An architect getting his hands dirty on UX design?

Hello everyone!
Been checking out this community for quite a while but I decided to post here because any advice is good advice, right? :thumbsup:

So, I am an architect who finished school a few months ago. I 've been having some thoughts about the practice of “pure” architecture here (I am from Greece), and I always wanted to expand and apply the principles that I’ve been taught the past years in something more digital.
To cut to the chase, I have to admit that I didn’t know the name of the proffession of the guy who is working behind design of apps and other digital layouts and I somehow thought that coders do all these even though there was always something that didn’t actually fit with that kind of notion. And I was right. It didn’t because UX designers do that!
From the moment I discovered that UX design is actually a thing, I got excited and started thinking of what my first steps should be in order to get me started.

  1. First, I downloaded your book Get Started in UX and I am in the process of reading it.
  2. Secondly I completed some free (10 day free account) online seminars from and especially the Career Learning Path called Become a User Experience Designer. I know this doesn’t say much but it seemed like a reasonable place to start.

Now I am searching for my next steps, but there are so many resources and possible directions…

After having stated my first steps,
I would like to pose 2 questions. One is more vague and one more specific and to the point.

  1. Do you think that I should pursue a Master’s Degree in UX design more similar field? From what I’ve read so far, UX design has many things in common with architecture in the way of thinking and the way of the whole synthesis procedure. For example this article helped me keep a positive approach on my UX career with my background. What is your opinion about this?

  2. UXAlive conference
    Thread split out to here.

Thanks guys in advance and sorry if my post became too long!

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I am a newbie too but from everything I’ve read, what employers are really looking for are experience and samples of your work, the school you went to doesn’t matter. In fact I recently read an article online for a UX Manager called Why I don’t Care What School You Went To

So my suggestion would be to look at attending one of the fantastic online schools dedicated to UX or, if you can afford it and can relocate, attending something like General Assembly’s User Experience course in person.

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Not sure about that, but the advice here is solid, and I’m glad you took the leap and posted. Welcome! :slight_smile:
I also have an architecture degree FWIW.

I do think that you should pursue a career in UX because you sound passionate about it and have done your research. I don’t necessarily think that you need to do a Masters degree in order to do that though. Some of the advice in this post by @Lukcha will be very relevant to you. This one also discusses the pros and cons of degrees.

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For a strange reason, it somehow i gave me a boost! :thumbsup:
Thanks for all the other info… Getting prepared for UXAlive conference and will be going there with a lot of enthusiasm! I will keep you posted on what I decide my next steps will be…
I really thank you (and SteveCrow, too!) so much!

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You’re totally welcome. Glad to have you on board. :slight_smile:

Doing a masters sounds like a very expensive way to get in. There are all sort of online materials for learning so I would focus on getting some experience if possible. I did a Nielsen Norman Group certificate November last year and got my first “UX” job in January. I put it in quotes as I consider my previous jobs to be UX too.

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I am an architect too and have been in the construction industry for over 15 years. Currently working to make the switch to UX (I am still very early on in the journey) and I would be keen to find out how you are getting on with it


Well, some time has passed since my first post here in this awesome community.
Let me give a brief update on what has happened over my pursuit of becoming a UX designer.

Well, to put it straight and simple, so far I haven’t managed it. Living in Greece and trying to pursue a career in UX or even just trying to find someone that speaks the same language as you do, isn’t the easiest thing to happen. Well, that would be OK for the past months. I got a job using my architectural background and I started chasing meetups in my city that might give me something, like someone who might be interested in UX, or some similar knowledge.
To make the long story short, a guy I met in those meetups and me, started our city’s UX meetup. After a year and 6 meetups it’s one of the “hottest” meetups in my city and in a few days we will start planning the 2nd year of the meetup.

Simultaneously, I have to admit that I was still searching to find my way into the UX field (even this tiny field that exists in my country). So, I signed up to HCI Specialization Course of San Diego University, that was hosted on Coursera platform.
I completed this and had something like a capstone project to show in my portfolio.

I always kept a good touch with what’s been going on here and generally the UX area.
Currently wanting to expand my portfolio even further.
Thinking of Springboard as it will allow some more design, as well as a fun project on my own.

Still got some way to go. More luck needed. I still stay positive.

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Well that’s amazing! Well done.

It sounds like you’re doing all the right things. Don’t be disparaged.

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