Working in the field of user experience or UX is fun and challenging. I have been working for for almost eight months as a UX researcher. I enjoy this work and get a lot of lessons in the real world. In the first few days, I was somewhat confused in various ways, for example, making a good research plan or interviewing people I did not know. But over time, I began to get used to and confident in my work.
I have to admit, studying UX in college requires more effort. This is because the knowledge and practices in UX are not all taught in lectures.
Therefore, I want to share six ways of learning UX that can be done while still in college.
1. Read a book about UX
On the internet, articles are scattered about UX, but I prefer books for learning because the discussion is deeper. From a number of books about UX that I’ve read, I suggest the three books below to read:
The Design of Everyday Things (Author: Don Norman). This book is considered a designer book because it does introduce the fundamental principles of design. It contained most of the theories and, compared to the two books below, in my opinion, the English was heavier.
Observing User Experience (Author: Elizabeth Goodman, et al.). This book is my favourite about UX research because the discussion is broad and deep, starting from making a research plan, conducting research, analyzing, to presenting the results of the research.
UX for Lean Startups (Author: Laura Klein). I feel this book needs to be read because it explains the product design process in the agile development environment that many startups use. After reading this book, we come to know the role and activities of UX in agile development.
2. Take an online course about UX
Just like the article, online courses about UX are also pretty much found on the internet. Some online course providers have material about UX, such as Lynda, Coursera, and Udemy. I personally prefer studying at Lynda because the video content is dense and clear, and the price of the subscription is affordable. It’s different from reading a book, I can’t really watch videos long, so I don’t really like online video courses that are a lot of small talks.
Two online course playlists in Lynda about UX that I recommend:
Foundations of User Experience. Collection of online courses that discuss basic UX knowledge such as information architecture, prototyping, usability testing, and others. The online course here is really easy for beginners to understand.
UX Design Techniques. The online course in this playlist explains step-by-step the user-centered design process, starting from data analysis, creating a persona, to planning implementation. Just like the previous playlist, in my opinion, the content is quite easy to understand.
3. Join the community about UX
Community is a fun place to get information and meet people who are also passionate about UX. I like to come to meetups and chat to share about how the UX team at other startups works.
4. Internship in position about UX
An internship is an opportunity not to be missed to learn UX. Why? Because here, we can learn to apply our UX knowledge with the guidance of a supervisor. In addition, just like joining a competition, the results of work while being an intern can be our experience portfolio.
It should be noted above I wrote ‘position about UX’ because indeed, the position that has the ‘UX’ appendage can vary, for example, UX designer, UX researcher, UI / UX designer, or interaction designer. Even with the same position name, job descriptions in different companies can also be different. I suggest asking more questions during the interview to make sure the work is as expected.