Advice for a stale designer!

Firstly, hello and thank you to anyone who takes the time to read this, I greatly appreciate any advice given from the UI/UX members here.

I am a 40yo UK based graphic designer of 14+ years experience, currently working as an in house designer in a software company. For too long to mention I have been feeling very stagnant and frustrated with working life, it is clear to me that I need to change direction…

My issue
Basically I have grown a little tired of the subjective visual nature of graphic design. I also feel the worth of a graphic designer these days is diminishing as ‘designing’ is getting more accessible and the line between experienced professional and opinionated amateur is getting smaller.
With myself being a ‘traditional’ graphic designer (think design for print, layout design, branding etc) I feel this role is slowly becoming irrelevant and designers these days are required to have a jack-of-all-trades skillset, particularly in digital. Even though I do have digital experience, I currently feel a bit left behind the times.

My hope
To find a job role or career path that is a little more objective than subjective and that will be relevant for a few years.

My options

Website design - I find the mix of logical user experience and creative design for websites interesting and I guess this ‘form follows function’ approach is a little less open to subjectivity. I have previously enjoyed designing Wordpress websites as it has allowed me to focus on the design rather than the coding. I question whether my lack of interest to learn coding languages will become an obstacle, plus I wonder whether this ‘singular’ profession is also diminishing due to accessible wysiwyg builders and the UI/UX industry moving towards app/interface design.

UI/UX design - Similar to the above, I find the logical and creative design for interfaces interesting. I have worked on some UI/UX design professionally and occasionally tinker with some low-level Android UI design. My only problem here is that I will need to re-educate or learn the industry programmes as the bare minimum. If I need to put money down on a course I would need to be sure this path is worthwhile.

A different career entirely! - I don’t really know what I would do! The thought of leaving the creative industry doesn’t sound terrible. I guess a ‘careers advisor’ of some sort would be the first port of call.

If you have got down to here - thanks! I would be interested to hear if you have been in a similar situation and how you arrived at your outcome. Any general insight or advice from people already in the UI/UX profession would be helpful too.

:slight_smile:

Welcome to the community @BlasFamous!

Before changing or pivoting careers it is important to know what you want to do. Have you thought of talking to a Career Coach or a Life Coach?

Switching to UX Design makes sense, but it will be a lot of work and struggle so you have to make sure it is what you really want.

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Hi Jdebari, thanks for the reply. I have thought about doing that yes, however most of the advisors in my area are aimed at college kids and not adults. Last time I looked there is some further afield, however getting there will prove difficult with the pandemic.
Is most of your experience from the UI/UX industry? Do you see this a good career with longevity?

There are a lot of coaches online. You don’t need to travel anywhere. Do a search on LinkedIn.

There is longevity in the field, but it is really hard to break in so it’s something to keep in mind.

“I will need to re-educate or learn the industry programmes as the bare minimum”

TBH learning UX tools isn’t like learning Photoshop for the first time. I’ve been using Photoshop for 25 years and still feel like I only scratch the surface. UX tools are designed to be quick to pick so pick a tool you can afford such as Figma, Sketch or Axure and have a play. You shouldn’t need a course to be able to do it.

What is more important are the techniques and best practices, things like interviewing users, card sorting, information architecture, user journey mapping, creating personas etc. None of these really have an industry standard tool.

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