UX Designer: Career Path

Today, users expect high focus to be made on making user-friendly apps and websites. At the core of all of that sits UX – and the in-demand designers of it.

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What does the UX Designer career path entail?

UX Designer

The UX job market is rapidly growing and the underrated career path is rapidly growing! Call it UI or Product Designer – people that can design approachable and hooking user experiences are in-demand and well-paid.

In 2020, a career entering UX designer can receive a starting salary anywhere from $60,000 to $100,000 with a lot of room to grow, making it one of the most well-paid creative jobs on the market.

And yet, UX design is also competitive! Having the right preparation, portfolio and mentor can give you the competitive edge.

Best books to explore the UX Design career path.

A well-written and thorough book can be an amazing path to build deeper understanding and also act as a handbook as you discover the internet's vast resources.

These are our and our experts top picks to get started building career-relevant skills.

Lean UX

Lean UX

Inspired by Lean and Agile development theories, Lean UX lets you focus on the actual experience being designed, rather than deliverables. This book shows you how to collaborate closely with other members of your Agile product team, and gather feedback early and often.

Universal Principles of Design

Universal Principles of Design

Universal Principles of Design is the first cross-disciplinary reference of design. Richly illustrated and easy to navigate, this book pairs clear explanations of the design concepts featured with visual examples of those concepts applied in practice.

Designing Interfaces, 3rd Edition

Designing Interfaces, 3rd Edition

Designing good application interfaces isnโ€™t easy now that companies need to create compelling, seamless user experiences across an exploding number of channels, screens, and contexts. In this updated third edition, youโ€™ll learn how to navigate through the maze of design options. By capturing UI best practices as design patterns, this best-selling book provides solutions to common design problems.

Don't Make Me Think

Don't Make Me Think

Hundreds of thousands of Web designers and developers have relied on usability guru Steve Krug's guide to help them understand the principles of intuitive navigation and information design. Witty, commonsensical, and eminently practical, it's one of the best-loved and most recommended books on the subject.

Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products

Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products

As Product Manager, user engagement is always at the top of your mind. The best way to have engaged users is to create habit-forming products. Nir Eyal walks us through the inner workings of almost addicting social apps and boils down how you can use the same mechanisms for good.

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Courses to deepen your UX Design skills.

These days, courses are no longer a sequence of videos. They are usually accompanied by projects and a learning community, keeping you accountable and on the path.

Our experts recommend these courses, from free selections to paid programs.

Hackdesign

Hackdesign

An easy to follow design course for people who do amazing things. Receive a design lesson in your inbox each week, hand crafted by a design pro. Learn at your own pace, and apply it to your real life work.

Learn by doing. Play with design puzzles and challenging games as you learn. Test your skills and explore possibilities.

Interaction Design Foundation

Interaction Design Foundation

With 96,264 graduates, the Interaction Design Foundation is the biggest online design school globally. They are market leaders in online design education because the worldโ€™s leading experts create their content and because they are specialized in design. Their courses cover the entire spectrum of UX design from beginner to advanced.

Get the guidance you need on the UX Designer career path

There is no better source of accountability and motivation than having a personal mentor. What used to be impossible to find is now just two clicks away! All mentors are vetted & hands-on!

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๐Ÿ”ฅ I'm shorter than I want to be and I love UX. ๐Ÿ™Œ I've been in the field for more than 10 years (it's better to put it this way instead of saying the real number) with a strong focus on user experience and team culture. I've dedicated the last โ€ฆ

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Hey there! I'm Jessie, a passionate Principal UX Designer at Autodesk, and I love sharing my insights through writing on Medium, where I cover topics like user-centered design and career development. As a first-generation Chinese immigrant, working mom, and tech professional, I've overcome language barriers and embraced inclusivity and empathy โ€ฆ

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Ciao! I'm a Senior UX Designer from Italy with 5+yrs experience in the field, offering mentoring services to aspiring and junior designers. I have a passion for helping others grow and succeed in their careers, and I believe I can make a real difference in your professional journey. I can โ€ฆ

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Hello, my name is Marcelo. I am a Lead UX Designer with more than 7 years of experience working with the largest companies in the world such as Disney, IBM and EY. During my career, I have helped organizations solve complex problems using aesthetically pleasing designs with design while building โ€ฆ

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๐Ÿ‘‹๐Ÿป Currently sculpting experiences for millions of weekly users as part of BBC's UX design team! ๐Ÿ“ฑI specialise in digital products to achieve data-driven results, approaching my work with a user-centric mindset I enjoy solving complex problems through wireframing, design sprints, usability studies, prototyping, and design systems. My past roles โ€ฆ

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Hi, I am a Senior UX Designer and User Researcher with over 18 years of experience. In the recent years I work as a consultant for small, medium and large organizations and support digital design projects, facilitate workshops and help expand UX knowledge internally. My background is in psychology which โ€ฆ

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The UX Design must-reads you shouldn't miss.

Key articles and posts of industry experts can help you get a better picture of what you are getting into.

In our opinion, these are some must-reads you really shouldn't miss.

Master the basics of visual

Recently, quite often many people asked me the similar questions: whatโ€™s your design process ? How did you start? What skills are required to become UI/UX designer? What tools do you use? By this article Iโ€™ve decided to answer all of these questions and describe how I started and become and UI/UX designer.

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UX Design: How to Get Started

Want to get started in UX design? Make products? Thrive in a company of like minded designers? Well youโ€™ve come to the right place. Weโ€™re ready to spill the beans on our best ways to become a UX designer and solidify a space for yourself at the designersโ€™ table.

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The state of UX design

Lessons on how to make an impact beyond our products, how to collaborate beyond Zoom calls, how to organize ourselves beyond our bubbles, and how to improve our craft beyond artboards. Lessons from voices we still donโ€™t hear as often in the design mainstream โ€” but we should.

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Opportunities and projects in the UX Design space.

In the end, advancing your career is all about getting the right opportunities at the right time and a good portion of luck.

These are some interesting things going on in the UX Design space and you probably don't want to miss them.

IndieHackers: Build your own product

Building your very own product puts you on the radar of any product-focused organization hiring managers, designers and engineers. Going from nothing to something requires and builds top-notch prioritization skills, the ability to stay scrappy and shows that you can get things done.

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Discover no-code

Not much into coding? The rise of no-code tools like Zapier, Webflow and Carrd has enabled creators of all backgrounds to build sustainable businesses, without the need to hire upfront.

Sounds weird? Businesses like Makerpad and Lambda School built entirely or mostly out of no-code tools are making and raising millions of dollars!

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Growing into a Senior UX Designer role pays off โ€“ $25,000 up to per year.

Not only is the progression from individual UX Designer to a Senior role a natural progression, it also makes all the difference in your average salary.

On a global average, Senior UX Designer receive a $25,000 salary hike over entry-level UX Designers when they go from individual contributor to senior personnel.

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Related career paths

If you like UX Design careers, you might also be interested in these other career paths.

Get the help you need & advance your career

Ready to enter the competitive world of UX design? A mentor can give you the competitive edge.