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Go from Graphic Design to UX Design

A lot of people aren’t familiar with the concept of Business Design, Service Design and Interaction Design but if there’s one aspect of design that everyone knows, it has to be Graphic Design. Starting from billboards, pamphlets and newspaper advertisements and even movie posters, Graphic Design isn’t a new concept.

It’s a natural progression for a lot of Graphic Designers to move to UX Design as they already have a superior aesthetic sense. Here are a few advantages Graphic Designers have when they move to UX Design:

  • Adept at spotting trends and incorporating them into everyday design
  • User-centric design is natural as they’re already proficient with “human-centered” design
  • Creative thinking during designing is not a new concept for them 

As you can see, a Graphic Designer has a headstart over other people looking to transition to UX Design. Even with all these things in place, there are a few areas to improve upon and skillsets to develop. Here’s what you can do to successfully make the transition from a Graphic Designer to a UX Designer:

Research Skills

As a UX Designer, you should be able to research the end user’s BAG (Behaviors-Goals-Aspirations) and design delightful experiences on top of the research findings. To give you an example, Uber knows that the customer is looking to book a cab at the earliest. This is a research finding and now the designers have to design user interfaces and user flows keeping this in mind. Now you understand why the time taken to book a cab on Uber happens in less than 15 seconds. The same procedure is followed for any application that does its job well. 

Proficiency in tools

As a Graphic Designer, it’s not required to have knowledge of many tools as most of the tools do the same job i.e., create graphic illustrations. So just having in-depth knowledge of a tool like Adobe Photoshop (that does almost everything) is enough but UX Design is a completely different field. Tools like Adobe XD, InVision, Sketch, Adobe Illustrator and Figma are used for different stages of the design process. Hence, it’s important to understand the basic functionalities of these tools. 

Online courses to identify and fill skill gaps

While there are a lot of courses that you can take up, it’s always better to enroll in courses with which you can demonstrate your skills and build a portfolio for yourself. Understand that watching videos won’t take you anywhere and in this ultra-competitive world, it’s very important to have a portfolio for yourself. 

It’s highly recommended to enroll in courses where the instructors themselves are practising designers. This will help you inculcate the best practices followed by designers worldwide and infuse them into your portfolio.

Network and consult with coaches

Design has picked up very well in the last 10 years in India and a lot of early-stage startups and large enterprises are hiring a lot of designers. As an individual already in the design field, you should network with a lot of like-minded people and see what they’re doing to transition to UX Design. It also helps to consult with mentors to understand what it takes to transition to a UX Design role. 

Learn UI/UX Principles

While Graphic Design doesn’t have a lot of rules apart from brand guidelines and other principles, the world of UX Design has a lot of principles to be followed to create delightful experiences. While you may be familiar with rules like “The Rule of Thirds” and other rules prominent in Graphic Design, it’s beneficial to read up on principles in UX Design to gain a firm understanding of the field. To start off, gain a sound understanding of laws like Hick’s Law, Fitts’ Law and then progress towards reading about basic psychological principles that influence design.