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05 Sep

Making the Switch From Graphic Designer to UX Designer

An increased emphasis on interaction with digital platforms in the contemporary world means new career paths for creatives working in digital fields—especially those whose skills lend themselves to user experience (UX) design and development. If you’re a graphic designer thinking about a career change, consider making the switch to UX design.

While graphic design will never go out of style, UX is a rapidly growing field today,1 and many of the skills that make you a successful graphic designer will translate directly to a UX design career.

Infographic: UXD-Career-Considerations

What Is UX Design?

If graphic design is art with a practical application, then UX design builds on that by adding another dimension: interactivity.

UX designers are responsible for conceptualizing and developing the way a user interacts with a website or digital product. This encompasses both visual elements of the product—a clear, legible and aesthetically beautiful design has a positive effect on usability—and its functionality.2 All aspects of the experience must flow seamlessly, be intuitive and leave the user with a good impression of the product. UX designers consider all facets of the experience of their product holistically, including how they present information to the user (the information architecture) and how the user feels at each step of the experience.

A typical UX design process can be broken down into the following steps:3

  1. Conduct user research
  2. Analyze and brainstorm
  3. Develop an idea
  4. Build a prototype
  5. Test with users

UXD vs. GD: Comparison-Chart


Making the Transition From Graphic Design to UX Design

Check out these tips for becoming a UX designer, which can apply to you whether you’re just embarking on your career or making a career change. As with many creative digital fields, you can develop skills to succeed as a UX designer through focused independent study, including participating in interactive programs like the Daily UI Challenge. You can also gain new perspective and build a strong professional network by attending conferences in the field.

But if you’re really serious about making this bold career move, you may want to consider a graduate-level program, such as Kent State’s online Master's in UX Design, to accelerate the process and add credentials to your resume. This program offers an instant network of faculty and peers and a curriculum that pairs technical skill development with business know-how to help you transform into a well-rounded, in-demand UX designer.


1 Retrieved on August 2, 2018, from money.cnn.com/gallery/pf/2017/01/05/best-jobs-2017/99.html
2 Retrieved on August 2, 2018, from nngroup.com/articles/aesthetic-usability-effect/
3 Retrieved on August 2, 2018, from theblog.adobe.com/ux-design-for-graphic-designers/