Hello fellow UXers!
I’m after some advice, but am new to this forum, so do excuse me if any of the questions I have are repeats of topics that have been covered already. My question is essentially what can I do to get a full time UX job? What extra skills do I need? My key question concerns working with developers.
Like many I have been a print designer for many years, but my circumstances are a bit unusual. Whilst designing books for a well known publisher, I was asked to look at the design of their GUIs for CD ROMS (cutting edge tech in the mid noughties) as no other designer seemed that interested. This was pretty crude initially, just a control panel with unformatted text, but eventually the interfaces (under my direction) got slicker, and the text was eventually carefully formated using CSS in system fonts.
A few years after this, the same publisher release educational apps. The first apps were (to be frank) horrible. So again I was asked what could be done. After some research on the Apple developers site, and a few others, I redesigned the Apps using Open Source typefaces, to creat a consistent look across different devices. I did all of this and never really considered myself to be a UX designer, but what I was doing was far more than just the visual interface, the apps were all mapped, and user journeys were considered. Unfortunately the politics of the client meant there were no opportunities to test these products.
Roll on several years, and having used the usual Adobe tools (with great frustration), I taught myself Adobe Xd, which was brilliant, because now I could make stuff that actually worked at the right size and was interactive. Using Xd I designed a Virtual Learning network for a London University. Then I helped a cognitive scientist create a new ethical social network (https://www.hellolyra.com) which is an ongoing project.
As mentioned I’ve designed a lot of print, and specialised in complex information design, which has included dictionaries, medical books, science and tech. These products have always needed to look great, but more importantly to be functional. I have this experience by the bucketful.
Now I need work. Print has not some so much declined, more fallen off a cliff. I still do a little bit of print work, but not enough to pay the rent. The natural thing to do is move fulltime into UX (if my previous experience counts as UX?) and I love designing interfaces as much as I did print.
Where I am super confused is, what skills do I need to land my self an interesting job?
I have a deep background to build on, but specifics:
– I only have a vague idea of HTML5 and CSS, as I have never needed code specifically. It seems some companies have a development team that handles most of the front end stuff, so is it realistic to use apps like Xd and Sketch and then work with the dev team there after? Or do I need more than that. If so what code skills do I need (ones that I can learn quickly), and what other apps can I teach myself to get more employable?
– With my experience listed above, am I empoyable in a UX agency?
– If not, fundamentally what is the best way to become employable by a UX agency
– if the answer is yes (please please let it be so), where are the best places to find jobs. I have tried website like Indeed, but zero returns, possibly due to my age (which in mind is not an issue).
There are probably a zillion posts like this, so if any folks can guide me where to look I’d be extremely grateful.