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How to Become a UX Designer in Canada in 6 Steps

Becoming a user experience designer in Canada is very simple if you follow these steps!

So, you want to become a UX designer in Canada? It is quite easy if you make up your mind to become one. You may be among the individuals who are wondering if taking the path of becoming a UX Designer in Canada is a step in the right direction. The truth is that since the pandemic, most businesses have taken to remote work. It is applicable with UX Designers as well because they can offer their services from any point in the world. But what is most important about this is how to successfully start your career path in this field.

This complete guide will help you to maximize your strengths as you begin the journey to become a UX Designer in Canada. You will equally learn more about the salary outlook, the fundamental skills you need to possess and other factors. So, here we go!

What is UX Designer and what do the professionals do?
In a very simple and clear term, UX means User Experience. This is used to describe the interaction between a person and a product or service. For instance, an individual who is carrying out an online shopping and comes across an app or website that helps them to easily find what they are looking for. With the help of the website or app, the individual can easily get what they want and head to something else. That can be interpreted as good user experience.

On the other hand, they may land on an app or website that is not user-friendly and messes up their plans. It could probably be that the page does not load fast or it has a confusing layout. In certain cases, they may be asked to fill a form or a pop-up asking you unnecessary questions. Again, they keep going round and round, trying to navigate the impossible website. In the end, they get frustrated and log out or they may still not find what you are seeking. This can be interpreted as bad user experience.

By and large, both the good and bad experience did not happen by chance. Someone made it happen! But a UX Designer steps in to rectify the bad experience. Here, they reflect on each component that shapes the user experience. They answer such questions as how does it make the user feel? Is it easy to navigate? Can the user complete their task without much hassle?

Thus, a user experience designer combines various elements like market research, product development, strategy and design to build picture perfect user experience for products, services and processes. Therefore, while they build a simpler way of navigating the app or website for the user, they help the company to fulfil the needs and expectations of the user/customer.

What are the fundamental skills one needs to become a UX Designer?

To become a Canadian UX Designer, it is important you take courses that cover user research strategy, user interface design basics and responsive design. Here are they at a glance:

  1. Fundamentals of user experience design

You will need to learn how to design sprint methods, and identify problem spaces, while generating solutions. In addition, make sure that your training offers the understanding of how to create wireframes and prototypes with tools like Sketch and InVision.

  1. User research plans

Equally important is for you to learn strategise and carry out user research to help you have a deeper knowledge of users’ needs, behaviour and drive as well as how best to interpret your finding into applicable project supplies and product designs.

  1. Design research and plans

Among all you can do as a UX Design is to conduct research on your user. This helps you to understand their needs, behaviours and what drives them. Having this understanding will help you to visually communicate compex interactions.

  1. User interface design

You must learn how to build upon your knowledge of usability to master the tones of colour, illustration, typography and images. Understanding the use of such tools like Sketch to design professional interfaces and also maintain user interface pattern libraries.

  1. Responsive design

Another fundamental skill you need is how to apply industry-standard design principles to generate both low and high fidelity applications and websites. What’s more, gain knowledge of ways to make use of grids and breakpoints in the design process. The aim is to make certain that your projects are responsive throughout a range of screen sizes, while producing a flawless outcome.

Steps to become a UX Designer in Canada

Becoming a UX Designer means that you must learn the basics of design, conduct user and market research, strategy and product expansion. Most importantly, there are no defined steps to become a UX Designer in Canada. Nearly every UX Designer started in a closely-related field and acquired further skills that helped them to completely transition into a UX designer. Regardless of how anyone can become a UX Designer in Canada, here are some simple steps you can follow:

  1. Learn the basics of UX Design

To become a UX Designer in Canada, it is imperative that you learn the fundamentals of the profession. You can achieve this by learning and developing diverse technical and soft skills. These technical skills include but not limited to wireframing and prototyping, data collection, user interface design, responsive web, and many more. In a similar way, the soft skills you need include communication, project management, teamwork, problem-solving, attention to details, and many more.

What’s more, to build these skills, you have to register for US Design courses and bootcamps online. This is usually made up of hands-on training and intensive learning. During your education, you can expect to spend around 40 hours of classroom learning and 25 hours for project completion. With the right skills, you will be able to impress your employer and get hired easily.

  1. Learn how best to use vital design tools

To become a proficient UX Designer, you must understand how to use diverse digital tools to design standard work. Sketch is a more extensively used tool; however, you can use InVision, Illustrator, Axure, Adobe XD, Marvel and Figma to achieve the same purpose.

  1. Keep practicing

It is not enough to acquire the knowledge, if you don’t exercise your hands, you will likely have a vague knowledge of the skills. So, theoretical knowledge is just an aspect of the learning. But when you put the knowledge to use, you will get a better result and more confidently to seek jobs from potential clients. If you are wondering how you will practice without a client, you should know that you cannot start your practice with clients.

Therefore, work on your own UX projects. Get your hands at different designs and keep practicing until you are confident in your ability. Sure, you will encounter new challenges but they are there to give you new creative ideas to work on other projects. Besides, you can push the good jobs you did into your user experience design portfolio. Thus, whenever you apply for a job, you can refer your potential employer to your portfolio. If they are impressed, they are going to reach out for more.

Aside from the above, when you work on your UX projects, it helps you to refine your skills. It also gives you ample opportunity to discover your lapses and acquire new skills to cover the areas that need brushing up. Above and beyond, you can use the knowledge you generated at each step of working on the project to seamlessly inform you of the steps to take in the next project.

Make sure that the projects you are working on are challenging enough. Use new strategies from the fundamentals, to the design thinking process, user research strategies, and design research strategies. Take your time to practice creating UX Design elements and responsive designs.

That is for your technical skills, anyway. Another interesting area to strengthen involves your soft skills. Truth be told, without your soft skills, your technical skills may not sell. You must be able to learn how to communicate with clients and other people involved in your project. You must equally take some courses to sharpen your soft skills.

For instance, if you must take some leadership position as a UX Designer, you will need to possess collaboration and team work, project management, analysis and problem-solving skills. These skills will prepare you for higher tasks.

  1. Build a portfolio to display your UX Design work

Now that you are confident about your skill-sets, the next action plan is to develop a portfolio online. This portfolio will help you to start applying for UX Design jobs. You don’t expect your potential clients to see just one accomplished project, do you? So, you need more strategies here than you can imagine. That is, you should have more variety and diverse projects on your portfolio.

Again, before you apply for any job, you should try to run a background check on the company. This will make you to polish and edit your portfolio and select the best jobs that are closely related to the demands of your potential employer. Do not forget to add what you can do for the company.

Further, you should be personal and real on how you present the work you do. Let every piece of your portfolio tell a story of you, your skills, and what you aim to achieve for your client.

  1. Apply for a job

Another important step to become a UX Design in Canada is to apply for a job. After acquiring all the skills, you will need to prove yourself at this stage. Meanwhile, you have to search for only jobs that are relevant to your skills. Since there is a range of UX Design job titles, you can only apply for those that you have the skills for.

Some of the job positions you can apply for include:

  • UX Product Analysis
  • UX Architect
  • Information Architect
  • UX Researcher
  • Product Designer
  • Visual Designer
  • Content Strategist
  • Experience Designer
  • UX Designer, etc.

In addition to the above, ensure to sell yourself well before your potential employer. If you impress them more than your competitors, be certain that the job will become yours.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the salary of a UX Designer in Canada?

According to Indeed.com, the average salary for a UX Designer in Canada is $72,504 per year.

Is it possible to become a UX Designer in Canada with no experience?

Yes, it is possible to work as a UX Designer without any experience. However, you must start your career in the design field to help you with the knowledge of the field. That is, you will need education and experience in a relevant field and that is the first step to become a UX Designer in Canada. In some cases, you may have a background in a different industry and still make it as a UX Designer.

In everything, you will need to have some transferable skills and be willing to upgrade your knowledge. Empathy, accepting feedback, teamwork, brainstorming, communication skills and more can stand you out. If you have these, then, you can embark on the journey to become a UX Designer in Canada.

What are some of the most important tools that UX Designers use for their jobs?

To master your skills, you must learn the right tools and what they can do. You must be comfortable with UX design tools like Sketch and InVision. Whereas they are the two major tools, there are other tools that can give you a beautiful outcome. What’s more, you need to play around with different tools to help you understand the ones you are comfortable with.

Some of the tools are:

  • User research tools like Lookback.io, Typeform and Reframer.
  • Wireframing and prototyping tools like Sketch, InVision, Figma, Lunacy, Adobe XD and UXPin.
  • User testing and usability testing tools such as Hotjar, UsabilityHub, Optimizely and Usabilla.

These are just a few. You can find out about more from your peers.

What is your portfolio and why is it necessary?

Your portfolio is your website. Hence, it is a very valuable asset as a UX Designer. It contains your personal information and displays a sample of your work. It is the avenue to take your potential employer on a journey to either hire you or decline, depending on what they found. In fact, your employer wants to know your process – how you got to your current level.

They also would like to know your thought patterns and processes as a UX Designer. That, coupled with how you solve problems, tells a lot about you to your potential employer.

Conclusion

Although the steps above can help you to become a UX Designer in Canada, you should know that there is no limit to what you can achieve. And for you to achieve anything, you must be willing to sacrifice your time to upgrade your knowledge. With time, you can stand on the same platform with those experts you admire. In essence, developing your skills is an ongoing process and it helps you to keep ahead of the evolving trends.

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