Where are you now working, and what is your job title?
I am currently working at Liquidus as a Jr. UX/UI Designer.
Tell us a little bit about your new job!
I work with the dev team, QA team and project manager to create a management platform that will be used by multiple departments within the company. The goal is to increase communication and efficiency between departments. I’ve researched the departments processes, created user interview questions and have also user tested an early version of the platform.
I’m also redesigning the digital portal used by both the company and clients. My main tasks consists of internal user testing, sketching mock ups, creating wireframes of key sections of the portal and prototypes for the dev team and project manager to review.
How would you describe the DESIGNATION experience?
DESIGNATION was an eye-opening experience. It really put into perspective the direction I needed to go in when it came to my career, which is exactly what I needed going into the program. The challenges and obstacles also kept me motivated throughout the program. Everything we learned in class made me feel both excited and prepared for my career after DESIGNATION.
What was the most interesting or useful thing you learned during the cohort?
The most useful thing for me was being able to work as part of a team. It was an experience I could not have gotten or even understood on my own. Working in small teams allows you to undertake more responsibilities, which really ends up being a big benefit. Being able to collaborate with different people with different skills was a great learning experience. It’s something I can refer to in interviews, and it is something that I can use in my current position.
“DESIGNATION was an eye-opening experience. If you are even just thinking of getting into the industry, just go for it.”
What are the people at DESIGNATION like (including staff, instructor and fellow students)?
Helpful. Everyone is very open to helping. In my experience, most of my fellow students quickly formed a community where it was very easy to talk to each other. I always felt comfortable asking questions about projects and assignments. The instructors were very helpful and patient throughout the program and they were always looking for me to succeed even after I finish the program. That is something I really appreciate.
What were you doing before you came to DESIGNATION?
I was working as an in-house graphic designer. I had been at the company I was at for 3 years, and it really was not providing me with any new challenges or any possibility to move up. It was time for me to move forward with my career. It was really a challenge finding a new job because, even though I was applying for graphic design positions, a lot of places required UX experience which I didn’t have at the time.
How did you hear about DESIGNATION, and why did you decide to come?
My former co-worker researched DESIGNATION and mentioned it to me. I looked into it myself, and I felt like it was exactly what I needed to move forward. The timeframe for the program was very also encouraging. Before I knew it I was interviewing via Skype and putting in my two weeks’ notice at my job.
How did DESIGNATION help prepare you for your new role?
DESIGNATION taught me about designing for the user. I used to only focus on the aesthetics of design. I soon came to learn that there is so much more to design. Now, I’m able to differentiate user experience and user interface design, and I am able to articulate the importance of how each is related to the other. It has been helpful in my new role to be able to communicate the differences to team members.
What was your favorite part of the DESIGNATION experience?
My favorite part of the program was the real-life experience they provided us. Working with real clients at first seemed overwhelming, but after meeting them and really getting involved with the project, it became easier. I also really liked visiting design agencies. I was able to ask real people in the industry questions regarding what their expectations were for new designers. It was also helpful for me to see different type of workplace environments.
What advice would you give to someone who was trying to break into the industry?
My advice is, if you are even just thinking of getting into the industry, just go for it. Something that always runs through my mind is “I should have just done this sooner.” Also, once you start learning, do not stop. It makes things more fun and it may also help you advance your career.