Did you transition into UX from another industry?


#1

We’re really keen to hear about the interesting paths that you have taken to get here. If you’re currently a UX practitioner (or aspiring to be one), what has your career path been to date?

My path has been unusual. Architecture --> software engineering --> community management --> product/UX

What about you?


#2

Sports Journalist -> Retail Store Operations Manager -> Call Center Rep -> Senior Call Center Rep -> Corporate Trainer -> Learning Design Developer -> Corporate Communications -> Software Engineer -> Digital Signage Design & Development -> Digital Signage Design & Development Team Lead -> UX Engineer.

And that’s just since college.


#3

Here’s mine!

Music student (university level)> Fashion design student ( vocational education level)> receptionist > Industrial design student (university level) > graphic design & marketing intern > Call centre operator > Unemployed for 6 months > Business Designer (government graduate development program)> Information designer > User Centred Designer > User researcher > Information designer> UX consultant/ National level Diversity & Inclusion volunteer lead > Self-employed UX writer and User researcher

I’ve kind of meandered my way in and out of UX and among the different disciplines


#4

PhD Health psychology > Post-doc in digital health > Public health role in a breast cancer charity > UX researcher in an online doctor start-up

Still feel like I have a lot to learn!


#5

College (BS in biology) > respiratory therapist > IT > Dev > graphic designer > technical writer > UX designer.

This is a wonderful question BTW. It’s great seeing the enormous variety of backgrounds and experiences that shaped UX designers.


#6

I put it out on Twitter also and was blown away by the response.

We have nuclear scientists, architects, primary school teachers, musicians, social workers, photographers, jewellery designers, personal trainers and more!


#7

Aspiring Rockstar turned Graphic Designer turned Software Developer turned Front-end Developer turned UX Designer…


#8

Wow! Such inspirational progressions showing the diverse experiences people in UX bring to the table.

Hawk- I also started an Architecture degree (buildings not software). I absolutely loved it and did really well, but got caught up in the fascinations of research and evidence based design! That desire developed into completing a psychology degree. Initially, I was exploring environmental psychology but found there are limited opportunities in Australia. I then discovered UX and it made my heart flutter!

I am now finishing my honours part time in Human Factors while working in a self-guided role at a company where I assess user experience and recommend/facilitate changes to a customised business platform. It’s a little daunting at times being new to the field and having no mentor, but very rewarding knowing I’ve got my feet in the right places. Now to do whatever I can to (1) maintain good work, (2) complete my honours and (3) study UX specific skills!!

Thanks for a great platform to help with this!


#9

Wow! So cool. I am just completing my honours in Human Factors (specifically, mitigating the negative consequences of automation in air traffic control).

I always feel like the more you know, the more you know that you don’t know :joy:


#10

Sounds fascinating!

Yes totally agree. I still feel like I have so much to learn!


#11

Pharmacology graduate > cleaner > shop assistant > Project Manager (Medical communications) > Project Manager (design agency) > Junior web developer > Junior UI/UX Designer

Quite a round about experience to get there


#12

I feel like this is part of the problem for the self-taught. As we uncover a world we had no knowledge of before, we’re struck with the breadth of our ignorance.

The truth is we’re forever sophomores, despite any level of education. Regardless of how much we learn, there’s always more to know.


#13

I was an air traffic controller. It’s been a while, but if you need anything, let me know. When I was there, I remember being fascinated by Human Factors.


#14

Schoolwise?
Mechanical Engineering -> Industrial Engineering (Human Factors focus), minor Psych -> Industrial Engineering (HF Focus) -> bombed qualifying exam and got punted from the department -> Interdisciplinary Engineering (HF Focus)

Workwise?
Textile ink clean-up from screen printing -> lifeguarding -> 5 years of IT support and repair -> 3 years of TA’ing (some of my most useful experience, btw) -> 2 years of research assistantship

So, I’m coming to UX distinctly from the engineering & psychology side, but with a decent background in the nature of work.


#15

Absolutely! :joy: Shakespear said it well: “A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.”


#16

Hi Piper! Fantastic! I’d love to have a chat about your experiences if you ever had a moment. I’m just starting out in my project after working as an RA in the field. It’s always nice to get first hand insights. I’m hoping to go air side through a friend too. I will add you on LinkedIn :blush:


#17

Wow, where to start. Many hats worn so I’ll just list five - Business Analyst, IT Project Manager, Retail, Microsoft Administrator for DC Office of the Chief Technology Officer (OCTO), Program Manager Enterprise Software (OCTO), Contracting Officer Technical Representative, DC Office of the Chief Financial Officer, and now aspiring UX Design Manager. PS if you have any job leads let me know :grinning:.


#18

I love this thread!!


#19

I always feel like the more you know, the more you know that you don’t know :joy:

The mark of an expert - knowing that we don’t know everything and there’s still heaps more to learn. :slight_smile:


#20

What a great thread - love the diversity :slight_smile:
I started off working in a call centre while at uni --> tech support --> BA designing mainframe screens --> UCD/UX --> studied towards a masters in Human Factors while working --> UX consultant --> User researcher