“Is it possible to become a professional UX designer with just an online course? I’m a graphic designer.” — on Quora

Gettin’ By

Since there is no broadly-accepted ‘accreditation’ for UX design – or even a generally-accepted definition of what-it-is … Sure. All you really need is

  • a range of skills that you can sell to a potential client
  • the willingness to market yourself

Absent domain criteria (i.e. “What is Usability?”), the definition of professional is “I got paid”.

Worth remembering:

The UX Practitioner is the only guy on the team with “user” in their job title.

Basic Competence

If you wish to become a well-rounded practitioner in the arena, then you probably want to gain some credibility across Our Roles:

  • Analysis
  • Architecture
  • Design
  • Research
  • and … Strategy

Do you need to be an expert in each?  Of course not.  But you need to know what they are and how they fit together.

These ‘common sense’ areas echo the 4 ‘standard’ stages of SDLC (Systems Development, LifeCycle): Discover/Define, Design, Develop, Deploy.

Souped Up

If you’re really feeling your oats, you might evolve yourself into a Full-stack Unicorn Ninja.  This indicates that you’ve got a high degree of competence across all vectors – and have skills in adjacent job areas, like programming (on the tech side) and business analysis (on the business side).

  • Truly “full-stack” UX-ers represent the ideal fullness of Usability.


  • UX came into existence in order to fill in the gaps within a development team.

The beauty and challenge of the usability arena is that your career is pretty much what you make of it.

Of course, you need to exhibit competence in what you do, but …

Skilled Generalists are the heart of interactive, self-aware information.

Who Decides?

That whole “accreditation” thing remains a question, of course.   Am I competent ‘just because I say so‘?

A portfolio provides data.  Recommendations express value.  Published articles show some mindset.  But they also imply some level of experience.

I go not know if there is a basis for affirming someone’s capabilities in the usability arena.  Just spitballin’ here, but …

UX is a Craft

Perhaps we would profit from having professional moderation through a guild.

But that’s another rant …

Perhaps here’s a step in that direction

Please try the UX Self-Evaluation Survey (It’s only 10 questions)



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