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I just joined the UX forums and firstly, wanted to say hello - im a newbie. well, actually im actually a motion graphics designer - wanting to make a switch into UX design~

honestly, I have very little web design skills~ so my first question is: would it be better to fully master web designing before going into UI/UX Design? or is it possible to begin learning UI/UX off the bat? so far, i'm taking my first steps into html and css.

here is a sketch i tried making for a mock site assignment which i will soon try coding:

enter image description here

Here is a wireframe mock up I tried making in adobe fireworks based off of sketches:

enter image description here

am i on the right track? or am i doing this completely wrong? any kind of advice/crit would be greatly appreciated. and please feel free to bash me if you want, just at least tell me why. much thanks.

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Welcome to UX.se! Your question requires more of a conversation than an answer. This would be better suited to UX Chat. –  rk. Jun 17 '13 at 13:28
    
Hi and thanks for the welcome! unfortunately, I cannot chat yet since I need more reputation points. hopefully i will join the chatrooms soon –  lolitzkev Jun 17 '13 at 13:35
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I see, in that case you can start asking UX questions or attempt answering someone else's questions. Good luck and have fun :) –  rk. Jun 17 '13 at 13:40
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closed as not a real question by rk., Matt Obee, Charles Wesley, Koen Lageveen, JohnGB Jun 17 '13 at 22:18

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

4 Answers

  • The first step is to start blaming yourself for the user's errors (generally speaking, of course), instead of blaming the users.

  • If the user flops then this is an opportunity to fix the UI so it's less likely for the same issue to happen again instead of stashing a threatening message in a FAQ. Think about the FAQ as a set of Frequent questions meaning that there might be an issue there if people keep asking the same question, frequently.

  • Read Don Norman's book "The design of everyday things". It's good because it points your mind that way. A whole generation of UXers started this way.
  • As of the web design question, I've found that it helps very much to be a web designer in order to be hired.
    I'm not a web developer and have experienced this problem.
  • Also, "User Experience" is how it's currently named, because it's more encompassing than any other designation. It's about making the user feel what you want.
  • The user experience is made out of a lot of elements, including the quality and design of the physical products, that tend to be out of the web site's scope. The material in this site is much about "Usability", a part of the user experience related to not annoying the user through the UI, and helping them to fulfill their goals with the most efficiency, efficacy and satisfaction. The Humanity is learning nowadays how to make less annoying computer UIs and we are part of it.
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I wouldn't actually start by reading Don's book. Don't Make Me Think is probably a better starter volume: ux.stackexchange.com/questions/74/must-read-user-interface-book –  PhillipW Jun 17 '13 at 20:11
    
@PhillipW "Don't make me think comes later" because it's a highly practical how-to. But it will be just a bunch of difficult to remember recipes for one that doesn't have built the mindset yet. Norman's book is about building the mindset. Anyway one can read both books at once :-) –  Juan Lanus Jun 18 '13 at 15:50
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Understanding the medium one is working in is the 'craft' part of one's trade. For example, understanding paints, canvases, brushes, lighting, color, texture, composition, etc won't in-and-of-itself make you a great painter, but it's going to sure help.

So yes, you continuing your path in becoming a web developer and designer is, by default, going to start you down the path of being a UX designer.

A decade or so ago, before the term 'UX designer' was even wildly used, every web designer and developer was in that role by default. ;)

So, to answer your question, you're certainly on the right track. But one caveat: just remember that wireframes are merely one small part of what UX design is about. Yes, that tends to be the most common deliverable a UX designer creates, but there's a lot more to the profession than simply making wireframes.

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I studied industrial design and have been slowly shifting towards the 'UX field'. So far, the most important piece of knowledge that I have learned is to understand all the people that will touch upon this product. It's a no-brainer that your main client is the end-user, but there's also the people involved in developing it, the business units, marketing, etc. That was the biggest hurdle for me. Being able to speak in different languages and communicate your solutions and ideas so that it makes sense to all disciplines.

UX is very interdisciplinary!

To answer your original question though, I have basic HTML/CSS knowledge but I create prototypes and wireframes for the most part. Even just paper prototypes can do the job. Though I have noticed that more and more UX postings are seeking development knowledge.. including Javascript / JQuery

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great looking sketches/wireframes, but you're missing the most important thing..What am I looking at? who is this? why do i need this?

If you can answer those first few questions then it'll add some relevance to what I'm looking at.

Failure is a GOOD thing - When you present this to your peers and nothing seems to be wrong with it, I think that either you failed at explaining the scope(the bad part of failure) or that your peers failed to give you the feedback that you needed.

"Is it possible to learn UX from the bat?"
Absolutely, have you ever gotten frustrated on a site and said to yourself 'Wow this is so stupid.. I wish there was...' That's part of the user experience: In order to become good at UX, you need to experience what other users are feeling. Empathy plays a huge part in this. There's some basic research that you could do for a problem that you're trying to solve - To make the site look prettier isn't one of them.

"Should I learn html/css before diving into UX" This is up to you, and it really depends on your motivation and how much things you can juggle at once. I work with stakeholders and although they don't know design or html.. they know what they like and what confuses them. In our case we should know at least some basic understanding of hmtl/css. It will definitely make things quicker. From my experience, I was a interactive designer before I jumped into experience design. On the flip side, trying to learn more than 1-2 things has a great chance of slowing you down. I've learned that it's best to work on your strengths rather than your weaknesses.

UX is a lifelong lesson. When environments change, so will the experience. Now that Google Glass and hand gestures seemingly are becoming the future, we'll need to come up with new tests and discoveries... along with our traditional methodologies.

keep at it!!

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