I must admit it’s not easy being a UX designer, especially if you just landed your first job as one. I’m sure that every UX designer learnt their own lessons when they started as junior UX designers, funny enough I’m still learning mine. I have the opportunity of working with guru’s who know the ins and outs of UX, so you could say that it’s a huge advantage because I get to learn, make my mistakes and master my craft.


Let me take you through some of the lessons I’ve learnt in my first couple of months…

Knowing what UX is, is essential

Having a basic understanding of what UX design entails is important, I mean you don’t have to know everything, but some sort of basic understanding will make things a lot easier for you. My level of understanding comes from my studies, I studied UX design in varsity and I’d like to think that the level of my understanding was enforced by my lecturer who was a champ when it came to UX, he still is. However, when you land in the industry you will eventually get to learn more, which will add to your level of understanding. Apart from understanding, you will quickly learn that the key focus of every project is centered around the user, the user’s behaviour and the user’s goal, which is the key success of the UX process.

Observe & learn

UX design is a rapidly changing industry, so it is super important that you keep learning, growing & staying up to date with the latest UX trends as well as technological changes.

Speak Up

It has always been hard for me to speak up because I tend to shy away, but I’ve realized that being shy will not work in this industry. As an example, during a reviewing session you are required to provide some sort of feedback to your peers, but not everybody is comfortable doing so because you tend to get scared of making a fool of yourself, but hey the bright side is that it’s the best way to learn. Don’t hoard your ideas, a friend of mine once told me that ideas are meant to be shared and communicated to help our fellow designers create an even better solution for the users.

Asking for help doesn’t mean you’re stupid

Why do we always feel like that? I’m not ashamed to admit that I always ask for help even if it’s about the little things or just to make sure that I’m on the right track with my work. If you need advice with doing research or moving forward in a project, it’s better to ask your team to join you in a brainstorming session. This usually provides you with direction and will be much easier for you to develop a strong solution. P.S.designers don’t receive answers, they problem solve together.

Working in a team is important

Keep in mind that when you step into the UX industry, you will be stepping into a collaborative environment that requires you to work in a team tasked with everything from quick iterative brainstorming sessions to performing research and design on massive long-lasting projects. Working in teams also requires communication, reliability and management which is not easy, but with time it will get a lot easier. The whole aim as a team is to problem solve and come up with a solution model that works.


The below is a relationship model that displays an ongoing cycle that a jnr UX designer is likely to go through in order for them to learn, make mistakes and master their craft.

UX is a field that you cannot master overnight, it comes with years of practice, learning and making mistakes, eventually all my lessons will be amongst the lessons that will shape the future of the my career in the craft I love.


By Kate Tshipelo