You have to start somewhere and the best place to start is understanding design fundamentals. Currently, right now, can you name at least 4 core UX strategies, UI techniques, or Visual Design best practices? If the answer is no, please read this chapter.
Before creating beautiful mockups, you’ll need a crash course in proper design thinking. You thought I would say jump into Sketch or another design related tool, right? Wrong! Trust me, I started with the tool first! Lincoln's quote "Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe" works for this situation but not in the way you expect. Your axe isn't your design tool, its design fundamentals. Design fundamentals focus on “how” to think as a designer! You would learn how to think about your decisions and your ideas as a system instead of one off visual solutions. Your user interface is first and foremost responsible for solving the problem, being functional, and lastly being visually pleasing.
Areas of study:
Yes, it is a lot of areas to dive into but it is all apart of your job as a designer. After you learn one area, you’ll be intrigued to learn the other aspects as well.
Here are a few places I started my design fundamentals journey:
https://www.springboard.com/workshops/ux-design/ (This use to be free, I’m not sure if it is now.)
https://www.coursera.org/learn/ux-design-fundamentals (This use to be free, I’m not sure if it is now.)
$12 OR LESS
$30 OR LESS
$50 OR LESS
For me, it was hard learning some of these fundamentals without putting them into practice. Without a company as my playground, I used my own career transition as my learning lab. For example, my vision of success was to land a User Experience Designer position. I started my quest doing market research. I found out what those positions required, what skills I’ll need to acquire and potential companies to seek out. Each week, I would write down a list of 5 companies, learn a ton about their needs, their market, what they were looking for, and then I’ll apply. Before I know it I was UXing my career.