Being addicted to anything with a microprocessor from the early age of 7, computer science was my obvious pick when it was time to go to college. I started my career as a programmer, but because I cared more about functionality than the technical nitty-gritty, I later evolved into a business analyst. I was now able to focus more on what a product should look like and what it should be able to do, but I still felt like my hands were tied.
Learning about user experience design through a training a couple years later, a world opened up to me. Not only did I learn about tools and methods to level up my ability to define products, I realised the job of user experience designer was a natural fit. So the next step was obvious. I made the decision to quit my job (best decision ever 🙏), spent all of my time getting trained, working small design projects, building a portfolio, and finally getting my first job as a designer.
I feel very happy and fortunate when I look back on my experience so far as a designer. Not only did I get to work on products that are used by thousands of people every day, I've been able to grow in different aspects of user experience and user interface design.
I'd love to share some things I've learned about the design process:
🚨⚠️ WARNING: RAMBLING ⚠️🚨
- Don't base your decisions on your gut. Do as much research as possible. It makes it much easier to convince other designers and stakeholders, and the foundation of the product will be much stronger.
- Being able to lead workshops confidently is important. Because the ideas and knowledge that comes out of a great workshop will fuel the rest of the project. Get to know the value of the people in the group, ask a ridiculous amount of questions, and listen. And have fun!
- If you're like me, it's kind of nerve-racking to present design to executives. 😅 But keep in mind your design is based on facts, and to tell the story of the decisions that were made and why. That being said, listen, and be prepared to challenge your own design.
- Really appreciate the group of amazing designers around you, because you push each other to deliver the best end-result possible. Ask questions, give opinions, keep an open mind, and show support!
- Do whatever user testing you can do. I've done testing by asking my mom, confronting people on the street, and systematic testing in controlled environments. Either way, all provide much more feedback and insight than not testing, and they make sure you avoid making assumptions.