I get that this is a persuasive article, but I think you're being a bit heavy handed in emphasizing that people don't need traditional education (in the form of a degree). I see quite a few jobs today that have a 4-6 year degree as a requirement. Obviously not all, not even most require this - but if you want the largest pool of opportunity to apply to... a degree can help. I don't think it's worth getting just for that reason, though. This is coming from someone who freelanced years before school and almost dropped out a few times. Now that I've been out of school for a while, the degree has been worth it. Even in traditional education you are forced into networking and exposure to other people in your field (in person usually) which can help launch your career even further. Thanks for posting your thoughts though! Great insight for people looking to get a solid start :)
Really quality post man, thanks for the read.
Some advice I always give to folks who truly have ZERO skill/experience when it comes to UX/UI design is this:
Find apps you like, screenshot every workflow, and recreate it from sketch to high fidelity
This is purely for practice, of course, and shouldn't even be included in your portfolio. But this will help you develop the techniques you'll use everyday in Sketch/Figma/PS while also forcing you to acknowledge the real world requirements that go into every screen of every app that you take for granted.
It's really tough to force yourself to invest time in something that you can't show the outside world at all, but it will get you from very bad to halfway decent almost overnight.
Awesome. I love that idea!
What do y'all think?
What do you agree with? What would you do differently?
I'd love to hear your thoughts.
Totally agree with the side projects. I am in your exact same position, I've had different jobs as a lead or senior designer, but almost every day I worked on side projects too.
Now my portfolio looks really impressive and I can handle different jobs and type of clients without any major issues.
So as an advice for everyone that wants to start working in this field: don't focus only on your daytime job!
As a novice, more info on why you specifically chose html, css, and sketch would be appreciated!
I like your idea for the article Dave. The crux of it is that you should start working on your own side projects if you want to become a product designer, which I think makes sense. I also think there's a lot more to it that you could touch on in the article. Here's some feedback:
I don't think that the 3 basic skills are quite right (HTML, CSS and SketchApp). Are development skills really necessary? I would instead suggest learning: basic UI design principles and some lean UX principles. Sketch App is just one tool to build a UI (my favourite too).
Perhaps you could include some more suggestions on how to start a side project and the process involved? How to find a problem to solve? How to find a client that needs help? How to ideate a solution, create a prototype and test whether it works on users. These are the core components to product design which I think are missing from the article.
What's the best way to start learning Sketch App? There are a few great tutorials out there but I think the best way is to download a nice UI kit and see how it's been put together.
You mentioned that juniors should try to avoid being generalists to become a product designer. Isn't being a generalist the main strength of a product designer?
Hope that helps. I like that you're emphasising the importance of side projects to build up a portfolio. Definitely makes sense.
best comment in this thread right here