What roles are easier to start with, to ease into UX design?

[SIZE=12px]I live in the San Francisco area, and while there are lots of job listings for more experienced UX’ers, there are approximately zero for beginning UX’ers.

I found an article here on UX Mastery where Matt said…

“Let me explain: graduate UX Designer jobs generally don’t exist, for the pure fact that generalists with some experience under the belt are best suited for UX Design roles. Don’t get disheartened though—you should instead aim to land a job that gets you [I]closer[/I] to the end goal—for instance, one of the roles listed previously, as a software tester, a project assistant, an intern visual designer … any opportunity to work on a software project in some capacity, large or small.”

So, now I’m starting to wonder if I shouldn’t look for a related type of job to start with, since I’m coming from outside the tech world.

What types of job roles can you think of that might fit the bill for getting into the tech world where one could be around UX’ers, and try doing some UX oneself on a project (even if on the sly)? Jobs that would likely be easier to get as a beginner than UX designer?

Thank you![/SIZE]

very nice question :wink: I want to know too

Hi Doug,

That one is a little bit of a difficult question, from the people that I work with, those that have the closest interaction with us would be designers or testers.
My other suggestion would be to look into grants that businesses can get. For instance New Zealand has something called the Callahan Innovation Grant, where a specific organisation gives money to IT companies who apply and are working in certain areas. You guys might have similar things in your countries?

Natalie—Thank you for the ideas. What types of designers and testers are you thinking of…visual designers and software testers (quality assurance/QA)?

I’m not clear how grants would come into play. Grants for what…and how would that be something that might affect me?


In terms of design, yes visual design, especially for smaller companies, where they may not have a UX role, and you could try and incorporate it as well. Software testers half the time don’t need to be able to do any coding or understand too much code, it depends on the role. What they are really good at is finding edge cases, testing workflow, giving suggestions as to what is confusing, and what worked and what didn’t work well. - Just a thought, though that one might be harder to transition from.

In terms of grants, I got an internship with a company through a Callaghan Innovation Grant. So they basically gave money to the company, to hire and pay someone to do 6 moths worth of UX work on a project. Sometimes if a company can get help funding you, they might be more willing to take you on board in a learning capacity. I was basically working for this company for free, and they got 6 months worth of work out of me :).

Natalie—If things don’t work out soonish in my UX job search, I might look into software testing.

Wow, that’s great about the grant that got you in the door! I’ve never heard of anything like that in the San Francisco, USA area, but will ask around.