UX as a Career ahead

This thread is for materials, link and general advice for pursuing UX as a career.

Katyayani, a UX Lead for June was kind enough to share the slides she made for her presentations on “How to be a better designer” and “UX Portfolios”. They have been uploaded in our Team Drive.

Careers in UX (User Experience):

  1. UX Researcher (Check out Benjamin’s Fireside Chat when it gets uploaded)
  2. UX Designer 2.1 Interaction Designer 2.2 Product Designer
  3. UX Writing (at limited places, deals with content in screens)
  4. UI/UX Designer, UI Designer
  5. Visual Designer / Motion Designer / Graphic Designer
  6. etc Basically, all these positions are very overlapping. Read Internship/Job descriptions to know what stage of the design process you are gonna work on.

For all of these, you need a “portfolio”. Portfolio is a collection of your work. And has a bit about yourself, that’s all.

For people who are comfortable with visual design, Behance is a good option to showcase Graphic Heavy, Visually stunning projects.

For people who are comfortable with Front-end development (HTML/CSS), coding you own website is a good idea. You may also look for UX Engineer positions.

For people like me, who aren’t confident about either, use behance, other tools, or modify website templates. Or you could just make a slide deck (ppt) and convert it into a pdf. That’s also a portfolio.

A portfolio needs 3 good projects. Solid, strong projects. You have one strong project after this internship. Put it up.

Each project is called a “case study”. As the name suggests, it means to elaborate your design process and present your work. In general, for a case study, always provide:

  1. Introduction / Abstract
  2. Problem Statement
  3. Context of the project: Where did you do it? Why? How many people were involved? What was your role? How long was this project? What was the nature of this project- course project/ capstone project / intern project etc
  4. Always make sure to highlight your contribution in the portfolio. People will hire you, not your team.
  5. The thought process and rough sketches/brainstorming photos
  6. Links to interactive prototypes/ Embedd interactive prototypes / Upload a video of interactive prototype in action / Make a gif of the interactions
  7. The impact of your project
  8. What did you take away from the project? Think about your self assessments- they are an amazing way to reflect back on the work you have done.

To land a specific role, search “How to land a internship/job”. You’ll find lots of articles. Read, read, read. You’ll know how people got in. Eg: https://medium.com/georgia-tech-mshci/how-to-land-a-ux-engineer-internship-without-losing-your-sanity-31b9057b7761

Note: You have not only learnt hard technical skills, you have also learnt softer skills in this Internship. Refer to my earlier follow-up posts to see some, and extrapolate the rest.

All jobs require a Resume. Please ensure your resume is tailored to the position you are applying for, and is restricted to 1 page. I use Latex for my resume, since I am comfortable with it. You are free to use any tool.

I’ll pass on an advice I have received from many people: If applying for a UX Job (minus UX Engineering), do not list the programming languages you know, or your Non-Design subjects, unless they are related to Design. HCI, Psychology, Anthropology, Ethnography, Sociology, Human-Computer Interaction etc are related to design as far as I know. Databases, Operating Systems, Data Structures and Algorithms, are not.

Lastly, talk to people. That’s how you will save a ton of time and make contacts/network.

Links for Portfolio Making and understanding:
(Please research by yourselves too, these are purely suggestive)

  1. How to Structure Your First UX Design Portfolio: https://uxplanet.org/how-to-structure-your-first-ux-design-portfolio-7b51576a04df
  2. How to put together an effective and eye-catching UX design portfolio: https://uxdesign.cc/how-to-put-together-effective-eye-catching-ux-design-portfolio-d4dde7f5b44e
  3. 8 things to know about building a design portfolio: https://www.invisionapp.com/inside-design/building-a-design-portfolio/
  4. 7 tips to create the ultimate UX design portfolio: https://uxdesign.cc/7-tips-to-create-the-ultimate-ux-design-portfolio-5c7b71e27e34
  5. 9 of the worst UX portfolio mistakes — and how to fix them: https://uxdesign.cc/9-of-the-worst-ux-portfolio-mistakes-and-how-to-fix-them-73a8d5332057

In general, articles found on uxdesign.cc and uxplanet.org are pretty good. Like all advice, take it with a pinch of salt.

Find people in the industry for Mentorship and guidance. Talk to these people and get yourself started! Please be professional, courteous and go with an agenda- you don’t want to waste other people’s time!

Sharing 2 months worth of my findings here:

  1. www.adplist.org/mentors
  2. www.designed.org/app/mentors
  3. uxcoffeehours.com
  4. LinkedIn