Hello everyone! My name is Kat, and this is the story of how I found myself studying, learning, and all out pursuing User Experience Design. There's three parts to my story.
First, my background.
I was born and raised in Manila, and moved to the US with my family when I was 17 years old. I finished college at a small liberal arts college with a BA in History, a major I picked because at that time I loved reading (still do) and wanted to be an immigration lawyer (this one not anymore). Until I found travel, teaching, and computers.
After college I worked at a bank for almost a year, then moved to South Korea to teach English for another year. I returned home to the US and taught English and Filipino online through eduFire and Skype, after which I transitioned to being a Transaction Coordinator for a real estate company for a little less than two years. Then my boss decided to retire early, moved to Europe, and I lost my job.
This spans roughly 5 years after I finished college.
Second, how I found UX.
After losing my job as a Transaction Coordinator, a friend who knew of my experience marketing my classes online hired me as a Digital Marketer, then later on becoming the company's Digital Marketing Manager. I learned so much from that experience, including social media & reputation management, Analytics, PPC, Local SEO, etc. I've since moved to a different city and left that friend's company, but I'm still in the Digital Marketing field (I'm currently a Digital Marketing Analyst for an awesome Web Consulting company) as of the date of this writing.
At that time I was also dabbling into HTML and CSS because my uncle, who's a programmer, told me to check it out. I explored both front-end and back-end programming, and I was decidedly more drawn into front-end web development.
I learned enough of the concept of planning, basic wire framing (pen and paper), and building basic webpages with HTML & CSS that I started coding websites from scratch for fun. Later on I noticed that I was most engrossed during the planning stage. What's my goal of building this site? Who is going to see/use it? How are the going to use it? Will they even use it? I wonder what they'll gain from this site, etc. My programmer uncle also noticed this trend from my questions to him, and he said I should look into UX Design as it seems I'm more inclined to learn about the users than building websites.
And that's how I found UX Design.
Lastly, how I'm learning.
So I started reading about UX on sites such as UXMastery, Usability.gov, etc. It was incredibly intriguing. Finally, here are topics that I truly connected with and cared about. I watched the documentary "Objectified," and that helped me gain additional insight into design work. I cannot say I'm passionate about UX right now because I just discovered it, but I can say I'm quickly getting there. The more I learn, the more I see things differently. The more possibilities and opportunities there are to improve user experience all around me. The more I know that User Experience Design is the field where I can thrive and contribute.
Currently I'm studying and learning UX with the goal of being a UX Designer. I'm reading Steve Krug's "Don't Make Me Think" book, using the UXMastery's "Getting Started in UX" as my blueprint and guide into becoming a UX Designer, and just enrolled in Dr. David Travis' "User Experience: The Ultimate Guide to Usability" course on Udemy. I'm also connecting with UX designers and students on Twitter, Facebook, and other forums to learn more. I'm truly grateful that UX Designers have created such incredible resources for us.
I'm learning as much as I can, building my portfolio, gaining experience, and looking for a mentor as well.
That's that for now. Thank you very much for reading!