Why Make the Pivot from Graphic Designer to User Experience Designer?


Graphic design and User Experience Design are both fascinating fields that involve research, creativity, and critical thinking.

Just to give you some context: I graduated in 2015 with a Bachelor in graphic design and have worked in the field ever since. It wasn’t until about two months ago that I started looking into user experience (UX) design. Though I still love graphic design, UX design not only can involve graphic design, but also has much more promise as career path.

Currently, I am seven weeks into the 10-Week User Experience Design Immersive Program at General Assembly. Deciding to make this transition came with a great deal of research, planning, and a little courage. I’m here to help you with the same difficult decision that I had to make. Below I listed some of the reasons I decided to make this pivot to UX:

  • I still test my creative problem solving abilities and with UX/UI design, it can still involve a great deal of visual hierarchy
  • If you are skilled with Adobe Illustrator, learning Sketch (a commonly used wireframing and prototyping software, among UX designers) is a “cake walk”
  • Half of all “Graphic Design” jobs seem to actually want a UX/UI designer
  • Half of all “UX Design” jobs seem to prefer someone with graphic design experience
  • The average salary of a UX designer is much higher than the average for a graphic designer
  • UX designers are still in great demand, since it’s a field that is still growing, while graphic design is a more stagnant field
  • Professional looking template software, very cheap logo designers, websites for hiring outsourced freelance work, styleguide creation software, etc., are all becoming more accessible and replacing legitimate graphic design professionals
  • Truly good graphic design should also involve UX design; by catering to your users with, not only an aesthetically pleasing product, but one that is also easily useable/readable

In conclusion: all you graphic designers out there who are having trouble finding work or trouble finding jobs in your field that pay well, consider looking into UX design. You won’t regret, I know I don’t.