“When a caterpillar bursts from its cocoon and discovers it has wings, it does not sit idly, hoping to one day turn back. It flies.” – Kelseyleigh Reber
Design is an umbrella term where one can’t put a finger on where graphic design ends and UI UX begins. Although you can, but there’s still a lot of overlap between what a graphic designer does, and what UI UX designers do.
There are nuances that tell you that you’ll need to take a different approach to your overall skill set for design.
The desire to delve deeper into their work and produce designs that are less subjective and more informed by data and behavior is something that graphic designers frequently claim when transitioning into a profession in UI/UX or Product Design.
Aside from that, there are a few more reasons why adding user experience and user interface design abilities to your toolkit can be a good idea.
Generally, there are three top reasons why a graphic designer would think of switching or transitioning to a UI UX role.
- Mo’ Money: As we all know, money is pretty much a driving force in any professional vertical. More often than not, UI UX designers make more than graphic designers.
- Versatile career prospect: For individuals wanting to expand their skills in design as an umbrella term, heading to a more product and research-based career, switching to UI UX design is a way to be directly involved in impacting customers’ journey and experience through products or services.
- Easily transferable skills: The third reason why graphic designers transition to a UI UX role is because they can avoid sitting in a noob back seat while thinking of user experience. An upper hand of experience in working on visual content that translates messages gives them an edge in moving to a vertical where they can now optimize user experience by using what they already know.
Under the layers of these three main reasons, there are other reasons why a graphic designer may choose to go down the UI UX path. Our in-house Lead UX Designer, Megha Nagar, was also a graphic designer who hopped around motion design, and graphic design, and then finally found her place in UI UX design.
According to Megha, “I enjoyed every bit of graphic design and motion design, but eventually, it started to become monotonous and felt cookie-cutter after a few years”, after which she did her fair bit of freelancing. “I wasn’t enjoying my work as much as I used to, so I decided that it was about time I start looking in other directions” said Megha.
Adding to this, most of the user experience work has to do with an understanding model of human psychology and empathy. Individuals who hold an interest in the psychology front of things also become interested in a transition towards UI UX.
“Yes, I like when the user psychology unravels in form of ones and zeros, making it easier to understand what your users want, so you can create better products and experiences for them”, “However, your work as a UI UX designer isn’t always non-technical, since you get to look at a lot of data and analyze it” Megha said.
UI and UX design are broad fields that run miles and miles in diameter. It’s more than just how your product looks, instead, it’s rather about how you can create more meaningful and interactive experiences for your users.
Although it’s often said that the best time to start something is right now, jumping right into UI UX from a graphic design may not be the smartest thing to do. Here are a few things that should be on your to-do list:
1. Check your current skills: Your existing graphic design skills can help you stand out when starting your UI UX journey. Find out what your strengths are, and create a list of skills you already have on your table.
2. Find Resources for necessary skills: Look for gaps in your list of skills and start filling them. Consider taking an online course, or going through beginner videos on YouTube. It’ll be more than enough for you as a launchpad.
3. Work on your UX portfolio: Being a designer, you already know that employers don’t chase education, but skills and the existing work that you’ve done so far. So create a portfolio by wrapping up personal projects, volunteering, interning, and taking part in UX design workshops, challenges, etc.
4. Learn to perform user research: Research, research, and a lot of research. This is how you create experiences that users love and find meaningful. Learn ways you can perform this research efficiently.
5. Expand your connection and grab jobs: The design community is great, use it not just to share your work and connect with people with a like-minded approach to design but look out for possible employers.
A transition from Graphic Design may either be something one of the most difficult or easier things you have done in a while. Every bit of it is worthwhile. A lack of discipline may become discouraging for you, so find your routine and stick to it.
As a UI UX designer, you get to create amazing and beautiful experiences for users around the world and impact their lives for the best. And you’ll also be paid handsomely for it. Best of luck!