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Nashville, TN is known as the Music City and is the capital of Tennessee. The city is located in Central Tennessee and is the seat of Davidson County.

 Nashville was founded in 1779 by James Robertson, John Donelson, and a party of Overmountain Men near the original Cumberland settlement of Fort Nashborough. It was named for Francis Nash, an American Revolutionary War her. The city quickly grew because of its strategic location, its status as a major railroad center, and accessibility as a port on the Cumberland River.

 Nashville is the home to Vanderbilt University, the Grand Ole Opry House, The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, and historic Ryman Auditorium. The city is known for the music, healthcare, banking, transportation, and publishing industries, and is home to many colleges and universities. Businesses that call Nashville home include numerous record labels, Gibson, Hospital Corporation of America, CoreCivic, and Nissan North America. Nashville is considered a southern boomtown and has one of the fastest growing economies in the United States.

 Nashville is located on the Cumberland River in northern Middle Tennessee and was originally a significant shipping port. Since the 1970s, the city has undergone a tremendous growth, especially during the 19902 when urban renewal was made a priority by then-Mayor Phil Bredesen. During this time notable landmarks were built that include the downtown Nashville Public Library, the Bridgestone Arena, Nissan Stadium, and the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.

 Nissan Stadium was built for the Tennessee Titans of the National Football League who moved from Houston and debuted in 1998. The city is also home to the Nashville Predators of the National Hockey League since 1997. Other professional sports teams that call Nashville home include Nashville Kangaroos, Nashville Sounds Baseball Club, and Nashville Soccer Club.

 Nashville suburbs include Hermitage, Goodlettsville, Hendersonville, Mount Juliet, Brentwood, Franklin, Nolensville, Smyrna, Bellevue, Madison, Inglewood, Bella Meade, Green Hills, Oak Hill, Forst Hills, and Kingston Springs. Nearby town include Clarksville, Dickson, Cornersville, Murfreesboro, Watertown, Cave City, and Bowling Green.

Every year tourist are drawn to Nashville. One of the most popular reasons is its association with country music. The Grand Ole Opry is the world’s longest-running live radio shows. There is an area in the city known as Music Valley where the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center, the Opry Mills regional shopping mall, and the General Jackson showboat are located. Nashville has many museums and arts centers,  including the Tennessee State Museum, the Johny Cash Museum, the Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Cheekwood Botanical garden and Museum, and even a full-scale replica of the Parthenon.

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How to Change Your Career from Web Design to UX Design

Changing careers isn’t as hard as it’s often made out to be, especially if you’ve got the right resources to help you make the change. For many web designers, now is the perfect time to make the switch into UX design. To start with, there’s the monetary boost that comes with the change in career. According to PayScale, web designers in the US earn an average of $46,000 annually(1), while UX designers on the other hand earn a sizeable $74,000(2). Secondly, job opportunities for UX designers are booming: CNN reports that a total of 3,426,000 UX design jobs will be created in the US alone within the next 10 years(3). Furthermore, UX design is a meaningful job, not only because you get to work on a product from the inside out, but also because—as DMI has shown—UX design makes a significant impact on businesses, with UX design-driven businesses outperforming the S&P index by 228%(4). So, where do you find the right resources to help you make your career change? Why, you’re reading one right now.

What is User Experience and User Experience Design?

To start with, let’s have a brief introduction to what we mean by “User Experience”. Products have users, and the user experience (UX) is simply the experience a user has from using that particular product. So far, so good?

UX design is the art of designing products so that they provide the optimum possible user experience. If this description sounds broad, it’s because the nature of UX design is pretty broad. Building the optimum UX encompasses an understanding of psychology, interaction design, user research, and many other disciplines, but on top of it all is an iterative problem solving process (but more on that later).

Broadly speaking, user experience can be broken down into 3 components: the look, feel, and .

The look of a product is about using visuals to create a sense of harmony with the user’s values, and that creates and trust with the user. It’s about creating a product that not only looks nice, but looks right too.

The feel, then, involves making the experience of using a product as pleasant and enjoyable as possible. It’s built by crafting the interactions between the user and the product, as well as the reactions they have when (and after) using the product.

Lastly, usability underpins the user experience. Quite simply, if a product isn’t usable, no amount of good looks can salvage it, and the only feeling users are going to have is anger and frustration. Ideally, products should be personalized to user’s needs, and deliver functionality in a predictable way.

If you’re still not sure whether UX design appeals to you, we’ve got some articles that help introduce some of the important parts of UX as a career:

What Do Web Design and UX Design Have in Common?

The job title “Web Designer” has many definitions, and indeed, what a web designer does is largely dependent on what the client or project requires. Some web designers simply create visual designs and/or high fidelity interactive prototypes of the website, and leave the coding of the website to front-end and back-end developers. The majority of web designers, however, do get involved with both the designing and (front-end) development of the website. Some web designers even regularly do user research and testing as part of their jobs (and if you’re one of them, you’re already almost ready for a job in UX design).

But no matter what your job as a web designer entails, here are some aspects of web design that can also be found in UX design.

Problem solving

Web designers look to solve problems for their clients; UX designers look to solve problems for their users. Web designers work with a problem solving process: first, they find out the problems their clients have, then design a web solution for them, and then proceed to develop and the website before releasing it. And after a website is launched, web designers often are involved with further testing the site, collecting feedback from users, and then reiterating on the design.

This iterative problem solving process is similar to the UX design process (shown in the image below). UX designers begin with user research; it’s essential to get to know the potential users of a product and find out what their problems are, how to solve them and how to make users want and/or need that solution. User research is often done via user interviews, observations, demographic studies, drafting user stories and personas, etc. Thereafter, UX designers would create a design solution that solves the user’s key needs, and often bring the prototype back to users to test its validity or usability. After the product is launched, UX designers collect more user feedback, which feeds into a new round of user research, thereby starting the process again.

If you’ve done user research before as part of your web designer job, you will find it a great advantage when making the switch to UX design. If not, don’t worry—you’ll have many opportunities to learn the best ways to conduct user research (read on to find out more).

Emotional design

When designing websites, web designers often make use of , and layout to shape the emotions of users. A sense of credibility could be established, for instance, by using darker colors and serif fonts; similarly, a sense of fun could be created using colorful imagery and playful typography. Web designers are familiar with emotional design; that is, creating designs that elicit emotions from users. UX designers are also concerned with emotional design, but on a larger scale—they are concerned with eliciting emotions from users throughout their entire experience of using a product.

To do that, UX designers work with not only typography and color, but also psychology, motion design, content curation and information architecture. Web designers making the change would innately understand what emotional design in UX entails; they simply need to pick up new knowledge in other areas to augment their ability to do so on a bigger picture.

Multi-disciplinary

Web design is a multi-disciplinary job, where you’d need not only knowledge in design (typography, color theory) but also skills in developing a website (HTML, CSS, JavaScript). Some web designers are also involved in interaction design when they code for and interactions using CSS and/or JavaScript. UX design is also a multi-disciplinary field, but perhaps supercharged in that sense. UX designers need to make use of knowledge from the areas of psychology, user research, visual design, and even business to create the best UX for their products.

The Differences between Web Design and UX Design

User-focused vs technology-focused

A large part of your job as a web designer is spent on catching up on the latest developments in HTML, CSS and other coding languages—all of which change and improve at a dizzying pace. Which browsers support what versions of CSS? Would CSS animations work in Safari on a Mac? Don’t even get me started on Internet Explorer! These might be a few questions (and frustrations) that are constantly on your mind as a web designer.But UX design isn’t concerned with technology. Instead, its focus is centered squarely on users—technology is only a means for users to get what they need. Only by focusing on users can UX designers create solutions that cater to the specific needs they have, and ultimately, that users will be willing to pay for. UX designers do extensive user research to find out the most they can about their users, most of which the majority of web designers wouldn’t have had the chance to perform.

UX is more than the web

UX design is platform independent. Its principles and processes are applied to many diverse areas outside of web browsers: on mobile apps, desktop software, and even hardware products and retail spaces. On the other hand, the domain of web design is strictly tied to web browsers. This means that UX designers are able to find job opportunities not only in up-and-rising fields like tech startups, but also in mature and stable industries like car manufacturers. As long as there’s a product, there’s a need for UX—and this really opens up your world of opportunities.

The Big Benefit of Web Design Experience when Moving to UX Design

Relevance of web design background

The biggest benefit of moving from web design to UX design is the amount of overlap between the two fields of design. While it’s true that UX design covers more platforms than the web browser, a sizeable portion of UX design work is still done on products that are at least partially web-based (think of social media websites like Facebook and Twitter, web apps like Dropbox, and services like Google). The overlap between web design and UX design is greater if you’ve done some form of user research or iterative process of continually improving a website with user data.

Being fluent in design and website coding terminologies will also give you a boost that cannot be ignored; after all, UX design is a collaborative process where communication is crucial. Being able to use industry terms while talking to your colleagues will definitely put you in a better place than someone who came from a non-design background.

Aesthetics

Your ability to create beautiful as a web designer will also come in handy when making the switch to UX design. Firstly, aesthetics is a great tool to augment your communications with internal stakeholders. As a UX designer, you have to constantly present your findings and recommendations to internal stakeholders (such as the CEO or product manager), and your ability to create visually pleasing reports and presentations will maximize the absorption of your key points.

Secondly, aesthetics plays a vital role in UX design. A common myth of UX design is that great usability trumps aesthetics—but that is far from true. In fact, a study of more than 2,500 participants by the Stanford Credibility Project showed that nearly half of them assessed the credibility of websites based on their visual appeal(5). This goes to show how aesthetics works hand in hand with other factors like usability to bring about the optimum user experience of using a product.

How to Enhance Your Skills to Make the Jump from Web Design to UX Design

Moving from web design to UX design can sometimes be quite straightforward, especially if you’ve done some aspects of user research in your job as a web designer. For other web designers, however, there is no cause for concern. You’ll be able to make the leap if you’ve spent some time studying UX, practicing some UX skills during your web design work, and constructing a CV which shows your understanding of UX design. If you’re wondering where to learn, there are plenty of options available to you, and we’ve highlighted some of the best below.

Online Courses

Interaction Design Foundation

Don Norman, the cognitive scientist who coined the term “User Experience”, called the Interaction Design Foundation (yes, that’s us) a “goldmine of information on interaction design.” Forbes Magazine says that we offer “Ivy League level education in UX, Product Design or Human Computer Interaction.” Fortunately, that education isn’t at an Ivy League level of pricing. As a non-profit organization, we charge a low annual fee and you get access not just to all of our online learning, but also to the largest specialist design community in the world. We also offer a free library of academic texts from the design industry’s top researchers.

We have three courses (among our current offering of 32) that are specifically designed to help people enter the world of UX design. You’ll learn all areas of UX work and basic skills to practice UX work in Become a UX Designer from Scratch. In Get Your First Job as a UX (or Interaction) Designer, you’ll be able to learn what kinds of experience in UX do employers seek the most, as well as craft a winning cover letter, CV and portfolio that will help you get an interview for a UX design job. Finally, in User Research – Methods and Best Practices, learn the industry best practices of how to conduct proper user research and turn the results of your research into useful action on your product.

Coursera

You might also want to check out Coursera which is a great source of online learning. Their courses, like ours, are developed by leading experts in their field. Unlike us, however, they don’t specialize in UX and their courses aren’t always available, but when they are, they can either be accessed usually for a fee (on a per course basis).

Udemy

Udemy offers a huge selection of courses in nearly every subject area you can imagine. Udemy isn’t really a training provider, but rather a broker of training created by people from around the world. As such, there’s not much in the way of quality control applied to their courses—while some are absolutely brilliant, many are not.

Classroom Courses

Nielsen Norman Group

If you want to examine classroom courses; we recommend sticking with the “big names” of the industry who provide reliable and high-quality learning experiences. One of those big names is the Nielsen Norman Group who are also one of the best known UX consultancies; they offer a range of classroom based training at various locations around the world. They’re not inexpensive, but if you prefer not to have online training, they’re a good alternative.

You can find the Nielsen Norman Group’s training here.

Cooper

Cooper, a highly respected classroom-based training provider, also provides classroom courses on UX design. They’re also not cheap, but if you’re going to do classroom learning, it’s never going to be as cost-effective as online learning. They do, however, offer a nice range of locations to learn in as part of their service.

You can find more about Cooper’s training here.

University Courses

If you’ve got plenty of money and time, you could go ahead and get a Bachelor’s degree or a Master’s degree at a university. There isn’t, as of yet, a “UX-only” degree course, and the majority of related degrees tend to focus on Human Computer Interaction.

Two examples of this kind of program are:

University is not a low cost option, both in the sense of your time and money you’ll be spending on it. You’ll want to weigh up the pros and cons of a university course very carefully before you decide to go this route.

For instance, here’s how we break down the total costs of a 4-year university degree:

HSBC, as reported by Top Universities, found that the average US-based university education costs $36,564 a year(6). That includes tuition fees as well as living expenses. For a 4-year degree, this adds up to $146,256—and that’s not counting the costs (such as interest) of getting a loan for your studies.

Then there’s the opportunity cost of quitting work and spending four years at university. That is, the income you’ll forgo when studying full-time at a university. According to the United States Census, a non-graduate earns an average of $27,351 per year(7). Over 4 years, that amounts to $109,404 that could have been earned if you had been working.

Summing up the actual cost and opportunity cost gives you the total cost: a whopping $255,660!

If you think that all the options are confusing, you might want start by examining the return on investment from each type of learning. We’ve got an article here that examines the return on investment from each of the learning types mentioned above.

Networking

The best way to find work in any field is to use a little inside knowledge and get some help from those people already doing what you want to do. This used to be hard work, but today you can simply get online and get networking.

We’d recommend LinkedIn to anyone looking to do some professional networking; join UX groups and join the conversation. Don’t just jump in and ask for work—demonstrate your value first and help people, and look for work only after you’ve built relationships.

The Interaction Design Foundation also offers networking opportunities to both members and non-members. Our members are able to carry out highly specific networking through pre-designed forums that allow for collaboration between large groups of designers. Both members and non-members can also attend our local groups’ community events, which are completely free to attend. You can find out more about the local groups here.

You could also think about getting involved with the design community’s leadership by interacting with them on social media. We’ve provided a list of twenty great designers here that you can interact with online; you can expand that list as much as you like with a little Google work.

Mentoring and Feedback

We’ve found that you can make a career change more easily if you can find someone to mentor you and provide feedback on your efforts. You can, of course, source a mentor from your existing professional network if you know someone who is happy to take the role on. If you think that’s not going to work for you, members of the Interaction Design Foundation’s Design League have access our network of UX design experts and see a mentor from that network.

The Take Away

It isn’t difficult to move from web design to UX design. You can build on your existing skills through a process of education and choose the kind of education that suits you best. Thereafter, you can put that learning into practice as a web designer. The good news is you already speak the language of design so once you have a little practice in UX, you’re going to be ready to transition your career into UX design and join the fastest growing part of the design profession in the world today.

How to Change Your Career from Web Design to UX Design | Interaction Design Foundation

Changing careers isn’t as hard as it’s often made out to be, especially if you’ve got the right resources to help you make the change. For many web designers, now is the perfect time to make the switch into UX design. To start with, there’s the monetary boost that comes with the change in career. According to PayScale, web designers in the US earn an average of $46,000 annually(1), while UX designers on the other hand earn a sizeable $74,000(2). Secondly, job opportunities for UX designers are booming: CNN reports that a total of 3,426,000 UX design jobs will be created in the US alone within the next 10 years(3). Furthermore, UX design is a meaningful job, not only because you get to work on a product from the inside out, but also because—as DMI has shown—UX design makes a significant impact on businesses, with UX design-driven businesses outperforming the S&P index by 228%(4). So, where do you find the right resources to help you make your career change? Why, you’re reading one right now.

What is User Experience and User Experience Design?

To start with, let’s have a brief introduction to what we mean by “User Experience”. Products have users, and the user experience (UX) is simply the experience a user has from using that particular product. So far, so good?

UX design is the art of designing products so that they provide the optimum possible user experience. If this description sounds broad, it’s because the nature of UX design is pretty broad. Building the optimum UX encompasses an understanding of psychology, interaction design, user research, and many other disciplines, but on top of it all is an iterative problem solving process (but more on that later).

Broadly speaking, user experience can be broken down into 3 components: the look, feel, and usability.

The look of a product is about using visuals to create a sense of harmony with the user’s values, and that creates credibility and trust with the user. It’s about creating a product that not only looks nice, but looks right too.

The feel, then, involves making the experience of using a product as pleasant and enjoyable as possible. It’s built by crafting the interactions between the user and the product, as well as the reactions they have when (and after) using the product.

Lastly, usability underpins the user experience. Quite simply, if a product isn’t usable, no amount of good looks can salvage it, and the only feeling users are going to have is anger and frustration. Ideally, products should be personalized to user’s needs, and deliver functionality in a predictable way.

If you’re still not sure whether UX design appeals to you, we’ve got some articles that help introduce some of the important parts of UX as a career:

What Do Web Design and UX Design Have in Common?

The job title “Web Designer” has many definitions, and indeed, what a web designer does is largely dependent on what the client or project requires. Some web designers simply create visual designs and/or high fidelity interactive prototypes of the website, and leave the coding of the website to front-end and back-end developers. The majority of web designers, however, do get involved with both the designing and (front-end) development of the website. Some web designers even regularly do user research and testing as part of their jobs (and if you’re one of them, you’re already almost ready for a job in UX design).

But no matter what your job as a web designer entails, here are some aspects of web design that can also be found in UX design.

Problem solving

Web designers look to solve problems for their clients; UX designers look to solve problems for their users. Web designers work with a problem solving process: first, they find out the problems their clients have, then design a web solution for them, and then proceed to develop and test the website before releasing it. And after a website is launched, web designers often are involved with further testing the site, collecting feedback from users, and then reiterating on the design.

This iterative problem solving process is similar to the UX design process (shown in the image below). UX designers begin with user research; it’s essential to get to know the potential users of a product and find out what their problems are, how to solve them and how to make users want and/or need that solution. User research is often done via user interviews, observations, demographic studies, drafting user stories and personas, etc. Thereafter, UX designers would create a design solution that solves the user’s key needs, and often bring the prototype back to users to test its validity or usability. After the product is launched, UX designers collect more user feedback, which feeds into a new round of user research, thereby starting the process again.

If you’ve done user research before as part of your web designer job, you will find it a great advantage when making the switch to UX design. If not, don’t worry—you’ll have many opportunities to learn the best ways to conduct user research (read on to find out more).

Emotional design

When designing websites, web designers often make use of typography, color and layout to shape the emotions of users. A sense of credibility could be established, for instance, by using darker colors and serif fonts; similarly, a sense of fun could be created using colorful imagery and playful typography. Web designers are familiar with emotional design; that is, creating designs that elicit emotions from users. UX designers are also concerned with emotional design, but on a larger scale—they are concerned with eliciting emotions from users throughout their entire experience of using a product.

To do that, UX designers work with not only typography and color, but also psychology, motion design, content curation and information architecture. Web designers making the change would innately understand what emotional design in UX entails; they simply need to pick up new knowledge in other areas to augment their ability to do so on a bigger picture.

Multi-disciplinary

Web design is a multi-disciplinary job, where you’d need not only knowledge in design (typography, color theory) but also skills in developing a website (HTML, CSS, JavaScript). Some web designers are also involved in interaction design when they code for animations and interactions using CSS and/or JavaScript. UX design is also a multi-disciplinary field, but perhaps supercharged in that sense. UX designers need to make use of knowledge from the areas of psychology, user research, visual design, and even business to create the best UX for their products.

The Differences between Web Design and UX Design

User-focused vs technology-focused

A large part of your job as a web designer is spent on catching up on the latest developments in HTML, CSS and other coding languages—all of which change and improve at a dizzying pace. Which browsers support what versions of CSS? Would CSS animations work in Safari on a Mac? Don’t even get me started on Internet Explorer! These might be a few questions (and frustrations) that are constantly on your mind as a web designer.But UX design isn’t concerned with technology. Instead, its focus is centered squarely on users—technology is only a means for users to get what they need. Only by focusing on users can UX designers create solutions that cater to the specific needs they have, and ultimately, that users will be willing to pay for. UX designers do extensive user research to find out the most they can about their users, most of which the majority of web designers wouldn’t have had the chance to perform.

UX is more than the web

UX design is platform independent. Its principles and processes are applied to many diverse areas outside of web browsers: on mobile apps, desktop software, and even hardware products and retail spaces. On the other hand, the domain of web design is strictly tied to web browsers. This means that UX designers are able to find job opportunities not only in up-and-rising fields like tech startups, but also in mature and stable industries like car manufacturers. As long as there’s a product, there’s a need for UX—and this really opens up your world of opportunities.

The Big Benefit of Web Design Experience when Moving to UX Design

Relevance of web design background

The biggest benefit of moving from web design to UX design is the amount of overlap between the two fields of design. While it’s true that UX design covers more platforms than the web browser, a sizeable portion of UX design work is still done on products that are at least partially web-based (think of social media websites like Facebook and Twitter, web apps like Dropbox, and services like Google). The overlap between web design and UX design is greater if you’ve done some form of user research or iterative process of continually improving a website with user data.

Being fluent in design and website coding terminologies will also give you a boost that cannot be ignored; after all, UX design is a collaborative process where communication is crucial. Being able to use industry terms while talking to your colleagues will definitely put you in a better place than someone who came from a non-design background.

Your ability to create beautiful aesthetics as a web designer will also come in handy when making the switch to UX design. Firstly, aesthetics is a great tool to augment your communications with internal stakeholders. As a UX designer, you have to constantly present your findings and recommendations to internal stakeholders (such as the CEO or product manager), and your ability to create visually pleasing reports and presentations will maximize the absorption of your key points.

Secondly, aesthetics plays a vital role in UX design. A common myth of UX design is that great usability trumps aesthetics—but that is far from true. In fact, a study of more than 2,500 participants by the Stanford Credibility Project showed that nearly half of them assessed the credibility of websites based on their visual appeal(5). This goes to show how aesthetics works hand in hand with other factors like usability to bring about the optimum user experience of using a product.

How to Enhance Your Skills to Make the Jump from Web Design to UX Design

Moving from web design to UX design can sometimes be quite straightforward, especially if you’ve done some aspects of user research in your job as a web designer. For other web designers, however, there is no cause for concern. You’ll be able to make the leap if you’ve spent some time studying UX, practicing some UX skills during your web design work, and constructing a CV which shows your understanding of UX design. If you’re wondering where to learn, there are plenty of options available to you, and we’ve highlighted some of the best below.

Don Norman, the cognitive scientist who coined the term “User Experience”, called the Interaction Design Foundation (yes, that’s us) a “goldmine of information on interaction design.” Forbes Magazine says that we offer “Ivy League level education in UX, Product Design or Human Computer Interaction.” Fortunately, that education isn’t at an Ivy League level of pricing. As a non-profit organization, we charge a low annual fee and you get access not just to all of our online learning, but also to the largest specialist design community in the world. We also offer a free library of academic texts from the design industry’s top researchers.

We have three courses (among our current offering of 32) that are specifically designed to help people enter the world of UX design. You’ll learn all areas of UX work and basic skills to practice UX work in Become a UX Designer from Scratch. In Get Your First Job as a UX (or Interaction) Designer, you’ll be able to learn what kinds of experience in UX do employers seek the most, as well as craft a winning cover letter, CV and portfolio that will help you get an interview for a UX design job. Finally, in User Research – Methods and Best Practices, learn the industry best practices of how to conduct proper user research and turn the results of your research into useful action on your product.

You can find all of our other UX courses here.

You might also want to check out Coursera which is a great source of online learning. Their courses, like ours, are developed by leading experts in their field. Unlike us, however, they don’t specialize in UX and their courses aren’t always available, but when they are, they can either be accessed usually for a fee (on a per course basis).

Udemy offers a huge selection of courses in nearly every subject area you can imagine. Udemy isn’t really a training provider, but rather a broker of training created by people from around the world. As such, there’s not much in the way of quality control applied to their courses—while some are absolutely brilliant, many are not.

Nielsen Norman Group

If you want to examine classroom courses; we recommend sticking with the “big names” of the industry who provide reliable and high-quality learning experiences. One of those big names is the Nielsen Norman Group who are also one of the best known UX consultancies; they offer a range of classroom based training at various locations around the world. They’re not inexpensive, but if you prefer not to have online training, they’re a good alternative.

You can find the Nielsen Norman Group’s training here.

Cooper, a highly respected classroom-based training provider, also provides classroom courses on UX design. They’re also not cheap, but if you’re going to do classroom learning, it’s never going to be as cost-effective as online learning. They do, however, offer a nice range of locations to learn in as part of their service.

You can find more about Cooper’s training here.

University Courses

If you’ve got plenty of money and time, you could go ahead and get a Bachelor’s degree or a Master’s degree at a university. There isn’t, as of yet, a “UX-only” degree course, and the majority of related degrees tend to focus on Human Computer Interaction.

Two examples of this kind of program are:

Carnegie Mellon – HCI Programs

University is not a low cost option, both in the sense of your time and money you’ll be spending on it. You’ll want to weigh up the pros and cons of a university course very carefully before you decide to go this route.

For instance, here’s how we break down the total costs of a 4-year university degree:

HSBC, as reported by Top Universities, found that the average US-based university education costs $36,564 a year(6). That includes tuition fees as well as living expenses. For a 4-year degree, this adds up to $146,256—and that’s not counting the costs (such as interest) of getting a loan for your studies.

Then there’s the opportunity cost of quitting work and spending four years at university. That is, the income you’ll forgo when studying full-time at a university. According to the United States Census, a non-graduate earns an average of $27,351 per year(7). Over 4 years, that amounts to $109,404 that could have been earned if you had been working.

Summing up the actual cost and opportunity cost gives you the total cost: a whopping $255,660!

If you think that all the options are confusing, you might want start by examining the return on investment from each type of learning. We’ve got an article here that examines the return on investment from each of the learning types mentioned above.

The best way to find work in any field is to use a little inside knowledge and get some help from those people already doing what you want to do. This used to be hard work, but today you can simply get online and get networking.

We’d recommend LinkedIn to anyone looking to do some professional networking; join UX groups and join the conversation. Don’t just jump in and ask for work—demonstrate your value first and help people, and look for work only after you’ve built relationships.

The Interaction Design Foundation also offers networking opportunities to both members and non-members. Our members are able to carry out highly specific networking through pre-designed forums that allow for collaboration between large groups of designers. Both members and non-members can also attend our local groups’ community events, which are completely free to attend. You can find out more about the local groups here.

You could also think about getting involved with the design community’s leadership by interacting with them on social media. We’ve provided a list of twenty great designers here that you can interact with online; you can expand that list as much as you like with a little Google work.

Mentoring and Feedback

We’ve found that you can make a career change more easily if you can find someone to mentor you and provide feedback on your efforts. You can, of course, source a mentor from your existing professional network if you know someone who is happy to take the role on. If you think that’s not going to work for you, members of the Interaction Design Foundation’s Design League have access our network of UX design experts and see a mentor from that network.

The Take Away

It isn’t difficult to move from web design to UX design. You can build on your existing skills through a process of education and choose the kind of education that suits you best. Thereafter, you can put that learning into practice as a web designer. The good news is you already speak the language of design so once you have a little practice in UX, you’re going to be ready to transition your career into UX design and join the fastest growing part of the design profession in the world today.

Atomic Design | Rochester SEO & Rochester Web Design (585) 271-8661

Rochester, NY in New York State’s third largest metropolitan area. The city is located in Western New York and is the seat of Monroe County.

Rochester was America’s first boomtown, due to the Genesee River Valley, and was known for its many mills and manufacturing. Rochester is considered a very innovative city and is the birthplace of Kodak, Xerox, Western Union, Bausch & Lomb, Gleason, and Wegman’s. Local Universities include RIT, University of Rochester, St. John Fisher, Monroe Community College, Eastman school of music, Nazareth College, and more.

Rochester sits on the southern shore of Lake Ontario and has abundant recreational water areas including a Great Lake, Genessee River, Erie Canal, Irondequoit Bay and the Finger Lakes. The Finger Lakes include Otisco Lake, Skaneateles Lake, Owasco Lake, Cayuga Lake, Seneca Lake, Keuka Lake, Canandaigua Lake, Honeoye Lake, Canadice Lake, Hemlock Lake, and Conesus Lake. Rochester’s water comes from these lakes, and they are a favorite destination for locals and tourists alike.

Some local foods include white hots, a variant of the hot dog, made by Zweigle’s, and the garbage plate, a trademark of Nick Tahou Hots. We are huge fans of the plate which includes macaroni salad, home fries, and two hot dogs or cheeseburgers topped with mustard, onions, and meat sauce. Ragu pasta sauce used to be produced in Rochester. If you like beer, Genessee Brewing Company, the sixth-largest brewing company in America by sales volume.

Rochester suburbs include Brighton, Brockport, Chili, Churchville, East Rochester, Fairport – the home of Philip Seymour Hoffman, Gates, Greece, Hamlin, Henrietta, Hilton, Honeoye Falls, Irondequoit, Webster, Mendon, Ogden, Parma, Penfield, Pittsford, Rush, Scottsville, Spencerport, and Victor. Our owner lives in Webster.

Rochester is considered one of the best places to raise a family and wins numerous recognitions. In 2010 Forbes’ 2010 list of Best Places To Raise A Family in the U.S. landed Rochester in the number three spot.  Many people move away from the city only to return years later; they always come back. If you were raised in Rochester, you know the weather can be harsh, especially the winters. You knew that no matter how much snow fell it wasn’t very likely that you would get a snow day and be able to stay home from school. The annual snowfall is 95 inches annually, so you grow up knowing how to drive in the snow and ice.

Rochester, NY is also known for its museums which include the Rochester Museum of Fine Arts, the Rochester Contemporary Art Center, ARTISAN works, and the Memorial Art Gallery. Art lovers can take the Art Walk along University Avenue or find shops along the trendy Park Avenue neighborhood. A museum that brings out the kid in all of us is the Museum Of Play at the Strong, a museum devoted to playing.