Is it too late to start a career in UX?

I’m a 47 year old Marketing communications Manager who was previously a Senior Graphic Designer, and has realized I took a wrong turn in my career and I’m looking to “get back” to the design space, but not as a graphic designer but to evolve into a UX designer. So my question is… is it too late for me to make the transition into UX design?

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Absolutely not! I’ve known people in their 50’s and 60’s who have made similar transitions.

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Such a relief to hear Doug. Thanks. I’m looking into some of the bootcamps discussed in this forum to get my portfolio built up. Would I have to start as a Jr. UX Designer or based on my previous experience could I jump into UX Designer / Senior UX Designer?

Best,
Aaron

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You probably wouldn’t have to start at a Junior level (though you might, depending on the company.) Senior roles are probably out, but again - that depends on the company.

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Certainly not too late - I’m 54 and still going strong! If you’ve got communication and graphic design experience, I’d leverage this as much as possible to start with. These skills are very much in demand in the UX space. You could start by marketing yourself primarily as a content and UI designer, then add other UX capabilities into the mix as you get more confident in them. If you can find a Senior role that incorporates your previous experience, there’s no reason why you couldn’t jump straight in.

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This is welcomed news Michael. Thank you for responding to my inquiry. It gives me confidence knowing my background could be leveraged as an asset as I look to take the next step.

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It is not late. I guess

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It is never too late, my friend. Welcome aboard!

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I appreciate the encouragement satriohutomo.

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I share the same sentiments as everyone else. Life is short…do what you want!

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Not at all.

We are here to help you with all the support and help that you need.

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It’s never too late! I know a few people who started their career in UX Designing after 40. If they can then why not you!

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Age is just a number. Talented people are always accepted.

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I switched to UX at 35 when all of my friends were well settled. I don’t think it is too late for you too (or anyone)

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Absolutely not! It’s even more inspiring that still want to learn more and expand your talents. Go for it!

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Go for it! Well, I guess I’m just saying it’s never too late.

hi,
i have a similar question. i have 16 years of experience in Data and analytics, some visualization for dashboards using tableau, Businessobjects, powerbi. i am looking to transition to UX/UI design area in my 40’s. is that possible or a mistake at this point?

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47 is young my friend, never too late. Plus, people underestimate how valuable their life exprience can bring to UX. I say to new UXers, people mamnagement can be more valuable to a pristine layout. What I will say for starting fresh at a more mature age is don’t waste time on cheap courses, go to really credible websites where you will learn in a formalised and quick way -

  • NNGroup (especially their live courses)
  • interaction-design(.)org
  • Coursera (search for foundation UX courses)

Hope this helps, all the best.

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Ditto my reply to the original question.

Thanks, @ocube for highlighting the value of experience and people management, and for sharing the resources. User experience is a very broad field and no single person can have expertise in every aspect of UX design.

@qbomb22 It has been a while since you posted this question, and I was curious about your journey into UX. Marketing professionals also have some overlap with UX designers. And since you’ve been a graphic designer and have been in a managerial role, I suspect your transition to UX would have been much easier.

Just adding these references for anyone else who’s transitioning from a similar role:

@Explorer, since you mentioned you have experience in data and analytics, then you already have some very valuable skills for transitioning to UX design.

You have already created dashboards that were designed for use by someone else, and data analytics is an important component of user research. In fact, the Interaction Design Foundation has dedicated courses for these specializations.

I stumbled into UX design quite by accident, and have been learning by doing. I recall one of the first tasks I got as a newbie designer, was to conduct a Usability Audit.

One of the biggest mindset shifts from any discipline to user experience design is in looking at your work from the eyes of a different person. Often, it is difficult to detach ourselves from our work. For me, the first usability tests were an eye-opener. You can try it yourself by:

  • observing and being mindful of your own reactions and thoughts as you interact with other products.
  • get someone to use a product and observe their reactions (and often, frustrations).

I know I went on a bit of a tangent there, but hope it helps :slight_smile:

Best wishes for your learning journey!

PS: You can access a host of UX-related resources in this free library of UX literature.

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