Links and advice I would give to my past self when it comes to learning UX. Courses, books, people to follow in social networks.
User Experience Design is so broad and has so many ramifications. In addition to this, we all come to it from different backgrounds. As much as we would like to imagine this journey as linear I’m afraid there’s no right or wrong way to approach it.
The good news is that if you’re resourceful, thanks to the internet you cannot only learn, but also connect with mentors and land your career as a UXer with a small monetary investment. All you need is a computer and an internet connection.
Online courses are useful to understand the foundations
If you live in America you probably know that with education comes huge economic debt and years of studying. With online courses though, you can be prepared in a few weeks, especially if you attend a bootcamp. I’d recommend these because you don’t only have mentoring, but because you can discuss and grow together with your other students.
People will go to your website after they Google your name
The portfolio shouldn’t be the site you update every time you need a job. What if you turn it into a space of reflection and growth? Even without any work experience, you can create a blog to share what you’re learning along the way. Or make your own case studies!
It’s time-consuming, but I started following and engaging with people on Twitter
My favorite thing about Twitter is that we all became equals. Juniors and seniors talk in an informal way and grow together. Of course, there are those who are truly busy and won’t answer you: learn from what they post. There are those who are dismissive: forget about them. Curate your own lists, interact, share resources. Learn the etiquette.
(Free) literature is everywhere
There are piles of books written about UX. The ones that make me grow the most are those who put their focus on soft skills and they propose mindsets. Unless you want to become super specialized on something, try to keep a broad spectrum of topics in your news feed. There are also plenty of free ebooks written by big names in the industry.
LinkedIn is where the recruiters roam
If Twitter is the place where you bond, LinkedIn is where the recruiters will be looking for candidates to fill all the roles. Befriend the recruiters, learn from them. Ask them what they like to see in a portfolio. They are really good at sharing tips and ultimately, they are one of the primary users of your website.
It’s too many things to handle, so I created a schedule
It seems like you have to be connected all day long if you want to be able to do all these things. And sometimes it could happen that you also want to enjoy your life because you’re passionate about other things.
Depending on your level of commitment, you can create a plan to accommodate for al these activities and strive for a balanced plan to become and think like a designer in no time.