UI/UX designers are now one of the most-sought professionals in the Nigerian corporate space. Don’t sleep on this, young people (even those who are still schooling) are being recruited on daily basis by big multinationals simply because they can design. Have you been thinking “how do I become a self taught UI/UX designer for free in Nigeria?” Well, you just arrived in the right space.
We promised you to always bring the ventures that are making waves in Nigeria, this is one of them.
This is one of the most-lucrative job roles in Nigeria at the moment (2021). If you are concerned about the costs, and time that you’d be spending learning how to become a UI/UX designer, I think you just need to restrategize because that’s really not a worry.
In this article, I will take you through 5 simple steps to become a self-taught UI/UX designer in Nigeria for free and from the comfort of your room.
What Do I Need?
First of all. You don’t need a formal training (a university degree, etc) to become a UI/UX designer, I can tell you that for free. A lot of top designers taught themselves in the beginning. All you need to have is the know-how, and every other thing can fall in place.
Of course, you need some equipment to start off. Here are the most-essential things you need – I mean, you cannot do without them:
- A personal computer (PC)/laptop
- A reading lamp
- A whiteboard/drawing book
- Fuel in your generator (lol I mean electricity)
What do I NOT Need?
- A university degree
- Enrollment fees
Steps to Become a Self-Taught UI/UX Designer in Nigeria
Ok I’d just dive right in it.
A lot of people make the mistake of dabbling into different youtube videos, manuals, classes, online this and that and feel that they are growing in this field. It is an illusion.
The only way to become a grounded UI/UX person is by learning the FUNDAMENTALS in a single comprehensive SYLLABUS.
Get your essential equipments
You, as a designer, are as good as your tools and your workspace. You must get all your equipment ready.
Take a course to learn the fundamentals of UI/UX design
Now, this is the most-important step. Your learning should be based on the fundamentals and also comprehensive. Here I’m going to introduce you to two free all-encompassing courses in UI/UX:
- Introduction to User Experience Design at Coursera (5 weeks)
- Digital Skills: User Experience at Accenture
Another pro-tip is to immerse yourself in UX-focused podcasts. Here are 5 nice podcasts you can listen to.
Start practising with the right software
After diligently going through your course at Coursera or Accenture, pick one or (at most) two software and start practising. Practise at every opportunity you have. I’d recommend two of the great array of design software that exist. They are:
- Adobe XD
Figma is web-based so you don’t actually need an extraordinarily-great laptop to work on it. It also has a collaborative feature that allows you to add another designer on the same task.
Adobe also offers a robust free version. I mean, you can do a lot on the free version without paying a dime.
Get a mentor
Your UI/UX mentor could be a friend,a friend of a friend, your church member, co-worker, or anyone – it does not matter. Get an experienced eye to give you a clear direction even after gathering all that knowledge. This is an important step to become a self-taught UI/UX designer for free in Nigeria.
This is also important because failure and success leave a path which can only be explained by someone who has gone through it all. They can also share their past/current jobs with you so that you can learn.
Develop an eye for good design
Become consciously aware of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ designs around you. Actually, as there are no ‘bad’ designs, always note what could have been done better on a design and learn from it.
Remember that you have learned the fundamentals of UX, you can apply these in your assessments of the designs you come across on daily basis and grow from that. Trust me, this is a great step to becoming a self-taught UI/UX designer in Nigeria for free.
Start working and always ask for feedback
This is another step to become a self-taught UI/UX designer in Nigeria. Start building your work portfolio. Building a work portfolio is very key because this is what forms the bulk of your ‘work experience’. When you start going into job interviews with the big corporations (which is the goal), your interviewers would always love to check how far you have come.
After doing your best on a design (as you must always), always ask for what people think about your design.
In your audience, always make sure to have people from different walks of life and with varying knowledge of what a good design looks like – the novices can help too.
Like in developing an app in an iteration, your skills and portfolio get better as you keep up in revisiting them. Your skills, at every attempt to do more difficult things, gets better and better.
After six months of diligent work on yourself, skills, your designs, network, and portfolio, you will look back and thank your luck for stumbling on this article.