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I've been on the hunt for a new job and am noticing the large ratio of UI/UX Design jobs vs. regular web design jobs. I really don't have any experience with UI/UX Design (unless you can count responsive web designs with some user testing?) How can I make the jump? How can I get some experience in UI/UX? My current employer doesn't do any app or software dev...just websites. I am not even sure if I can convince someone with a freelance project that I'm qualified. I know I'm a strong designer and I know I have the capacity to learn...but it seems like all employers are looking for someone with more experience (I do have 10 years web/graphic experience...design and front-end dev...but that doesn't seem to be good enough). What are your thoughts?

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You should have a look at this related post, a lot of the advice there applies to you. –  Kit Grose Dec 17 '13 at 4:07
    
@KitGrose you can write as an answer, short, clear, concise. –  PatomaS Feb 15 at 9:37
    
Take a look on the tag career-development, which provides good answers on similar questions. –  Benny Skogberg MCSA Feb 19 at 1:36

4 Answers 4

Try out the methods at www.usability.gov, in any way you can. If you can't get "real" work experience on those methods, start up a project in your free time, most of these methods cost very little time and money to try out. Volunteer work is another great way if you're mostly concerned about the experience

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I recommend that you just start reading every UX book you can get your hands on:

http://www.jeremytunnell.com/posts/books-on-user-experience-and-user-interface-design

And then spend a year or so offering your services, basically below-market rates, to do a UX analysis or new product feature. Look for nonprofits, government agencies, and places that don't have a huge budget for this stuff.

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Nice book list @jeremyt! –  Hynes Feb 19 at 1:16

I started out as a web designer and made the transition to a user experience designer. I made the transition by thinking more and more about user experience with my designs versus what looks good right now. A pretty design may get you a lot of likes on Dribbble or Behance, but a smart workflow gains you the appreciation of your users.

Read and learn everything you can. Find designers you admire and ask them questions about why they made the decisions they did.

I didn't hold an official UX designer role for almost 8 years after I first started as a designer, but it was an approach I always had with my work in some way. Start thinking about the user holistically when designing your websites. Every site has goals and tasks that are trying to be accomplished. A simple date picker is a chance to think about the UX.

Clients may not be contracting you initially for UX jobs, but start showing even on something as mundane as a contact form you're thinking through that experience.

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While you want to design the UI for websites or web applications you should know the principles of the design. However, UI and Graphic design seem the same at first glance, there are some differences you should know.

The differences between UI design and graphic design comes from Interaction Design. As a graphic designer, you probably are good in visual design, but you need to be good in interaction design too.
enter image description here

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