UX Rookie — An Introduction of Me

I know next to nothing about user experience design, yet I quit my job and signed up for General Assembly’s full-time immersive course. I am trying to go back to school in the fall 2016 semester, but I am still debating which major I want to study. I’m leaning toward the graphic design program at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), but when I went for the orientation, I saw that there were a bunch of different majors that sounded interesting and might fall more in line with what I would enjoy doing. I took a few introductory workshops on basic Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign, and AutoCAD, and enrolled in General Assembly’s online Web Design Circuit course, where I tried to use my newly created Github website as a platform to showcase different design ideas. Since most of the majors at FIT require applicants to submit portfolios and the course work will involve technical knowledge, including user experience design knowledge, I figured I might as well use this opportunity to learn as much as I can about user experience design.

I like that user experience design is a highly multi-disciplinary field that dabbles in a bit of research, design, and web development. I myself have a mixed background. As an undergrad, I double majored in health science and political science and was just a few credits away from triple majoring in journalism. I went back to school for continuing education courses and earned a certificate in medical billing and coding (sparked by my job as a pharmacy technician and having customers always asking me billing questions about their insurance), and a certificate in paralegal studies (sparked by my interest in learning about law and policies). Although I learned how to interpret and process pharmacy prescriptions from working as a pharmacy technician, and ended up getting jobs as a medical biller and a legal assistant, I learned quickly that even though it was useful to learn about certain disciplines, I wasn’t happy with the stagnant work and lack of upward mobility and pay. I like that user experience design uses practical approaches to solving problems, but is open to creative solutions that facilitate smooth transactions. User experience design focuses on solving problems, ones that are already there, and ones that might pop up later on, by examining existing practices, thinking of alternative solutions, testing things out, getting feedback, and ultimately making things easier for users. I want to be a part of that solution process and although I’m nervous, I’m excited to start my user experience design journey.

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