My Journey in Becoming a UX Designer

Once upon a time, there lived a kid named Peter and every night while everyone is deep in their slumbers, Peter loved to stay awake to draw every creature, heroes, warriors, only limited to his imagination.

Peter fell in love with books, movies, and worlds that let his imagination flourish, the world was endless and the night was full of wonders. However, that childhood wonder never last long as expectations and reality began to creep in…

As school began, Peter realized that he, for the lack of a better word, sucked at math or dealing with numbers. Peter loved to just daydream and put his imagination to use and often times were caught reading or drawing on the textbooks.

How bad did it get? Well, this one time, Peter spent the entire class doodling this epic master piece (a Charizard fighting a War Greymon that he completely didn’t catch a single word on how to do division. Luckily for Peter, friends were always around.

As the years go by, Peter began to realize that the days of sitting by the lakeside, reading books and daydreaming of becoming a Pokémon Master was now behind him. He has to face reality and as family, friends, and relatives all have said, “Peter, you have to go to university and get into Business school. Finance has been our family’s past and is the future.”

Welp.

Finally, Peter turned 18 and it’s time for him to head into the world of Post Secondary education at Simon Fraser University. It’s time for him to get off his dinosaur and act like a real man. He can’t let his family down. He needs to step up and become “The financial analyst”and this is the first step of becoming who everyone expects him to be.

Note: In all honesty, It wasn’t as bad as it looks but in Peter’s eye, knowing how much he sucked at numbers, going into finance was basically the same as this.

Oh, and it also doesn’t help with so much of what others were expecting him to be.

Peter pulled up his big boy pants, drew his pencil and turned on his calculator and was ready for a long four year battle against the Master of Math, The Lord of Finances and Accounting, and the not so bad Diva of Marketing and Business Development.

He had to retake a few courses here and there but managed to pull through and progressed forward. It was a tough fight and his grade shows, with a few times being sent to probation. He often wondered if he should study something else, something he likes such as graphic design or animation but that thought never lasted long as he is reminded his duty and who he is expected to be.

Finally, after countless battles against exams, Peter made it to the gate of Co-op and internships. But something didn’t felt right. The lingering feeling that this isn’t what he was meant to do kept coming back. He had trouble fitting in with all this. Conversations about fancy suits or expensive restaurants or night clubs or how much so and so is making. None of that was interesting for Peter.

Do you know what’s interesting? Avengers. Warcraft, One Piece, Basketball, Badminton, ALL that is way more interesting.

BUT, being in society means we have to learn to small talk and connect, hence Peter once again, sucked it up and carry forth.

Note: Not everyone talked like that, there was actually some pretty awesome peeps that I’ve met over the years.

At the end of the road, Peter finally did it. He achieved what everyone wanted but in doing so, he forgot something very important. Peter has forgotten what he wanted. In that moment, where everyone is celebrating, the celebration felt more like desperate cries to Peter, he never felt more confused, more lost in what he is supposed to do next.

Keep moving forward was the only reason that kept Peter from getting up everyday. He like many other recent graduates struggled to find a job, mostly due to the lack of experience and a saturated job market.

On one faithful day, prior to going into an interview at one of the larger banks in Canada, Peter can’t help but noticed the other side, of the street, a group of designers with tubes of sketches heading into the building, Microsoft.

He stood, wondering what doe’s it take to become a designer and work at a company like Microsoft?

Peter started working at one of the banks and switched to a financial advisor role but as days turns to months he began to again question, was it worth it to live a life that satisfies the status quo, that others deemed successful while blindly ignoring your true calling. Every day felt like eternality and Peter often found himself checking the clock, hoping to get off work to do something he loves.

Note: Sometimes it wasn’t that bad, getting off work at 4 pm in the afternoon in downtown certainly helps but it did feel like I was slaving away while doing something I didn’t have passion towards.

In the evening after work and during the weekends, Peter and a few of his friends who studied computer science and design would meet up and work on some projects together. Peter was able to contribute through doing some simple graphic design work for them.

This is it, this is what makes him feel alive. Every moment of it felt real. They were having fun, creating things, seeing it come “alive”. Peter for the first time in a very long time felt like he found something he truly cares about.

As he dove deeper and deeper into this world, he became fascinated with everything about it. He began to notice the world a little differently. For example, he loves reading comics and manga on the computer screen and with the recent development of smartphones, he noticed that there is a shift in how comics are being drawn, gone are the traditional way of right to left or left to right. Now every comic is done in a top to bottom form…..

There is a shift in usability or emphasis on the user experiences….UX.

After long consideration and soul searching, Peter decided to pack up and venture forth into the realm of UX. But first, he would need to acquire certain skill sets. The land of UX awaits…..

In order to become a full UX designer, Peter must first gain the basic fundamentals and skill set that a UX designer would have!

First, he would need to learn to quickly fight with: Stickys and Wireframes

He would need to learn to cast: User research, Empathy, Iterations

And above all else, he must understand and trust in the process.

Unfortunately, nothing goes as planned, and in order to fast track his studies, the counsellor had to find ways to move some of the previous credits that Peter has generated to the new courses. He would also have to be on the wait list in order to achieve a pass to the gate of CO-OP and internship.

But luck was on his side, as the counselor decided to secretly move Peter past the wait list and approving him secretly. To this day, Peter is extremely thankful to the counselor.

Note: I was on the wait list and in order to begin seeking, there was a year-long wait but the counselor decided to move me forward. I can’t thank her enough.

With all the support, Peter knew he can’t let those who believed in him down. He ventured forward to face the BlackBerry Monster in the land of Mississauga.

Peter learned to use wireframes, and process flows to understand the beast before striking it. He analyzes the patterns to create the best interaction method of handling the creature.

It took many months, but eventually, the creature was defeated.

For play by play: http://peterluk.ca/blackberry.html

On one snowing night in the land of Mississauga, As Peter made his track back to his village, he received a signal from a company he once thought about that seem like a lifetime ago.

The caller was the program manager for Microsoft’s innovation project, working on a partnership project with Vancouver’s transportation company. He asked Peter if he was free to chat.

Peter knew this was a moment he has been waiting for and even in a blizzard, he had to take this call.

Peter finally made it to the citadel of Microsoft. This was a dream come true. He would have never imagined that in 5 years since that fateful day across the street, that he would be here, inside this building, doing something he loves.

It was also time to take his UX skills to the next level, This was a completely different beast and he knew he had to master his technique before striking. Casting research and iteration was the key to success.

This project requires a deep understanding of the users and how they would consume the elements on each screen and at the same time, it requires working with a data scientist in order to create the optimal

experience.

For play by play: http://peterluk.ca/microsoft.html

Now with 2.5 years of experience along with 2.5 years of studies, Peter has finally managed to unlock his potential and summoned the sword of UXD.

Both BlackBerry and Microsoft has given him so much more and that the past 2.5 years has literally been a dream came true to him. But Peter has always loved entertainment. From his love for movies to games to books, the media and entertainment medium has always fascinated him to no end.

Peter was lucky enough to be summoned to participant in the quest to improve the UX at The Land of Electronic Arts but the battle will be tough, and there will be many failures along the way.

There will be many who would try to stop him yet, he knows this is his calling and he would rather do this than going back to crunch numbers. To him, this is fun and to the army, he is facing down. He drew the Sword of UXD and got ready for war.

For play by play: http://peterluk.ca/nhl19hutonboarding.html

As predicted, the battle was tough and Peter was defeated multiple times. But he managed to make his way through into the forest of game development. As when all hope seemed lost, he saw a beacon of light, shining. Riding on a controlleer, and behind him the flag, “GAME UX” stood tall and proud.

The man helped Peter up, “Welcome to the effing show.” He greeted and this was the beginning of a year-long battle to improve the UX in the land of EA.

For play by play: http://peterluk.ca/nhl19woc.html

To be Continued….

--

--

--

UX Designer in the Entertainment and Media field

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Recommended from Medium

InventHelp Inventor Review with George Foreman

READ/DOWNLOAD$+ 3001: The Final Odyssey FULL BOOK

Daily web design inspirations, December 7

How to quickly learn Sketch

Mickey and Dan VS. Figma

Checkpoint 1 Production Breakdown

CP1’s mascot Cass talking to IPL’s Mascot Radia

Research repository: How to fail (a guide)

Do you want real design task? Help product to make it

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Peter Luk

Peter Luk

UX Designer in the Entertainment and Media field

More from Medium

Lessons from a Junior UX Designer

4 Reasons Why Being an Art Historian Makes Me a Better UX Designer

Finding UX: Growing my roots

How Art Informed My Design Career : Part 3