Choose Your Adventure: Entering UX or UI Web Design in 2021

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For many, the pandemic devastated their concept of normal, changing the way they would go about their lives for potentially years to come. Struck by the imminent and constant danger that came with the spread of Coronavirus, many came to reconsider how they were living their lives before, reevaluating whether they were actually happy with their careers, their living situation, and the like. For these people, as the pandemic started to ebb ever so slightly, they were given a choice: go back to life as it was before or try something new—something that might be more fulfilling. Many of those people are seeking higher-paying jobs that will have opportunities available as time goes on, careers in fields like coding or web design. Yet, they likely don’t know where to start. 

If you’re one of those people, welcome…you’re in the right place. The idea of switching careers can be daunting, especially if you don’t have a concrete idea of what you’re looking to do or what your chosen career path will actually expect of you on a day-to-day basis. This article aims to provide context for people looking to jump into a web design career, explaining the difference between UX and UI web design and offering easy ways to get the qualifications needed and start working as soon as possible. 

Without further ado, here’s everything you need to know about starting a career in web design.

UX Design: Putting the Consumer First

UX designers, or user experience designers, are charged with thinking about how the consumer is going to interact with their product from start to finish. UX designers are responsible for constructing the spine of the product, thinking about how customers are likely to consume content, and constructing prototypes that organize that content strategically. As such, UX designers typically begin by conducting competitor and customer analyses, getting a good idea of their demographic (and therefore how they are likely to interact with their given website) and what their competition has done well (and what can be improved on in their version). Likewise, UX designers have to be receptive and attentive to customer feedback, constantly working on improving their product to make it more easily accessible.

UX designers tend to be bigger picture thinkers—idea people capable of putting themselves into others’ shoes.

UI Design: Aesthetic Fine-Tuners

UI (user interface) designers take the skeleton passed on to them by the UX designers and add flesh, muscles, the works—everything the website concept needs to be a functional, accessible product. While UX designers are charged with thinking about how customers will consume content, UI designers are more concerned with how customers will interact with the product, considering the look, feel, and functionality of the interfaces consumers will interact with. UI designers make decisions on the color palette used, button placement and type, any animations that may be present, and the like. 

UI designers tend to be people who can focus on the minute details and can 

take the ideas of others and translate them into functional products. Whichever of the two disciplines you choose to pursue, both UX and UI developers tend to be paid an average of around $83,000 a year, making web design a highly lucrative profession to enter.

Learning Web Design on the Cheap

That can be a very attractive offer for people looking to switch careers; yet, the idea of spending thousands of dollars on the education needed to jump into something new can rightly cause some hesitation. If you don’t have the money to go back to institutionalized higher education, UX and UI bootcamps might be an excellent way to get the education and qualifications you need without wasting time on unnecessary course requirements. They typically cost around the price of a single semester at most higher institutions, last a few months at the most, and provide everything you need to go straight into a job after graduation. 

The First Step on a New Career Path

Embarking on a new journey can be daunting, especially with the widespread instability caused by the still-present pandemic. But knowing where you’re going, and knowing how you’re going to get there, can make it all the easier to move beyond the restrictions of the past and into a bright, new future.

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