Advice for a high school student


#1

What is some good advice to a high school student who wants to become a UX designer?


#2

Hi Ahmad,

Firstly, welcome to the UX Mastery Community!

Are you asking for yourself or someone else?

My advice would be to first consider why it is they would like to become a UX designer. What do they love about it? What is it that appeals to them? I say this because UX is a multifaceted field with multiple points of entry and very few barrier to getting started. We’re lucky because we have options and can start with something we enjoy and expand from there.

For example I’m an industrial designer but the user research side of things is my favorite. I love designing products and building information architecture structures but my true passion lies in watching people and seeing what they do and how they think.

If they’re not sure which facet of UX appeals to them the most, I would recommend that they start reading everything they can that is related to UX: books and blogs are the best place to start.

There’s also some really useful and reasonably priced ebooks available through UX Mastery - the one called [I]Get Started in UX[/I] is very good for beginners and I quite like [I]Everyday UX [/I]because it looks at ten professional UX designers (one of them lives in the same city as me and used to work for my boss/mentor which I think is pretty cool) and how they got started and how they do things.

Here’s the link to where you can find them:
http://uxmastery.com/store/

Also, here’s a reading list that I find useful right here on UX Mastery:
http://uxmastery.com/resources/books/

I’d also advise that they get on twitter and start following and connecting with UX designers and picking their brains. If we are not talking about you- I would recommend they join this community here on UX Mastery and pick our brains! This community has some very talented and intelligent people and we’re all very friendly. This is a safe place to ask questions and there’s no such thing as a silly question.

Hope this helps, feel free to ask me anything :slight_smile:

Ash


#3

Thank you and yes I’m asking this for myself , but what I really meant is what subjects and courses do I do when I’m in high school?


#4

Anything design based will put you in good stead. What sort of options are available to you?


#5

Vet Interactive Digital Media , Visual communication , IT and Studio Arts. That’s all my school holds for subjects.


#6

Hi Ahmad,
Those sound like a good start, especially visual communication (depending what it covers and like Ash said, what area you think might interest you). In all honesty, just as long as you take subjects that help you to think creatively, you can’t really go wrong. I mean I took no relevant classes in high school, although I was in to art as a hobby, and managed to have the right skills to get into UX. So think about what you might find interesting in the UX field and try find subjects from that. For instance if you like the design and ideation then classes like art, graphic design, architecture, etc can help. If you are more in to research then maybe anything people related, so communications, english, possibly maths if you like statistical analysis. If you like programming and technology than anything IT might be good.

Could you give us some detail around what each of those subjects involves? You should also choose based on what you want to do next. Do you want to go to university, or try and get work experience, as these may dictate the kind of subjects you will need to take.


#7

Yes I want to go to University I’m looking at RMIT university when I finish school , do you know what course at RMIT is for UX designer???


#8

It looks like there are a few options. Have you checked out their website? A quick search turned up these:
http://www.rmit.edu.au/courses/046309
http://www.rmit.edu.au/courses/049805
http://www.rmit.edu.au/courses/004225


#9

Thank you HAWK , and do UX designer work at home or at a office ??? and do they work for companies , private companies or for themselves??


#10

All of the above and then some…

UX Designers work:
Office
Home
Design firms
Companies that design and produce products and or services of any description (this is VERY broad but true)
Financial organisations - banks, large accounting firms etc
Government departments
Museums
Themselves

and much, much more.

I know it’s a lot to wrap your head around when you’re just starting out. Just keep an open mind and you’ll be fine :slight_smile:


#11

Ok thank you so much !


#12

And HAWK I’ve been looking at those links for RMIT you sent me , but this course I’ve been looking at catches my eye so if you could take your time to look at this course and tell me if this good !

http://www.rmit.edu.au/programs/bp115


#13

Ok thank you HAWK


#14

Hey Ahmad,

I’ve had a look at the course you’ve been looking at.

Is it ‘good’? I think it depends entirely on your definition of ‘good’ everyone is different. RMIT is a fantastic university with an excellent reputation - all their courses are good. You just need to find the one that is a good fit for you.

Just from looking at the link, I get the feeling it’s more of a Comms and Marketing slant on design.

That’s not a bad thing, if you’re into that sort of thing. From my experience people with that background go into communications and visual design type roles. They tend to do branding, design advertising, they make the visual elements look nice, they write content.

They tend to appear later in the project (again this is just my experience- every single workplace is different) and do very little of the research, testing and problem solving side. That’s not to say they can’t get into that side of things - it’s just what I’ve seen.

Do RMIT do an open day? If you can, I would go and talk to them about what the recent grads from that course are doing. If you can’t visit in person maybe call or email them.


#15

Thanks ASH , I went on the UX Mastery website and click the UX Degrees link and this course came up on the page for one of the courses that run UX in Melbourne , your telling me this course more based Comms and Marketing design , I don’t understand because I thought that UX designer is a simple job with only one role?


#16

And also that what areas does a UX designer cover ???


#17

And that course says on it’s careers that graduates can become Ux Designer/ Web Designers , is web design and ux design the same ?


#18

No they are not.

Web Designers design websites.They apply UX design thinking to make the websites they design and build usable and useful by balancing; business needs, technology constraints and user needs. They do have UX skills but anyone who calls themselves a web designer does so because they design websites.

UX Designers design ANY [I]product[/I] that a user will interact with- not just websites! The definition of a product is so broad and includes but goes far beyond websites.

Products include but are not limited to:

Websites- all different types from shopping to government websites
Transport (cars, trains, planes, buses etc)
Every day objects eg toothbrushes
Appliances
Furniture
Fashion
Services


#19

Ok so do UX designers follow a process or do it their own way to design the products?


#20

Hi Ahmad

I know Jeremy, who is involved in running the Bachelor of Comms Design at RMIT. He’s a regular attendee at UX Melbourne events and knows his stuff. I expect that his course would be excellent.

The user-centred process is one of the key things that define a UX designer. I definitely recommend you do some more reading of the articles on this site. Here’s a start: