Going from Here to There: Transitioning into a UX Career

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A lot of people are curious about transitioning into the field of User Experience Design (UX). In this talk, I talk about a few different ways that you can transition into a UX career, be it grad school, night classes, or the ol' school of hard knocks, backed up by case studies. This talk was given at NoVA UX Meetup in the offices of AddThis, hosted by organizer Jim Lane.

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Going from Here to There: Transitioning into a UX Career

  1. 1. Going From Here to There Transitioning Into UX! David Panarelli! NoVA UX! May, 21 2014
  2. 2. here flickr/hugo90
  3. 3. 17 Ways to Totally Transition Into UX. #8 Is So Crazy OMG I Can’t Even
  4. 4. Let’s talk about you.
  5. 5. I'm a visual designer, how do I move into UX/interface design? I work for the government, how do I get a UX job in the private sector? I'm a developer and build interfaces, I'd like to learn how to design them too. I'm a student and don't have much of a portfolio yet, how do I get my first UX job if they want to see my portfolio to get hired? How do I move into something more strategic? That’s UX, right?
  6. 6. here there flickr/hugo90
  7. 7. Let’s talk about there.
  8. 8. Here’s what UXers do:
  9. 9. 1. Learn about a problem, and how it 
 affects people." 2. Design the best solution.
  10. 10. User Experience Design
  11. 11. User Experience Design How people feel when using a product. A rendering of an intended experience.
  12. 12. User Experience Design It’s called empathy. And it’s important. Make sure that the people making things build something people really need and enjoy.
  13. 13. User Experience Design
  14. 14. Process
  15. 15. Process
  16. 16. User Experience Design The UX field includes multiple disciplines User Research
 Content Strategy
 Information Architecture
 Interaction Design
 Visual Design
 Usability Evaluation ht/ Nick Fink, @nickf http://www.slideshare.net/nickf/the-ux-disciplines
  17. 17. Think about which UX discipline interests you… User Research
 Content Strategy
 Information Architecture Interaction Design
 Visual Design
 Usability Evaluation
  18. 18. Who does UX?
  19. 19. Who does UX? Lots of people.
  20. 20. User Researcher
 Identifies user behaviors, goals and needs through interviews, studies and surveys Content Strategist
 Audits, reviews, creates, and governs the production of content in a system Information Architect (IA)
 Defines the structure of a system, how content is described, organized and discovered Interaction Designer (IxD/UX Designer)
 Defines interactions, user flows, wireframes, and affordances of a system UI Developer
 Builds the system by interpreting the functional specification, sitemaps, wireframes while working within technical constraints Visual Design
 Designs and maintains appropriate visual styles in service of the overall experience of a product or service Who does UX?
  21. 21. The work differs from place to place.
  22. 22. Small Product Small 
 Agency Big Agency Big Product Federal more agile more waterfall more generalized more specialized less bureaucracy more bureaucracy
  23. 23. Think about these factors and how they affect the way you work…
  24. 24. There is more than one there. And that’s OK.
  25. 25. A career change is a direction, not a destination.
  26. 26. here there flickr/hugo90
  27. 27. There are options.
  28. 28. School: grad/undergrad" Night School" School of Hard Knocks
  29. 29. School: grad/undergrad
  30. 30. Jen Briselli @jbriselli
  31. 31. Jen Briselli @jbriselli “I'm using all the same brain muscles I used as a physics major and a high school teacher, believe it or not. 
 
 UX is more of a mindset than a methodology or field, I think."
  32. 32. Timeline: 2 years
  33. 33. Grad School Curriculum they tell you what to know Community students and teachers Network hiring companies, access Work projects and practice Focus it’s your job, and it’s intense
  34. 34. Night School
  35. 35. Kenji Bohlin @kenjisan
  36. 36. Kenji Bohlin @kenjisan “You don't know what you don't know… I went into it thinking UX was one thing… and realized it was all encompassing. 
 
 That's an important lesson that I didn't know I needed.”
  37. 37. Timeline: 1 year
  38. 38. Night School Curriculum they tell you what to know Some Community students and teachers Network hiring companies, access Work projects and practice Balance life-work-school
  39. 39. School of Hard Knocks* *not that hard
  40. 40. THIS GUY
  41. 41. Restless curious, focused on people, problem solving" Followed an interest social web" Shared what I knew speaking" Took on extra work the extra mile" Met other designers at a conference events" Found a mentor brent!" Learned the deliverables wireframes, personas" Read everything I could books, books, books" More Sharing blogging" Took on a job challenge an opportunity" Feelings of doubt i didn’t know what i was doing" Non-stop learning onward and upward
  42. 42. Timeline: 2 years
  43. 43. Hard Knocks No Curriculum figure it out Make a Community colleagues, co-workers Network find people and follow up Work taking on new skills, it’s complicated Balance life-work-work-work
  44. 44. flickr/hugo90
  45. 45. Common Threads
  46. 46. Don’t start from scratch flickr/tinkerszone take the work you’ve done so far break it down into basic skills find where those skills fit in
  47. 47. User Researcher
 Identifies user behaviors, goals and needs through interviews, studies and surveys Content Strategist
 Audits, reviews, creates, and governs the production of content in a system Information Architect (IA)
 Defines the structure of a system, how content is described, organized and discovered Interaction Designer (IxD/UX Designer)
 Defines interactions, user flows, wireframes, and affordances of a system UI Developer
 Builds the system by interpreting the functional specification, sitemaps, wireframes while working within technical constraints Visual Design
 Designs and maintains appropriate visual styles in service of the overall experience of a product or service Who does UX?
  48. 48. User Researcher
 research, analysis, written communication, spoken communication
 Content Strategist
 analysis, written communication, excel. see the big picture Information Architect (IA)
 systemic thinking, visualization, written communication, puzzle-oriented, see the big picture Interaction Designer (IxD/UX Designer)
 familiar with technology, puzzle-oriented, visualization skills, see the big picture UI Developer
 knows the codes, love the code, stay current, see the big picture
 Visual Design
 loves design systems, attention to detail, visualization, typography, color theory Who does UX?
  49. 49. Hunger flickr/tinkerszone
  50. 50. Hunger for challenges flickr/scarygami
  51. 51. Hunger for helping people flickr/tinkerszone
  52. 52. Reading
  53. 53. Reading
  54. 54. Community: Events
  55. 55. Community: Mentor find someone you look up to Ixd, IAI mentorship programs
  56. 56. Community: Team reach out to your co-workers reach out to your friends
  57. 57. Sharing blog it, baby online portfolio speaking telling the story is as important as the work
  58. 58. make your intentions clear reach out to the right people add to existing projects implement new practices Work your work projects
  59. 59. Work your own projects
  60. 60. How to do your own project think of a person learn about their problem diagram the problem identify pain points sketch out ideas to solve the problem prototype a solution show it to that person refine it, based on their suggestions iterate show it to everyone
  61. 61. The Common Threads Don’t start from scratch understand your skills" Hunger helping people…problem solving Reading practical guides…theory behind the work" Community events…teams…mentor Sharing portfolio…blog…speaking Work self-assigned projects…more work at work
  62. 62. flickr/hugo90
  63. 63. Be careful, but never be afraid.
  64. 64. don’t hate. iterate. Thanks! David Panarelli david.panarelli@gmail.com @dpan dpan.co
  65. 65. Ask me a question!
  66. 66. and now…

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