My 2021 Goals as a UX Designer

Hayley Smith
3 min readJan 7, 2021


Celebratory 2021 photo created in figma

No, not another “new year, new me” post.

This is a simple reevaluation and thought process into things I want to improve on this year and continue developing my skills as a designer. I reflected on all that I learned in bootcamp from 2020 and where I want to focus some extra effort this year.

1. Work on my UI skills

The Bootcamp I did last year split the design students into UX and UI tracks, meaning I was only able to focus on one for the duration of the program. I chose UX because I was more interested and wanted to focus on improving my strengths first. Now I realize I need more help in the UI department and have a ton to learn.

I’ve been (slowly) working through the daily UI challenge and plan to continue this. Now that the program is over I also have access to Flatiron’s curriculum for the UI track and will start chipping away there. HMU if you have tips for fun UI folks to follow or things that helped you develop UI skills!

2. Try new tools & techniques

I learned Sketch, Figma, and InVision in 2020. Now that I’ve become comfortable with these I want to expand my repertoire. I’m talking Adobe Suite, new prototyping tools, etc. Sign me up for some new ish.

I also want to try more trends out and get over my fear of vectors. Due to focus on the UX track I never really needed to touch the vector tool and it was a trainwreck when I did. I’m determined to spend more time and really become comfortable with it.

3. Plugin

Anyone else not super motivated to keep staring at screens past EOD during the pandemic? Me.

I tried to find fun hobbies and distract myself instead of tuning in to design podcasts or reading the shelf of design books I purchased. Now I’m changing focus. I can craft while I listen to 99% invisible, etc. and reading will help me avoid pm eye screen on a strain. Win-win.

4. Volunteer

I’ve got some extra time on my hands right now and eager to help where I can. There are a few organizations that help connect designers with folks who need them, and I’m trying to put my name in the hat to give back. Also, small businesses are hurting right now so I am looking to work with some in my area that can improve their web presence.

5. Build up/keep improving my portfolio

This goes a little hand in hand with my last point, but I want to add some more “real” projects as opposed to school projects. Also, it is much easier to keep things current if I update as I go instead of dreading the day I have to add the case study in. I’ve found I forget some of the details if I wait too long, so we are tackling things early!



Hayley Smith

UX Designer, Pure Barre Instructor, plant lover.