Working in web design is a rewarding and interesting field. While you may not be able to fully use your creative vision, it allows for more freedom than many other types of programming jobs. After working in the field for a while, however, you may start to feel some frustration. There are only so many ways to progress in your career. It can be a challenge to remain satisfied when you see others making more money with a similar skill set. Transitioning to user experience is a great way to use your web design skills, expand your knowledge, and boost your income. User experience requires you to understand and make sense of psychology, user research, and interaction design.

You must be able to combine the three to develop a plan for an attractive, compelling, functional website. A UX designer is responsible for creating the look and feel of a particular website, as well as ensuring that it is user-friendly.

Education

There are not many college programs that offer specific UX degrees. The closest you will see is in Human/ Computer Interaction. This is a rapidly expanding field, and the job prospects are strong. Colleges haven’t quite caught up with the trend yet. Majoring in psychology or design gives you a solid background to draw from, although many different social science majors would be valuable. If you haven’t earned your degree, consider doing so before you attempt to break in. While web design is a field where you can show what you are capable of, UX typically requires an undergraduate degree. Private student loans allow you to attend college and prepare for this career. Once you graduate, you should secure a significant salary boost when you enter the UX field.

Overlapping Skills

As a web designer, you are familiar with HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and possibly some other languages. This is helpful as you transition into user experience. Take advantage of your existing knowledge, while learning everything you can about information architecture and content creation, as well as aesthetic choices such as typography, color choices, and visual design.

Landing the Job

Once you are confident in your knowledge base, you will probably be anxious to land a job. The easiest way to break in is by transitioning within your current company. If a spot opens up in user experience, apply for it. If your company is not using UX designers, ask if you can begin to implement some of the concepts in the web pages you develop. You to continue to build your skills while earning a reliable paycheck. If you are promoted from within, your compensation may not be as competitive as if you jump to another company. When you are ready to look for work, you want to be sure you stand out from the competition. A portfolio that showcases some projects is important. Projects that were part of school assignments or volunteer work you completed for non-profits are a good way to build a project list. Be sure your personal website is well-designed and utilizes best practices as well. If you haven’t updated it recently, give it a refresh before you begin applying for jobs.