The Beginning of My UX Design Journey

My first Medium post. Yeah! I’m a little excited, I’ve been contemplating writing for awhile now. In fact, I’ve done it before but it didn’t work out. Honestly, it was a little ambitious, I had the idea of doing a 52 week writing challenge so I decided that I wanted to write about 52 different games which meant playing 52 different games. And even though I had a vast amount of content, I just wanted to write to improve my writing skills and to say that I’ve done it. I guess the subject didn’t matter much. But this time it’s different.

I’ve been lurking around the user experience (UX) field for awhile now. Always reading and learning about it but never got beyond that. This time, I want to learn about UX design, I want to implement UX design, I want to be involved in UX design.

There’s a few reasons why I want to learn about UX design and one of them is fate. Yes, you heard me. Fate. Well, maybe pure coincidence. Like I mentioned earlier, I’ve been reading a lot about it from several uxpin e-books to Medium guides like so you want to be a UX designer by Suelyn Yu. Even watching courses like Udacity’s UX design for Mobile Developers. But as I was reading Ling Lim’s advice on Invision’s blog, she suggested to follow Julie Zhuo, who is a great designer, who I remembered being suggested by Suelyn Yu on her post as well. This felt rather significant a couple of days later when I started reading a post on my e-mail from Medium about writing. It was inspirational to say the least, and to my big surprise it was none other than Julie Zhuo!

That’s when I decided, I want everything I develop to have a user experience focus and I want to write about the journey.

Another reason is because how user experience helps design the look and feel of a product with a purpose. I remember back in the day, seeing websites with flashy effects and animations that made me think, “wow, this guys should be working with Hollywood instead.” It reminded me of futuristic 80’s movies that had devices, cars, characters with all sorts of jingles and bells for no clear reason but to look cool.

They did that job spectacularly, but even so, I preferred simple and cleaner design. So I was delighted when I found out about Material Design. It’s simple, and clean, flashy at times, yet it has a purpose behind it all. And it was created with the user in mind. So my desire to get involved kept on growing.

And lastly, because user experience helps solve problems with the user in mind. I’ve been a problem solver since high school. I used to fix my own computer (mind you formatting Windows isn’t that hard) but from there I went to fix internet connections then work as a support tech but I wasn’t satisfied.

My guardian actually suggested I get a Cisco certification to get into networking, and I was intrigued by the many things you can do with a router and a switch, but mostly about the routing protocols. They are essentially algorithms that determine what path to take which in turn made me curious about programming so I decided to take classes.

I remember building simple bank accounts in C++ and Java, and data structures in C and with that came the silly idea of making an A.I. like J.A.R.V.I.S from Iron Man.

A personalized program that helps get tasks done in a seemingly matter with a voice command.

Now you’re probably wondering that’s pretty far fetched. And it kind of is. It wasn’t until much later when I was listening to music while taking a shower (it’s not weird, I promise) that a song I dislike came on that I wished I could say “Okay Google! Next song.” And it hit me, I can use user experience design in everything I develop from the way a program looks and feels, to how I solve a problem, to how a user interacts with a program and how a program interacts with a user including how I would interact with a music player using my voice.

So that’s my journey so far, the end of my first Medium post but the start of my UX journey. Hope you enjoyed it. If you’re wondering my next step is to follow experienced designers on Twitter, read Design of Everyday Things by Don Norman, and start a portfolio.

TL;DR: I want to become a UX designer, help me do so. Leave me some feedback, suggestions, resources. Actually, tell me what inspired you to become what you are now.

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