I'm very happy to have found the UX Mastery forum and what feels like a really inclusive and supportive UX community.
I'm based in South East Somerset in the UK, and am currently looking to move into the UX Design arena. And so the journey begins, as I as weigh up my options, immerse myself in the various UX fields, and look to transition my existing experience and skills into the exciting world of UX.
/* ==== My background ==== */
Well, it’s bit like the scenic, stopping at all stations route! Let’s see if I can do this without being too long-winded! Here goes:
I studied German and Linguistics at University and after graduating in 1994 starting working as an Account Manager for Ovum Ltd, an IT and Telecoms Consultancy based in London. After a few years selling Ovum's paper-based research report portfolio to Software/Telecoms vendors in horizontal and vertical markets, I then took on a role as New Product Development Manager This involved taking Ovum’s IT & Telecoms strategic research report areas, and developing online, web-based versions that would allow Ovum’s clients to use these in their intranets, rather than having big fat research reports sitting in their corporate libraries. These were the early days when people we’re only just embracing browser-based solutions, and many companies were running Lotus Notes to manage and organise their internal digital information!
I was responsible for managing a dedicated project team, conducting end-user surveys to test our initial concepts and then build a business proposal for presentation to the Ovum board of directors. Following a successful proposal bid, my responsibilities shifted to project managing all aspects of the development cycle, providing stakeholder updates, internal sales & marketing briefings and training, and managing and supporting the initial sales campaign. My sales support activities involved extensive international travel throughout Europe, Southeast Asia, and the USA, and presenting these services to senior decision makers and company directors. But this was some time ago and before Agile, and my project management timeline was an Excel spreadsheet!
I also created and developed an online publication helping to promote local businesses, creative individuals and entrepreneurs in my local town in Somerset.http://localeyez.co.uk
I’ve often felt there wasn’t really a role that would tick all the boxes in terms of my experience in Project Management, Web Development/Design, and also my interpersonal skills and interest in psychology/self-development. Not until I came across UX!
/* ==== Where I hope to be heading ==== */
I’ve currently got my eye on the General Assembly’s User Experience Design Immersive course in London which I read about in the excellent UX Mastery Get Started in UX ebook. It seems to be a great way of gaining both hands-on experience, and building that all important portfolio in order to land a job. It’s going to be a real leap of faith, especially as I’ll need to take out a career development loan (gulp)to pay for it, and then will need to sort a job out pronto, preferably in Bristol UK, on completing the course, to then afford the loan repayments on top of supporting my family. Otherwise, the alternative of approaching various companies to offer and run free user sessions, work in-house for free to gain work experience to build my portfolio, as well as reverse engineering my existing work experience to entice potential UX employers, seems a bit daunting.Although I appreciate that I’ll probably need to do a bit of everything, even if I do enrol on the General Assembly course
/* ==== What gets me going in the digital realm ==== */
* Responsive Design
* Zurb Foundation 5
* Flexbox (especially in terms making better use of screen real-estate and reordering layout elements for different devices without touching the underlying HTML
* Motion UI
* Making things functional, simple and really beautiful
Anyway, that’s it for now. Thanks everyone for listening and for being there!