10 steps to become an UX designer, guaranteed

Tim Chan
5 min readSep 20, 2016

Let’s face it, nowadays anyone can become an UX designer, even your grandma. For those that hasn’t make it yet, no offence, but you just need to try harder. Alternatively, you can learn from pros who made it (that’s me btw). If you are fresh out and want to become an UX designer quickly, this guide is for you.

1.Stop reading “UX books”. Most website says there a few must reads if you want to become an UX designer, I say screw that, books are for old people and losers. We want to become an UX designer fast and we ain’t got no time to learn these crap. We are looking for quick wins here. That’s why we should…

2. Join any UX course. The beauty of UX courses is that it covers a lot of keywords, such as Wireframe, Persona, User journey…etc. Those keywords are exactly what our future employers are looking for. It doesn’t matter whether the course is well recognized or not. The UX field is too new to be judged by anyone, simply joining a course sends the message to our potential hire that we are serious about this shit.

3.Create a portfolio out of thin-air. Another great thing of joining an UX course is that you always end up creating a portfolio as a deliverable. In terms of what kind of project you should do, a simple rule of thumb is to pick a well recognized website and do a redesign for it. Whether the current website has any problem or not is irrelevant, just redesign it anyway.

4. Create a visually appealing portfolio. Some so-called UX guru said that UX ≠UI. Don’t listen to that nonsense. We all know UX and UI are the same thing. That’s why we are going to spend a lot of time making the portfolio look as graphically appealing as possible. If you are stuck on how to make it look great, here is a tip: Change the fonts to Helvetica Neue. You can thank me later.

5. Use fake persona. Since all our time were spent on making the portfolio look pretty, we don’t really have time to talk to users and do this Persona thing. To get around this, we use one of the greatest tool mankind has ever invented — Imagination. All you need to do is to imagine your user’s needs and goals, and voila! You just made yourself a Persona, it is that easy.

6. Print a name card and call yourself Freelance UX designer. Believe it or not — by definition — anyone who has a portfolio that contains a wireframe is regarded as an UX designer. Which means you are legit now. This is the part where you need to start printing name cards and let everyone know that the big boy(or girl) is in town.

7. Update your LinkedIn title into Freelance UX designer. This is a no-brainer. Just like any romantic relationships, you are not official until you are “Facebook official”. You are not a real freelance UX designer until you have updated your LinkedIn profile.

8. Go to meetups. Everyone knows that networking is important. Ignore the fact that half of the people there whines about their jobs all the time while the other half are unemployed. This is the price to pay to become part of the cool and vibrant design community. Plus, it gives you a great opportunity to expand your network by handing out the 500 name cards you printed earlier to anyone you meet.

9. Apply to any jobs with the word UX attached to it. Since our goal is to become an UX designer quickly. What the company does or whether they understand UX is irrelevant. Some company are obviously looking for UI designers when they said they are looking for UX designers. Because we know that UX and UI is the same thing, this makes us a perfect fit.

10. Throw keywords out during the interview. This is the easy part, as mentioned, UX is a very new field. The hiring manager probably has no idea what your job duty is, so all you have to do is to tell him how much you care about the user. If he is not impressed yet, toss keywords such as: User centric design, Wireframes, User Research, Persona…etc. The hiring manager will be amazed on how knowledgeable you are. After that, it is just a matter of time they will call you for an offer.

So class, this concludes our 10 simple steps to become an UX designer, hope that helps and good luck!



Tim Chan

Senior Product Designer @EA. I teach designers the softskills to get them promoted. Based in Vancouver, came from Hong Kong