switch from graphic design to UX design

How to switch from graphic design to UX design – similarities and differences

Are you a successful graphic designer but still keen to become a UX designer? Well, this decision is bound to leave many people surprised. The reason is that most people believe that graphic designers have the skill and talent to come up with flawless designs and success holds no boundaries for them.
There is no denying the fact that graphic designers have done exemplary work in the past. For example, iconic movie posters spell out the creativity and brilliance of graphic designers. These specialists have done wonders for different brands also.
For example, Mc Donald’s golden arches are also the brainchild of a graphic specialist. The question that might come in the minds of many is why a graphic design specialist needs to switch to UX design.
The wiser move is to evaluate this decision in the light of reality. Monetary benefit does matter at the end of the day. If we look at the PayScale statistics, then one thing is quite clear. The UX designers are surely making more money, then the graphic design specialists.
For example, a UX design specialist earns about 45% more in the USA than a graphic designer.
This means that you can look forward to huge financial gains if you become a UX designer. Now, the change does sound tempting but you can only be successful if you have a clear roadmap in front of you. This is why we will discuss all the intricate details to switch from graphic designing to UX designing.
To understand the essentials, you first need to have a clear idea about what user experience designing is all about.

Understanding the concept of User experience design

When you have decided to switch to user experience design, you need to perceive the concept of user experience. The term user experience refers to the feelings of a user after using a certain product.  Now, it is the job of the UX designer to make this experience awesome.

The truth is winning the trust of the users is no easy job and it requires a fair amount of hard work. The most important thing is that the designer needs to indulge in in-depth research. As a UX design specialist you need to visualize the problems of the users and how they intend to benefit from a certain product.

To define the perfect solution, you need to interact with the users so that you can get their opinion and design products that offer value to them.

When you are into UX designing, then there are three important factors that you need to consider when designing your product. What you need to remember is that the first thing that grabs the attention of the users is the visual outlook of the product.

The visual appeal of the product

When a product looks visually appealing, then it becomes easier to capture the attention of the user. In fact, that buyer develops trust in the brand which is vital for long-term clientele.

The feel of the product

The mistake most UX designers do is that they become more focused on the functionality of a product. The functionality is crucial but at the same time the customer should rejoice the moment he uses the product.

Product usability

What we are eager to state is here is that using the product should be a perfect combo of visual appeal plus functionality and feel. This means that an attractive product should also be able to deliver the predicted results. Only then it will be able to offer value to the users.

To emerge as a top-notch UX designer you also need to identify the similarities between a graphic design specialist and a UX designer.


The similarities between graphic design and UX design

The interesting part is that there are many common elements between a UX design specialist and graphic design specialist. We will just reveal a few of these similarities.

Emotionally winning the buyers

Both the graphic design specialists and UX designs specialists agree that it is very crucial to shape up the emotions of the buyer to sell a product. The colors, fonts and the images are the lethal tools used by these design specialists to emotionally communicate with the buyers.

The only difference is that the UX specialists are more detail oriented. For example, they focus on the information architecture, tone and the motion design also.

Come up with convincing mock-ups

The graphic specialists initially come up with mock-ups. The benefit of this practice that the clients can critically view the mock-up and give in their valuable feedback. Once the feedback has been received the graphic design specialist can bring about improvement in the design as per the requirement of the user.

The UX specialists follow the same trend. They also come up with a mock-up initially. However, their objective is slightly different in comparison to that of a graphic designer. What a UX specialist wants is that the design should make the product desirable and usable too.

Showcasing innovation

Both UX specialists and graphic specialists do not lag behind when it comes to a sense of creativity. The graphic specialists are keen that their designs should follow conventions. At the same time, they want that their designs should showcase their unique school of though and creativity.

When UX specialists design a product, they showcase creativity but they have a broader vision. They are willing to deviate from the traditional conventions. Their ultimate goal is to solve the problem of the buyer through an innovative product.

Now, that we have looked at the similarities between UX design and graphic design it is also important to look at the differences. This way you can decide with ease whether you are ready to switch to UX design or not.

The evident differences between UX design and graphic design

UX specialist focuses on user requirements

The graphic specialists want their design to be picture perfect. No wonder their prime focus is on the pixels, brand guidelines and colors of the product design. What the UX designer wants is that the attractive product should be able to meet the requirements of the user.

This is why they do not spend all the time in coming up with a perfect design because they feel that the visual appeal alone will not be able to hold the user for long. Most UX specialists are eager to conduct usability testing to ascertain the user opinion.

This is why if you are planning to switch to UX designing, then you will need to bring about a few changes in your working methodology. You will have to dig out ways to conduct effective research and how you can extract the maximum information from the user to come up with an attractive and useful product.

UX design is multi-disciplinary

Another challenge awaits you if you are eager to become a UX design specialist. The graphic designing can be termed as more of specialized discipline but it is not the case with UX design. It can be termed as a multi-disciplinary field. This is why apart from designing you will also need to develop an understanding about information architecture.

Interactive approach is crucial for UX design

Most graphic designers are alien to the iterative approach. You need to come to terms with this approach if you want to excel in UX design. The iterative approach means that first you will have to identify the problem of the users.

You need to understand the psyche of the buyer. The customers are never interested in spending money on products that do not solve their problem.

You will have to consider the above-mentioned differences when you want to switch from graphic design to UX design. The positive side of the picture is that a graphic specialist has a good aesthetic sense. This is why you will be able to make useful contribution when it comes to improving the user experience.

The graphic specialists are aware of the design conventions as well. This is why adapting to UX design should not be a problem for you but this does not mean that you should stop enhancing your talent and skills.

If you want to excel in the field of UX design, then it will be a good idea to take up a few online courses. For example, you can opt for Interaction Design foundation courses

UX design courses offered by Coursera are also worth considering. These courses do provide high quality knowledge about UX design. If you are looking for authentic UX training, then it will not be a bad idea to consider Udemy also.

The only problem with Udemy is that they have a huge range of courses and it can be a problem to figure out the top-quality design courses. If you are having problems in making your course selection, then you can even opt for Classroom UX design courses.


The effort is worth it and you should give it a try if you want to excel as a UX designer.


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