I still have a lot to study to become a half-decent UX/UI designer but hopefully, this will help anyone who wants to get started.
1. UI and UX are two different things
We often hear these terms used together and I won't lie but when I first started I thought they were the same thing, but that's not true. UX stands for user experience whilst UI stands for user interface, UX is the interaction between the user and the product and UI is the graphical interface that sometimes focuses on looks and style.
2. Mobile-first design
This made a huge difference when it comes to responsive design for me. Before when I coded with my browser open wide, I struggled with making my website responsive, sometimes taking up to a day, simply because I had designed the website desktop-first which means that the default stylings were all for big and medium screens.
Now, I always design with small screens in mind. Expanding the design to fit bigger screens is much easier than compressing the design to fit smaller screens.
3. It's okay to copy other people's work
By this, I don't mean to go ahead, copy and paste the whole design, and publish it as your own work. No, what I mean is that you can come across a website that you like and you can try to recreate it or copy it to get a feel of what was done and how. This can also help when you are starting to use a new design tool and you want to get familiar with it.
4. Strive to make your website as accessible as possible
As a front-end developer web accessibility is an important part of my day to day work, using proper HTML tags and labels, keyboard navigation support, etc. But after taking up design, I realized that there is so much more to web accessibility than I thought, and that's also when I realized how UX designers are so important. You have to take into account where certain elements are positioned and how the user will access them, which color to use and color contrast since there are many users who are color blind, and even for the average user reading text in bright colors is not ideal, etc.
5. More doesn't mean better
I never really had this problem since I'm quite the minimalist when it comes to design but some times I found myself adding animations and illustrations when it wasn't needed just because I wanted to impress anybody who'd look at my design. Putting many illustrations and animations on one website only serves to overwhelm the user, and let's not forget how this can cause your website to load slower for users who don't have a super-fast 4g internet connection which in turn lowers the accessibility of your website. You want every user to be able to access your site even those who are still using a 2g connection.
Feel free to add on in the comments!
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