Starting a career in UX field


#1

Hi
Looking for some advices desperately. My background and working experience is holding me back from challenging myself into this new field.

-I studied fashion and am familiar with photoshop, illustrator, indesign;
I did some freelance graphic design. I enjoyed it very much.
-Have 3 years of work experience as a meditation instructor;
You have to constantly study what people need. What problems they have, how to find solution.

I want to start a new career in UX field because I find the meaning that I create something for people’s satisfaction, for their “good experience”.
I was thinking of going to UI/UX field through the web design solution.
I realized though, UX field is actually broad and I wouldn’t like to be end up in just web design field.
My concern is, I’m in my late 20s. I heard that work condition could be very tough if you are a newbee.
The best I could do now is making my portfolio that is focused on more of UI design and it will time consuming, cost consuming as well. (Thinking of taking courses)

A. How’s the actual work environment like? Work schedule on daily basis? Handling tasks in work?

B. Would my background be a disadvantage in getting into the field?
(A lot of people in UX field have industrial design major, visual art major or computer science major…that’s what I found…)

C. Is there any advice on what I can do otherwise then just making UI portfolio considering my career path?
(I wanna do more then just web design in the future)

D. Somebody told me design agency is the best first step since you will be exposed many kinds of design projects. But also, working condition is very poor and many people choose it just
for the resume when they switch the job into different company. Could you tell me few options I can look for when I set up my goal?


#2

Hi Alison,
Welcome to the community. :slight_smile:
Your concerns are very normal – good on you for doing some research. We hear similar questions a lot, so there are lots of posts that should help you out.

This post has plenty of suggested reading sources for people getting into UX as a new career.
This one discusses free UX courses, as does [URL=“http://community.uxmastery.com/forum/careers/6230-how-to-move-forward-with-ux”]this one.
This post has advice on portfolios.
This one talks about the different areas of UX as a career.

Your background definitely won’t be a disadvantage. UX is an area that doesn’t have a defined career path, people come to it from all walks of life.

Some of your questions will depend on what part of the world you are in. Where are you based?

My advice at this point would be to read the posts that I’ve linked to above, as well as having a look through some of the other ones in this Careers sub-forum.
That will likely raise some more specific questions, which we’d be happy to answer.

Happy reading!


#3

Welcome Alison,
I would suggest reading some of the posts on here that others have written around getting into UX as they can be helpful to get more of an idea around this.

[B]A.[/B] The work environment depends on what job you end up with. I’ve also heard that design agencies can be a very intense and stressful environment, they can also be more based around UI then UX. So first off, I think that you need to decide on the area that you are most interested in, then make goals and plans around that? As being in UI can be quite different to working in general UX. I can give you an example from being integrated in a UX team in a company that creates its own products. I’m lucky enough to be with a company who’s culture I work well with, and a great team. At the moment we are working on a big project, so it is pretty full on, you have to be flexible and good at working to tight deadlines. It can be quite stressful but it is how you deal with that stress that is important. At the moment we are doing a lot of ideating, sketching, talking to SME’s, interviewing users, creating personas, working to spec docs for features, coming up with workflows etc.

[B]B.[/B] It doesn’t sound like your background would be a disadvantage, as you’ve worked with both design and people, which are great building blocks. You just need the passion and the willingness to learn and grow your skills, there are some basic soft skills you need to have, but for the hard skills you can learn these.

[B]C.[/B] There is a whole lot of discussion already on this forum around portfolios which I think you could benefit from. In brief, it is better to not just have a UI portfolio, you actually want to show your process, what went right, what went wrong and how you dealt with it etc. As well as your portfolio, make sure your CV is up to date, gives the information needed and isn’t long winded. I’m currently helping out by looking at CV’s at my workplace, and one of the first things that I’ve noticed (which surprised me) is that no-one mentions the user or even user testing!

[B]D.[/B] Design agencies do give you an idea of working on a wide range of projects, but I don’t think you have to go into them first. If the environment doesn’t sound like one you would like, I wouldn’t risk loosing your passion for this topic on a work environment that doesn’t fit with you. Look for internships, offer to do some unpaid work, get up your experience in this way, or even look to apply for graduate positions in UX. With limited experience you generally need to work your way up the ladder.

Hope this helps.


#4

Thank you SO MUCH for your kind answers and it made things so much clearer! :slight_smile:

RE:HAWK
I am now in Seoul, South Korea. I had a counseling with my tutor today and he told me that UX field is not so clear in the domestic market so I should not be considering too much about it just yet. Saying that it won’t be late to get into it after UX field gets its place in the market.

I started to take web design course thinking that this is a necessary skill that I need to have, but what tutor said kinda discouraged me.
He still recommends me to go to a design agency.
I feel like to look for a job abroad when my portfolio is ready…I understand it’s going to be tough though.


#5

You sound like you have the right attitude Alison. :slight_smile:

I think your best bet right now would be to do as much online learning as you can. The more you read and learn, the more you’ll have a clear idea of what you love and want to pursue.

We’re here if you have questions.