So you've worked hard to change careers and become a UX Designer. Surely, this path was not easy and required a lot of dedication.
However, it's essential to remain vigilant against common pitfalls and mistakes – both at the beginning of the transition and throughout your career.
While it's understandable to feel a sense of relief after successfully transitioning to a career in UX, it's important to continue to strive for growth and improvement.
Keep pushing yourself forward. There's always more to learn in this exciting field.
Check out below the 7 mistakes you should avoid when starting your career in UX Design.
1) Forgetting about the user
Although it seems like an obvious mistake, it is always important to remember that the work of a UX Designer revolves around the user.
You cannot forget that meeting the needs and solving the problems of the user is more important than creating beautiful interfaces.
You have studied so much about User-Centered Design to get here. Do not forget these essential concepts, as they are truly the foundation of the UX Designer's work.
Therefore, always make sure to do research with users to understand their real needs and the problem that you, as a good UX Designer, should help solve.
So, don’t forget important tools such as the User Journey and the main concepts of Interaction Design.
Not thinking about the user means not putting into practice all the methodologies and knowledge of User-Centered Design. Don’t forget this, even if you have already landed your first job in UX Design.
Reading Tip: How User-Centered Design Can Benefit Everyone
2) Not caring about soft skills
The job market, regardless of the field, is increasingly demanding when it comes to the level of professionals.
Companies consider a good professional to be someone who, in addition to good technical skills, has excellent behavioral skills – Soft Skills.
The InVision report, the 2019 Product Design Hiring Report, had already mentioned the importance that companies give to professionals who have a good range of Soft Skills.
Therefore, when transitioning to UX Design, it is important to focus not only on the technical aspects of your work but also on developing and improving skills such as:
- Autonomy and teamwork;
However, don't be discouraged if acquiring soft skills doesn't come quickly. It takes patience, self-awareness, and reflection to introduce each of these skills into your daily work routine. It's a constant learning process, but the professional evolution that comes with it is worth the effort.
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3) Not thinking about business
Being a successful UX design professional requires not only technical proficiency but also strong soft skills. However, it's equally important for UX designers to have a solid understanding of the business side of things. Some designers make the mistake of neglecting the company's objectives and fail to consider how UX impacts its results.
While the primary focus of UX design is to solve users' problems, it's essential to ensure that this work aligns with the company's goals. At the end of the day, businesses rely on sales and revenue to thrive. As a UX designer, it's critical to consider how your work contributes to the organization's results.
Neglecting the business aspect of UX design can cause complications and jeopardize project feasibility. That's why, when transitioning to UX design, it's vital to keep both the user's needs and the company's objectives in mind.
Reading Tip: The Importance of Curiosity in UX Design
4) Not caring about networking
Networking is a crucial skill that can benefit professionals in any field, including UX design. Essentially, it involves building a network of contacts with whom you can share knowledge, support, and even job opportunities.
For UX designers, networking is particularly important, especially for those who are just starting out. By establishing a network of contacts, designers can find support and guidance from others in the field, which can be incredibly valuable.
There are many ways to start networking, such as using LinkedIn, participating in forums and UX events, and joining professional communities.
At Aela, we offer a student community for our MID program, which provides an excellent platform for networking. Here, students can exchange information, share suggestions, and even recommend job openings to one another.
"I have always sought knowledge from different sources, and something that has greatly helped me is the MID network. It's very nice to be able to ask questions and learn from professionals in the same field, who have more experience or different experiences from your own." – Fábia Coelho
"For me, the most important thing is the community (of MID). To be able to talk to people who are living that dream with you and being able to share experiences. That makes all the difference." – Maria Resende
Networking is a vital aspect of any UX designer's career, and neglecting to build a strong network can make your journey in UX design more challenging. Without the support and guidance of like-minded professionals who are navigating similar processes, you may find yourself facing more obstacles along the way.
5) Not believing in mentorship
A common mistake made by those transitioning to UX Design is not recognizing the value of having a mentor to guide them and help them step out of their comfort zone.
While it's commendable to have made a career change on your own, not seeking mentorship can hinder your professional growth.
Mentors are experienced professionals in the field who can provide valuable advice and teach you everything they've learned from their own experiences.
They can guide you in finding solutions to complex problems, provide feedback on your projects and processes, and help you navigate difficult professional situations.
Although you could certainly learn everything on your own, having a mentor can accelerate your learning and provide you with insights and perspectives that you might not have considered otherwise.
By seeking out a mentor in UX Design, you can gain access to a wealth of knowledge and experience, and receive personalized guidance to help you achieve your professional goals. Don't make the mistake of overlooking the value of mentorship in your UX Design journey.
Reading Tip: Merging Arts and Exact Science and Switching to UX Design – Interview with William Brepohl
6) Not keeping up with market trends
The UX Design field is closely related to the technology industry.
If you are a UX Designer working with websites, software, or apps, you know what we are talking about.
Due to this close relationship with technology, changes in the UX market also happen quite quickly.
It's important to always stay up-to-date with what's happening in the market, with new software and new trends, so that your perspective doesn't become obsolete.
As you transition to UX, it's easy to fall into the trap of feeling like you've learned everything you need to know. But don't be complacent! A good UX designer is always keeping up with the latest market trends and learning new skills.
One way to do this is by following websites that offer relevant information about UX. Aela, for example, creates frequent and important content about UX Design, careers, tools, and various other topics – you can sign up for our newsletter to stay updated!
Over time and as you gain more experience in your profession, it's also valuable to attend events and conferences, such as the UX Conference organized by NN/g, to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and best practices in the industry.
So, make sure you regularly seek out information about the UX industry and stay on top of the latest developments – it's a crucial part of being a successful UX designer!
7) Not continuing to study just because you have already transitioned to UX
Just because you've made the switch to UX Design doesn't mean you can stop learning. It's a common mistake in many fields, including UX, to believe that you've learned enough and no longer need to study.
The truth is, no one knows everything, and there's always room for growth and development. To stay ahead of the curve and continue to improve, it's important to keep studying and expanding your knowledge.
Read books and articles, watch videos and lectures, and listen to podcasts. Don't stop seeking knowledge, whatever format you prefer.
If necessary, look for new courses to take. Our MID program, for example, is a course that caters to both beginners and experienced designers.
The job market and the profession itself are constantly evolving, so investing in studies and knowledge is a secure way to continue developing.
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