This month, we’re talking to Jonathan Netek, a graduate of UX Academy Carson Cohort.
Before enrolling in UXA, Jonathan was a UX Designer at Baylor College of Medicine. After upskilling with Designlab, he landed a new higher profile job doing UX/Visual Design at FlightAware in Houston, TX.
Why did you decide to join UX Academy?
I learned a lot at Baylor College of Medicine, but it was my first "real" UX position, and I’d gotten the job based on my previous graphic and web design experience. I didn't have much confidence in my knowledge of UX principles and the process. I soaked up as much as I could from my boss, and I was enjoying all I was learning. So when our department was disbanded, I was concerned about whether I could land another UX position.
What might have prevented you from enrolling?
I was concerned about the time commitment, and whether I would be able to give it enough attention to get the maximum benefit (and my money’s worth) from the program.
What got you interested in UX design?
As I picked up more knowledge through the course, I realized that in my design career I had been around the Design Thinking process all along – just in a different way. In any meeting with a new client, whether it was for a logo or a complete website overhaul, I was always asking questions about the end user and their needs. The more I learned in UXA, I realized that I was now going to have a robust process to fall back on, and explain the reasoning behind my design decisions.
Did you have any fears or concerns coming into the program?
I had already begun pivoting from traditional design into UX design (although I didn’t fully realize it!). So I was more nervous about ensuring that I absorbed and learned everything I could within the course format. My mentors were awesome and really helped tie the course material together in the context of real world scenarios.
What did you think of UX Academy overall? How did it go?
It went very well – I know that I got everything out of it that I was hoping to. The 20-hour-a-week track ramped up very fast, and was much harder than I anticipated. However I found my groove and it became easier to keep up. My advice to new students is to expect things to take longer than you estimate! And make the most of your mentors.
What was your favorite part of the course experience?
The capstone projects were my favorite part. Phase 1 was mostly learning/exercise driven, and I was really looking forward to putting my new knowledge to the test.
Tell us about the new job you landed! Are the skills you learned in UXA helping you?
I got my position at the very end of my final capstone project, and I’m now a UX/Visual Designer at FlightAware. I’ve been using the Discovery Process from UXA a lot. Also, the company is looking to me to improve and expand their user testing setup, so I’m really looking forward to that.
Do you have any advice for people considering enrolling in UXA?
I already had 13 years in the design industry, but I still learned valuable new skills in UXA. It gave me the opportunity to focus on areas I didn't know, and successfully expand my skill set.
Would you recommend UX Academy?
Absolutely! I think no matter where you are coming from, the program is very strong. The course is structured sensibly, and the combination of these materials with 1-to-1 mentoring really forces you to keep your theoretical learning grounded in real world situations.
Thanks for talking to us, Jonathan! Any final thoughts?
Just: “Thank you Designlab & UX Academy!”