In a world where millions of men and women are out of a job and looking to replace their primary source of income, drastic career changes are quickly becoming the norm. According to a recent Forbes article contributed by Sue Bhatia, founder and chairwoman of Rose International, a Top-25 IT staffing firm in the United States, the work-from-home or WFH model could be a sustainable way for people to migrate to jobs they haven’t done before. One particular area of interest that is not widely known is UI design or UI/UX design. In a nutshell, it is the job of a UI designer to craft a front-end model for a website, a web application, or a mobile app, which a developer or development team can then use as a starting point to create the final product.
Can I be a UI/UX Designer?
The straight-shooting answer to that: Yes, if you’re willing to learn the basic skills of the trade and then practice until you’re good enough to be chosen for a project. To give you an added advantage, we’ve showcased an online UI/UX design and prototyping platform called Wondershare Mockitt. Since this is a cloud-based application, all you need is a computer with an Internet connection and you’re good to go. Everything else you require is provided by the app itself, including the design components and the ability to create an interactive prototype of your design.
Back to some basics, the terms UI (user interface) and UX (user experience) can be used to describe the esthetic and functional aspects of an interactive digital product, respectively. While the former focuses on aspects such as layout, colors, iconography, etc., the latter focuses on how the user will interact with the program or the website. The two can be separated but are usually unified into a field called UI/UX designing and prototyping. This is essentially a melding of the design phase and the prototyping phase that ultimately creates a realistic model of how the final product will look and feel, and interact with the user.
If you have an interest in design and are currently looking to switch to a career where you can work from the safety and comfort of your home, then a UI/UX designer’s role might be the right choice for you.
Is Wondershare Mockitt Easy to Use?
Showing you the basic workflow involved in the design and prototyping process will go a long way as far as initiating you into the design fraternity is concerned. To that end, we’ve prepared a descriptive tutorial you can use to create your first UI/UX designing and prototyping project.
1. Sign Up for a Wondershare Mockitt Account
- The first step is to get yourself registered for a free account that will allow you to create your first design and prototype it.
- You will also be able to preview the functionality at any point during the design process, as well as share your interactive prototype with others. Think of it as creating the first entry in your design portfolio.
- Once you’ve signed up, log in to your account and proceed to the next step.
2. Create a New Project
- On the home page or welcome page, you’ll see a dashboard in the middle that will eventually display the project you create.
- On the upper-right, you’ll see a button called Create New Project. Clicking on that will show you several device options.
- Once you enter a project name, under the ‘Blank Project’ tab, choose the type of device you’re designing for, such as web/TV, mobile, smartwatch, tablets, and so on.
- If you click on the ‘Create Project from Demos’ tab, you’ll see various templates you can use as a starting point for your design.
- When you click the Create button or pick one of the Use Demo options, you’ll be taken to the next page.
3. Create Your Design
- If you’re starting out with a blank page, you’ll see a layout containing a few options. Click on the ‘Edit Screen’ button of the ‘Home’ screen option; this is your first screen, also known as an artboard, and represents the first page of your application or home page of your website.
- In the center of the canvas, you’ll see your first artboard/screen. On the left, you’ll see a screen navigation panel and, beyond that, a Fast Widgets panel from where you can drag and drop components directly into the artboard. On the right, you’ll see a Properties panel and buttons to access the full library of components.
- Add sections, buttons, text, and other components to the page by dragging them from the quick-access panel on the left or the full library on the right.
- You can now resize and reposition the component, and control its properties from the full menu in the panel on the right.
- Start adding components and create the initial layout of the first page of your site or application, then do the same with subsequent pages. New artboards can be created using the ‘New Screen’ button at the top of the navigation panel on the left.
4. Make Your Design Interactive, aka Prototyping
- Following the instructions in the previous section should give you a static layout of your screens or artboards.
- To add interactions, use the linking option. This is done by dragging the link icon (which you see to the left of any selected component on your screen) and dropping it to the page it should link to. For example, you can link a ‘Sign In’ button on the home page to a second page containing the fields to submit your username and password.
- To add a gesture, such as a tap, a click, etc., drag and drop the link to the target page, then click the icon on the link itself to edit it; here, you can add a gesture that will trigger the link, as well as choose how it will transition to the target page.
- Doing this with all interactive components in your design will finally yield a working prototype, which you can see in action using the Preview button on the upper right corner at any time during the design and prototyping stage.
5. Add Notes and Share/Download the Design
- Now that your prototype is ready, you can add annotations by using the ‘Sticky’ notes widget.
- Next, click the ‘Share’ or ‘Download’ icon in the top menu bar to let others preview the prototype or save a copy of the full HTML file, a PNG image, or an Android APK version of your prototype.
The process might seem a little complicated in the beginning, but once you have some hands-on experience with Wondershare Mockitt, you’ll see how easy it is to create visually stunning and functionally interactive prototypes.
Now that you have a convenient tool to create UI/UX designs and prototypes, it’s time to start practicing. The more you practice, the better you’ll become. Truth be told, there’s really no need to sign up for a UI design course in the beginning. Everything you need to know can be learned over the Internet, and Wondershare Mockitt gives you the perfect platform to practice on.
Once you’re confident about your skills, you can start looking for freelance work to give you some exposure to the industry. There are several sites like 99Design and Upwork where new users have the opportunity to bid on client projects. Building a solid reputation on such platforms may even lead to long-term work or repeat customers so you can establish a strong brand reputation for yourself.
The reason we recommend starting as a freelancer is that it gives you the option of having multiple streams of income. The more clients you have, the more stable your income will be. On top of that, you’ll have the freedom to set your own work hours and take more control over your life and your future. This is what people are looking for in the new normal of a post-pandemic world. Upskilling yourself as a design professional, especially as a freelancer, will help you avoid the painful experience of suddenly losing a job and having to start from scratch again. Moreover, even if you decide on a full-time job as a UI/UX designer, it is one of the most recession-resilient industries to work in because websites and applications are always going to enjoy strong demand no matter what.
We wish you all the best in your new career and sincerely hope that your dream of being financially worry-free will eventually come to you.
This content is brought to you by Wondershare Mockitt.
Inset photos provided by Wondershare Mockitt.
Feature photo: Shutterstock