Many were curious why I’ll give up 3 years of knowledge in product design to be an UI Intern. Will I regret my decision after a few months (or weeks) in my internship?
Yes, I am a Product Design student Yet, I have chosen UI over UX design in my next career side. Yes, I’ve fought this idea for last one year. Trust me. I have. And then one day I gave it a shot. I decided to accept an internship with some UI skills involved. So, I basically did what most UXs do in this type of situation: I got scared. Sh*tless. But I am managing to survive among those visually smarty pants around in my firm and after rigorously struggling with visual design principles, I decided that by hook or crook I’m going to learn visual design anyhow in my first internship: I had always been into UX. This thing was lying within, like a ferocious beast that needed to be unleashed. Am I exaggerating? Yes. A little, not so much! But what about learning something new? I can’t spend my years again and again doing the same research & making user journey maps; I wanted something magical that gives me the end result. This is when I came across UI and found my true love…
Have head knowledge of what you are getting into.
With zero knowledge and experience, starting out in UI design can be somewhat intimidating.
When we think about UI design, we think about some fancy colors, styles, and layouts and it seems very hard to do those things. But if we take a look at the designs that seem appealing to our eyes and that are being developed by big companies and the changes they have made over the time. We will find that simple designs work very well.
Create with problem solving in mind
Consuming contents, specially from great design sources is good but consuming alone won’t get you there. You have to create.
When creating, create with problem solving in mind. Don’t just jump in to start designing. If you do so, with time you end up designing things that are visually appealing but with bad experiences.
The goal here is to keep creating as much as you consume contents and resources.
Feed your mind with great designs.
Feeding your mind with great designs and experiences helps to increase your taste and standard for design. When you have a high taste and standard for designs, it will reflect in your works. You will not want to make anything less than your taste.
Alright, fine. But that’s only 50% of the deal. What’s next?
Network like there’s no tomorrow
The value of networking, even if it’s virtual on a platform like Slack, LinkedIn can’t be understated.
Through meetups, you can find mentors to guide you. You can create successful collaborations with great entrepreneurs. You could even swing a position shadowing a UI designer to get a real-life feel for the job. There is no limit.
The leap from UX designer to UI designer isn’t massive. You can do it with a little work and some grit.
Trust me, till now the experience has been full of ups and downs, there have been a lot of advantages but it comes along with some compromises.
Inspire and Absorb in!
Just eat them all. Be curious. Be ahead of the game.
To conclude, my shift to UI is going a lot more fruitful than what I had expected. Changing courses can always be intimidating, but one step in, it has helped me transform into a better designer who is more aware of the visuals & end results.
I still keep fighting with myself when I am trying to convert the jealousy I feel looking at those amazing designs into inspiration but the more I try the more I see how amazing is the outcome.