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It’s an exciting time for students to get into User Experience Design (UX Design) in college. After all, UX Design is a rapidly growing industry. CNN/Payscale and other authorities rank UX Design as the 14th in the Top 100 careers for big growth.

UX designers use a combination of technical skills to complete their tasks and projects. As a UX Design student, it’s important to use your time in school, as well as your internships, to hone these necessary skills in order to establish a long and fruitful career in the industry. Some of these skills include:

Wireframing

Similar to how an architectural blueprint is necessary to show how the actual house should be built, wireframing is important because it offers your team a visual understanding of an interface or webpage. Wireframing defines the elements that need to be present from page to page. It includes all the interface components that are needed for all possible interactions and is generally designed in grayscale, using boxes and lines.

Visual Communication

UX designers use visual design software frequently in their day-to-day tasks. These include Figma, Sketch, and Illustrator among others. Because design is highly graphic in nature, it should come as no surprise that UX designers need to be competent in visual language. Besides proficiency in the tools, you should build your knowledge of visual design best practices for things like typography, color theory, layout, icons, and general design theory.

Coding

In an increasingly digital world, it isn’t surprising that coding has become a valuable skill across industries. Given how UX Design is firmly rooted in digital spaces, coding is a valuable skill for UX students to develop.

Although UX designers are not generally expected to write code since that’s typically a task for developers, a basic understanding of application development, including languages like JavaScript, CSS, and HTML is critical for designers. This is because having knowledge of coding languages makes it easier for you to create more realistic designs and communicate and collaborate with the development team better. Additionally, having basic coding skills allows you to transition into UX engineering or UI development should you wish to do so.