a UI designer would create. Some major responsibilities of a UX designer are which they perform while collaborating with PMs and Engineers throughout the process from start with PRD to getting the Design sign-off:

  • Problem understanding & Ideating
  • Strategizing the problem
  • Conduction user research, data collection, and creating a report of all the findings
  • Analysis of the data collected
  • Draft task flows, user flow, and IA
  • Wire-framing and Prototyping
  • Usability Testing
  • Handover of final designs and assets 

Steps to Become a UI/UX Designer

In this article we’ll be covering some steps, which can be useful to start your journey as a UI/UX Designer:

1. Make a List of Your Strengths & Weaknesses

To begin with, starting a new career, it is good to make a list of all your strengths and weaknesses which you feel can be used and need to brush up on going ahead in this career. To be a good designer one should be very well aware of what they can bring to the table and what things they should keep brushing up on. Nobody knows everything but knowing what is best you can give and working on those skills during the initial years is crucial.

2. Start Learning the Fundamentals

Design is a very creative field that majorly focuses on how to align the human mind with the concept of products so that they can accomplish a goal or perform a certain task. Start with watching tutorials, listening to podcasts, and talking to people who are in the field for quite some time. This would help get field exposure and help you create your own roadmap for getting things done.

3. Start to Unlearn

Unlearning is very important to actually absorb design. Design is ART, but not science which means there are NO right answers, it all depends on the context and problem statement you are designing solutions for. 

4. Read and Consume Information

Through books, articles, and videos try to consume data as much as possible. This would give a defined understanding of how other people have grown in the field and how you as a beginner can leverage those pointers in your career. Many people post on Twitter, medium, and youtube about their journey. Most of these people are self-taught, meaning they have defined their own roadmaps and flows to learn and understand things. This would help you know what similar actions you can incorporate in your journey as a UI/UX designer.

5. Know Different Platforms & Design Systems

By platform, it means IOS, Windows, and Android. Open-source design systems are available online such as Material Design by Google, Human Interface Guidelines by Apple, Fluent designs system by Microsoft, etc. These design systems help us understand the platform layout and design elements. Design systems are very useful as they have different components, style guides, and design patterns, which all create the design ecosystem. 

6. Get Familiar With Gestalt Principles

For a good UI/UX designer it is very important to know about “The Gestalt Theory of Visual Perceptions.” This theory includes gestalt principles such as Proximity, Similarity, Common area, Connectedness, and Closure. All these help create better “Visual Attention” for the users. 

7. Develop an eye for details

To be a good designer, it is equally important to have an eagle-sharp eye for details. Gradually with time, this habit would help in correcting the alignment.

8. Technical skills

The skills like wire-framing, prototyping, good knowledge of colors, fonts, and design tools like sketch or Figma are a must for a UI designer to have. Have these skills, work on projects and you’re good to start UI/UX designing career.

9. Practice & Practice

Just by learning, reading, and watching tutorials you won’t become a UI designer. One needs to actually implement the learnings and brush up on the skills. There are many UI challenges that are available online that one can enroll in and start designing. Apart from UI challenges, one can also take up any poorly designed app/website and try to redesign it. This habit of regular designing will gradually enhance creativity and thinking which would eventually help in becoming a better designer.

10. Participate in Design Hackathons

Many companies post problem states and conduct design hackathons, where people from different companies, colleges, and aspiring designers participate. A few of these challenges also give internship and full-time job opportunities. For a fresher designer, such good opportunities are very important to grab. 

11. Build a Network

As you move ahead with your learnings, start building an online presence, and connect with people who are in the field for quite a long time. Spent time knowing about their work experience and design journey so far. This would help build a rapport within the community and get a referral for a job. One can also ask for help and guidance from their connections and showcase to them some of the projects and get expert feedback on what can be improved and what is good.

12. Create a Portfolio

A design portfolio is a collection of one’s best work that demonstrates their distinct individuality, thought process, abilities, iterations, approaches, and diversity. Every designer needs a portfolio to showcase to find work and clients. A portfolio includes your adaptability, case studies, and any detailed work related to the job or profile. It is not necessary to have a domain named portfolio, it can be as simple as a notion page or Behance profile. The best and most free websites are Behance and Dribbble where one can post and showcase their finest work. Indeed, a portfolio is a powerful tool for any aspiring UI Designer.

13. Incorporate Feedback

UI design is all about effective and usable pixel-perfect designs. Feedbacks are crucial as they make it easier for users to fulfill their objectives. Incorporating user or expert feedback and keeping the designs updated over time increases the chances of having fewer errors and more user satisfaction while using the products.

14. Try to Volunteer & Freelance

After covid people are now addicted to working from home and are very aware of online opportunities. Many non-profit companies, agencies, and NGOs hire freelancers with both unpaid and paid opportunities. Doing freelancing helps one build a strong portfolio. Nowadays freelancing has become the most tempting job style where one is their own boss.

Common Mistakes UI/UX Designer Do

So we talked about steps to take to become a UI Designer, but also keeping in mind the “Mistakes” one should avoid is also important. Beginners in the field tend to make some mistakes that should be kept in mind to avoid, as to create better designs and expedite learning.

  • Mixing the value of Usability and aesthetics: It has been observed that beginners in the design field tend to run for “Only Aesthetics” without any proper concept and goals around usability. This should be avoided. Usability is always more important than Aesthetics. Usable interfaces can be simple yet aesthetic but not every aesthetic interface is usable!
  • Ignoring user feedback: While designing, users should be always kept at the front and center throughout the process.
  • Hopping on all design trends: It is not necessary that one needs to incorporate all trending design styles in the interface. Go by the context of the problem statement.

Tools for UX Designers

Let’s also look into some popular tools which are there in the market to start designing with:

  1. Figma
  2. Justinmind
  3. Balsamiq
  4. InVision
  5. Mockplus


So that’s all for this article! To all the people out there who are looking to make a big move by starting their career in design, keep in mind that usable UI design is the core value of a product. Follow a step by step procedure and get into UI/UX designing. Do follow these steps, learn from each mistake, and keep PRACTICING! 

FAQs: UI/UX Designers

1. How to be a UI UX designer in 2023?

To become a UI/UX designer, make yourself prepared with all the skills required, having a technical degree will add a plus point, gain some experience by working in some projects, and you can see new job oppurtunities waiting for you.

2. Is UI UX design a good career in 2023?

Yes, it UI/UX designing interests you, its definitely for you. It is a good career option, and according to reports, more than 20% of the jobs are likely to become remote and thus UI/UX gives you an oppurtunity to start the remote work.

3. What qualifications do you need to be a UI UX designer?

To become a UI/UX designer, you need to learn the skills required to become one, and have at least a bachelor’s degree and then you can apply in companies and become a UI/UX designer.

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