Where are you now working, and what is your job title?
I work as an Interaction Designer at Idean.
Tell us a little bit about your new job!
I am currently developing an educational and professional development platform for a large networking company. My work will include everything from wireframes, interaction flows, to low and high fidelity prototypes.
How would you describe the DESIGNATION experience?
My Designation experience was challenging yet very fun. I got to work on a variety of projects from responsive web, mobile applications, to a dedicated UX research project. Coming from California, it was a great to spend a fair amount of time soaking in the Chicago life while working on client projects.
What was the most interesting or useful thing you learned during the cohort?
Learning to work with clients. Particularly managing expectation and meeting deadlines. I work at an agency now, and this is an invaluable skill to have for a project’s success.
“The people really make the program. Everyone is friendly and passionate about learning and it’s a contagious environment to be around.”
What are the people at DESIGNATION like (including staff, instructor and fellow students)?
The people really make the program. Everyone is friendly and passionate about learning and it’s a contagious environment to be around. I’m still in touch with many of the students and instructors and its been great to have them in my network where I can bounce ideas or talk design.
What were you doing before you came to DESIGNATION?
Before Designation, I was working in digital marketing, managing a startup’s social media strategy along with the designing email campaigns, viral content and banner ads. I worked closely with designers and loved it. From there I decided to make a career change towards design.
How did you hear about DESIGNATION, and why did you decide to come?
I heard about Designation from Quora, researching other programs, and I decided to come to the because I wanted to spend a summer in Chicago and check out the design and technology scene.
How did DESIGNATION help prepare you for your new role?
Designation helped me to add projects to my portfolio and get experience with clients. Working with clients helped me develop necessary skills like presenting work and explaining design choices.
What was your favorite part of the DESIGNATION experience?
Definitely working and hanging out with students and instructors. We spent a lot of time together—sweating over code, designing in Illustrator, staring at whiteboards, Whole Foods trips and happy hours and we’ve built camaraderie over these experiences.
What advice would you give to someone who was trying to break into the industry?
Put yourself out there and network with other designers. It’s challenging starting out, but I recommend taking on projects, even if it’s spec work. Lastly, never stop learning, read design books, psychology books, take front-end development classes, learn about typography, self-teach or go through a program.