Interview with Kevin Young, UX Architect at Sears Holdings Corporation

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Kevin Young is an alum from the Emerald Cohort. With a background in business and photography, his interest in creating compelling experiences and understanding users brought him to study UX/UI at DESIGNATION.

 

Where are you now working, and what is your job title?
I am currently working in the city at Sears Holdings Corporation as a UX Architect.

Tell us a little bit about your new job!
I’m on their mobile team doing UX for their app and mobile site. I’m given tasks such as wireframing, prototyping, whiteboarding, and brainstorming. Mainly responsible for wireframing, creating flows for new features/ideas, and making sure everything is a great experience for the user. There is a lot of collaboration and communication with the devs, product managers, and visual team.


How would you describe the DESIGNATION experience?
The DESIGNATION experience is like a fun roller coaster. The virtual phase is like getting buckled in on the ride. The onboarding phase where lectures and tasks are given to complete is like going up the coaster right before the drop. You’re soaking in as much as you can before starting on projects. The drop and crazy loops are when the fun really begins. You get to work on teams, solve problems, work with live clients, and use everything you learned. Finally, the ride ends with portfolio week and you unbuckle yourself to find a job!

What was the most interesting or useful thing you learned during the cohort?
Working with a live client was one of the most useful things I learned. Not everything is always going to go your way. I had to learn how to compromise and/or push for my ideas. Having deadlines, meetings, and feedback from an actual client definitely prepared me for my current job.

What are the people at DESIGNATION like (including staff, instructor and fellow students)?
Everyone at DESIGNATION is chill, helpful, and overall create a fun learning environment. Being around students who want to succeed and do well helped create an atmosphere of creativity and hustle. Instructors such as Zeke and Won definitely know what they’re talking about!

What were you doing before you came to DESIGNATION?
I was a wedding photographer and freelance videographer/editor. It’s awesome how DESIGNATION gave me a new opportunity in something I highly enjoy now.

How did you hear about DESIGNATION, and why did you decide to come?
A friend from the Celadon cohort told me about DESIGNATION. I decided to attend because I wanted to be in a field where like-minded people want to solve problems in a creative way.

How did DESIGNATION help prepare you for your new role?
I had no design background and was not familiar with any of the tools used in the design field. The virtual phase helped with that. Learning about design processes and working with real clients helped a lot. There’s some pushing and shoving in meetings, so you need to justify your designs!

What was your favorite part of the DESIGNATION experience?
Making friends who are driven to succeed and being in a creative space to learn.

What advice would you give to someone who was trying to break into the industry?
What you put in is what you’ll get. Work hard, read as much as you can, and network with those in your field. I’m still learning and read UX books/blogs whenever I have time. This field is always changing so make sure to keep up.

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