Hello! I’m looking to learn more about UI/UX design. I know pretty much nothing and would like to keep up with growing technology. I’m a 3D designer and always looking at new things I can learn. Does anyone have any suggestions on books, articles or free classes that I can use to gain more insight to this topic?
You can check out http://ixda.org, lynda.com, or General Assembly as a starting point. There are a lot of books available, but most of them focus on specific areas. UX is not UI, and understanding the different core areas is important. The same way Industrial Designers have skill sets in sketching, prototyping, 3D modeling, rendering (all very different areas and skills) UX includes: Information Architecture (content layout), User Flows, User Journey mapping, User Interface design, prototyping, wireframing, visual design, coding, etc. It is extremely rare for one person to be extremely proficient in all areas. I transitioned from ID into leading a UX team and focused more on the conceptual skills (IA, wireframing, prototyping) without focusing on the UI/Visual elements.
If you have access to local UX meetups that can also be a good venue. In general, UX is more accessible than ID - the software used can usually be found for free or very cheap (tools like Sketch or Invision are industry standards for building designs and quick mockups, but Illustrator and Photoshop work, even Powerpoint or Keynote can get the job done). Websites can be written in any free code editor. Because the barrier to entry is much lower (than say a $3,000 seat of Pro E) it’s easy to play around with in your spare time.
Additionally, if you’ve been using a computer and smart phone, you’re already up to date on modern UX standards. Download new apps to experience things you might not play with normally. There is a lot of cool stuff out there even if it isn’t something you’ll use everyday.
Usability 101: Usability 101: Introduction to Usability
Also, click through on their recent posts. It will give you an idea of what is pertinent today.
Don Norman’s “Design of Everyday Things” is a must read introduction too.
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Great! thanks for all of the tips. This helps a lot and I will definitely check them out! I do already have the Design of Everyday Things and I really enjoy that book. I also have read a newer book called “Hooked.” That book opened my eyes more to the technology side of design, coding, apps etc and inspired me to learn more.