Beginners Guide to UI/UX: Scaling Up in Design

When starting out, there will be lots of failures and challenges. However, grit can set you apart and drive your success in UI/UX

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You might have stumbled across this article as someone already building a career in UI/UX or someone who is considering venturing into the world of UI/UX. Whichever case it may be, you’re at the right place. Starting out in the world of design can be both exciting and daunting. There’s lots of information and there’s that pressing question, “Where do I start?”

In this post, we’ll look at some key tips to getting started in User Interface/User Experience design as well as common challenges beginners face and ways to jump over these hurdles. However, before we get into that let’s talk about grit and consistency. 

Starting Out As A UI/UX Designer

1. Understand the Basics

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Start with a solid understanding of design principles, color theory, typography, layout, and user psychology. Online tutorials, courses, and books are excellent resources to deepen your knowledge. Here are some courses that can help you understand the basics:

  1. Foundations of User Experience (UX) Design
  2. Get Started in UI/UX Design

2. Practice Regularly

Continuous practice is proof of grit! The best way to learn design is by doing. Try to find opportunities to work on real-world projects, even if it’s just for free. You can also practice by designing your own projects, such as a personal website or a logo for a friend’s business.

Set aside dedicated time each day to work on design projects, even if they are small. The more you practice, the better you become.

3. Seek Feedback and Learn

Don’t shy away from seeking feedback on your designs. Constructive criticism helps you identify areas for improvement and refine your skills. You can get feedback from fellow designers through posting on social media, asking a colleague, feedback from target users and even from a mentor.

You can also join design communities, share your work, and engage in discussions. It’s important that you’re open to feedback and receive them well, whether positive or negative.

4. Find a mentor. 

A mentor is someone who can provide guidance and support as you navigate the design world. Look for someone you can work closely with. You mentor should also be someone who has experience in the type of design you’re interested in and who you admire their work.

5. Build a portfolio.

Your portfolio is a collection of your best work. It’s important to have a portfolio that showcases your skills and abilities to potential employers. Start by creating projects for yourself, such as personal websites, apps, or branding materials. Once you have a few projects under your belt, you can start applying for jobs. As a designer, your portfolio should have visual elements and showcase your strong points.

6. Join a Community of UI/UX Designers

Networking is a great way to meet other designers, learn new things, and find job opportunities. Attend industry events, connect with designers on LinkedIn, and reach out to people whose work you admire.

7. Learn

Take courses and tutorials, read design blogs and articles. There are many great resources available online to help you learn about design. Find one that works for you and take advantage of it.

If a physical course helps you learn, then join a physical course. Excelling as a UI/UX designer involves a continuous learning process.

8. Read books and Literature

I’m sorry to bust your bubble but you’re going to have to read literature and books on UI/UX. There are lots of great resources out there that will help improve your knowledge and creativity. Reading will help expand your mind and give you an edge. To get you started, here are some great books you can read:

  1. Refactoring UI by Adam Wathan
  2. Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative by Austin Kleon
  3. The Design of Everyday Things by Don Norman


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When starting out, there will be lots of failures and challenges (These are normal and can be expected on the road to mastery). However, grit can set you apart and drive your success in UI/UX design. It is the ability to keep pushing forward despite the setbacks, to keep trying when you don’t get it, to keep improving even after rejection/acceptance. 

Ira Glass, the host and creator of “This American Life” puts it nicely, “grit is what separates good taste from truly great work, and the only way to close the gap between your abilities and your ambition is to put in the effort and do the work.”

He explains that starting as a beginner in a creative field, our taste might be ahead yet, what we create might not meet the standard we set or are expected to meet and this leads to disappointments which might cause people to change path/give up. Unknowing that this is a common phase that every creative goes through. It is grit- the key to persist, practice, and refine that takes a beginner to mastery.


Consistency in design is like the steady beat of a drum. It provides rhythm and structure to your work. To be consistent means there’s a certain consistency and coherence in your designs.

This ensures a seamless and delightful user experience. Regardless of failures or hurdles, it’s vital to maintain this consistency and constantly improve. Here’s why:

1. Builds Your Brand Identity

Consistency in design is a key element to building a brand that stands out. It helps in creating a recognizable and trustworthy image in the minds of your audience through repetitive styles and elements such as colors, typography, layout, messaging, etc. Maintaining consistency instills a sense of reliability and professionalism.

2. Enhances User Experience

Consistency in design creates a sense of familiarity for users. This improves the experience and makes it easy to navigate through the platform. Users find it easier to navigate a platform when they can predict the layout and behavior based on their previous interactions. It improves usability and encourages users to come back.

3. Builds Credibility

Consistent design builds credibility and trust. When users encounter a cohesive design across various touchpoints, they perceive the brand as reliable and dedicated to delivering a high-quality product or service.

Overcoming Common UI/UX Design Hurdles

1. Imposter Syndrome

Feeling like a fraud is common in the creative field. Understand that everyone started as a beginner. Embrace the learning process, and be confident in your process. Growth takes time and consistent effort.

2. Lack of Confidence

Believe that you can build a successful career in UI/UX. Trust in your abilities and be patient with yourself. Keep track of your progress, take advantage of opportunities, celebrate small victories, and focus on continuous learning. 

3. Staying Updated

Design is constantly evolving. Being part of communities and engaging in ongoing discussions help you stay updated with the latest trends, tools, and technologies. Have a dedicated time to learn and experiment to sharpen your skills, stay relevant and up-to-date.

4. Rejection

Rejection is a normal part of the design process. Don’t take rejection personally. Learn from your mistakes and move on.

To do this, it’s important that you do not get attached to your projects. The designs are yours but they are not you.

5. Perfectionism 

Perfectionism can be a paralyzing force. The truth is, there is no such thing as a perfect design. It’s better to finish a project than to never finish it at all. 

6. Staying Inspired

Having a career in design, you can’t rely on sudden bursts of creativity. You have to create a system and structure that keeps your creative juices flowing. 

Surround yourself with design inspiration, follow design blogs. Platforms like Dribbble and Behance are there for your exploring! Observe the designs of others and learn from them. This exposure can spark your creativity and help you stay updated with current trends.


Getting started in design can be challenging, but it’s also very rewarding. By mastering the grit to scale up in design, you can set yourself up for a successful career. Remember to be consistent, learn, practice, be patient, experiment and learn from your mistakes. With grit and determination, you can scale up your skills and knowledge and become a successful designer.

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