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When it comes to getting started in a UX career it can be very overwhelming at first. There are so many different facets to UX and UI design that it can be difficult to get to grips with all of them, especially when you’re just starting your UX journey, or, thinking about starting one.
This is the situation I find myself in now, at time of writing.
The UX community is one of the most welcoming and inclusive online communities I have ever come across. So, I reached out to the wider community to find out what they recommend as the best free resources for aspiring UX'ers, and these are some of the best that I’ve compiled.
Whether your preference is website design, typeface, colour palettes or everything in between, there will be something for you in this article.
Colour Palette Pickers
First up, anyone interested in, or working in, UX will inevitably have to deal with a multitude of colours, so, how about some colour palette generators and colour pickers?
Need to generate some new colour palettes? Easy!
Head to Coolor and simply hit the spacebar, for an infinite number of colour combinations!
Find a specific colour you like in a palette? You can save it, copy it, drag it, change the contrast, change the shade, whatever you like!
Coolors also has accessibility options for those that are colourblind, so really this is a top resource for all UX designers, from novices to experts!
Now this one is fun! (and easy to use), headover to the landing page, and you’ll be immediately presented with a blank page, well, blank other than a particular colour (plus it’s hex code).
Want to find a different colour? Simply move your cursor around the screen and explore all the colours and hues to your delight.
Colordot is also available as an iPhone app, incase you need to find a colour whilst you’re out and about.
Color Hunt differs slightly from the previous two resources. This one isn’t so much about colour generation, as it is about user created colour palettes.
Head over to Color Hunt when you just can’t quite figure out the right vibe for your new project. You can search through 1000s of colour palettes created by other users to locate the perfect one for you. You can search by ‘feeling’; with everything from ‘Pastel’ to ‘Winter’. Or, you can just go by ‘Random’ and see what comes up!
Happy colour hunting!
Okay, that’s enough of colour hunting! Let’s take a look at something more…interactive.
UX by its very nature is about design. So how about sharpening those designer’s skills by playing Can’t Unsee.
Basically a game of spot the difference, but with a UX/UI spin. Simply choose which of the two pictures you’re presented with is the most correct design. You’ll find this game oddly addictive, and it does become devilishly difficult the higher up in difficulty you venture. But all the whilst playing you’ll be improving your eye for design.
The Bezier Game
Another game to help keep those design skills in tip top shape, this time it’s a game to help you master the pen tool.
Simply follow the outlines of the shapes and connect the nodes. But again, like Can’t Unsee, this does begin to get a little trickier the higher level you obtain.
Need practice editing/creating fonts? This game will help you with that Kerntype is a game all about letter spacing, simply move the letters around to the spaces that you believe is right, design-wise, and click “Done”, and get your score. See if you can get 100/100, like me.
The Boolean Game
The Boolean Game is another game brought to us by the same people as Kerntype, and so, shares some similarities. Its minimalistic design means its quite easy to pick up. But it doesn’t mean its easy to master, some of the puzzles can be difficult. But it does feature some quite pleasing sound effects, The Boolean Game is a great way to play around with effects without actually realising you’re doing it.
Just like all the other games in this list, they all help hone those design skills that will come in so necessary if you’re wanting to become a UX designer.
We all need inspiration from time to time, what better place than Dribbble. If you’re starting your UX journey, you may have heard of this resource. Its not only a great place to browse for inspiration, but its also an amazing place to store your portfolio as you develop it.
Behance offers basically the same functionality to Dribbble, this is just Adobe’s version. However its still an amazing place to search for inspiration and host a portfolio.
In need of more inspiration? Then check out any of these;
Perhaps you’re more of a visual learner? Well check out Flux Academy on YouTube, they have tips and tricks on everything design related, not just for UX or UX. But a really useful resource nonetheless.
If you’re interested in learning the skills you’ll need to succeed in a career in UX, then make sure you sign up to the Coders Guild course; Essential Skills for UX Professionals, or if time is of the essence then check out our UX in 5 Days. Either way the Coders Guild has you covered if you want to learn everything you need to become a professional in User Experience design.
I should know, I’m doing the UX for Professionals course myself!
If you’re like me, and you’re at the beginning of your UX journey, then I do hope that these free resources will be useful for you.Apply Now
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