About 390,000 results.
This is the number of results you get when you search “UI/UX designer” on LinkedIn.
Niching down is not optional anymore.
Most people start broad and that’s okay. You have to explore, learn the tools, see what you like and what you don’t. But when it is 2–3 years later, you start looking around to see if you are on the right track to becoming a valuable design expert.
But how do you know? What should you look for and aim for?
Here are 3 early signs you have found your UI/UX design niche:
#1 Market Size
Can you pinpoint your competitors? Are there more than 10 and fewer than 200?
Fewer than 10 means there might not be enough demand for whatever niche you choose. Don’t try to validate new markets -go where someone has done that for you. If there are more than 200, it is getting crowded and might be difficult to differentiate. But this is still better than fewer than 10.
You can research this by simply Googling or searching in places like Dribbble or LinkedIn. For example “fintech UI/UX”, “fintech designer”. To be honest, even “fintech” is too broad. “DeFi fintech designer” is better.
#2 Non-obvious insights
Do you know more than most designers in your area of focus?
Can you list 10 non-obvious insights from your niche?
Do you hold any controversial opinions that come from experience?
When you talk with clients or stakeholders, do they get an “aha moment” just by you asking very specific questions?
If you don’t have that, start researching. Review the top 10 apps in your niche, compare experiences and take notes.
#3 Niche hangouts
Does your niche have their own hangouts?
Industry events, conferences, Subreddit, Slack channel, Discord community. Do they organise? Is there a dedicated newsletter, blog or other media where they get their niche info? First, if you can’t find such places online, this is a bad sign. This means you are either too early, or there is not enough demand for people to exchange knowledge. Second, if this is the case, you have to be there. Sharing knowledge, helping out.
Finally, make sure you pick a niche that has more money than time. The worst clients are the ones with a lot of ideas and a minimum budget. It’s your choice — so choose well.