“I've noticed that lately I've ended my workdays just thinking about how grateful I am to be in this new career, to have pivoted so smoothly, and especially to have found a position that is the perfect balance of my two passions: designing, and helping people with disabilities live more independent lives.”
After graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Special Education from the University of Maryland, Sara Mirowitz worked in Seattle as an Employment Consultant for adults with disabilities.
She worked to assess individuals’ strengths and interests, and conducted marketing to community businesses on their behalf. Once they were hired, Sara helped them learn job tasks and maintain their employment as independently as possible.
“There were so many times when we would utilize technology to help them be able to work independently — for example, setting timers to remind them to move on to different job tasks — and it was so eye-opening to see how a well-designed and intuitive app can literally create independent lives.”
When Sara moved to Israel three years ago and became a mom, she utilized her time at home with her new daughter to brainstorm where she wanted to take her career.
“Moving to a new country definitely teaches one a lot about creative problem solving, a skill that has definitely now carried over to UX design!”
The hi-tech scene in Israel is booming, and Sara found herself wondering how she could be a part of it — but switching from an objectively ‘do-good’ career, she knew that she wanted to continue to help make the world a better place.
For Sara, UX design turned out to be the perfect combination of problem-solving, designing, and connecting with others.
“It's been really exciting to be able to actually work out solutions based on user feedback, design those solutions, and then see them being implemented. I hope this is just the start of really making an impact on our users' lives,” says Sara.
“While design can be viewed as something superficial, I so appreciate that UX design is based on empathizing with others in a way that will help us design the best solutions to their problems.”
In her previous career, Sara witnessed what a difference it made in someone's life when they were able to use a well-designed, intuitive product to help them achieve independence. In making this career pivot, she dreamed of being on the other side of that technology.
Now, Sara is working as a UX Designer at Voiceitt, an award-winning speech recognition startup. The social enterprise has developed a proprietary automatic speech recognition (ASR) technology that translates non-standard speech patterns into clear speech in real time.
“We just had our first community release after years of development, so it's been so exciting to see users actually interact with the app!”
Voiceitt’s technology enables children and adults with severe speech impairments and disabilities to access mainstream voice activated technologies and devices.
“I could not be more thankful to have the opportunity to work for a company like Voiceitt. Designing for Voiceitt has allowed me to connect with users and design a product that will help them live independently, giving them a voice.”
Sara is Voiceitt’s only UX/UI designer. Her position covers the entire spectrum of UX design, from looking at user research all the way to putting the finishing touches on the UI, which gives her the opportunity to continue learning and gaining new skills.
“Because I had the opportunity to lead the design conversation for my Designlab capstone projects, that made me feel comfortable leading the design decisions for Voiceitt” says Sara.
Now that Sara has graduated and landed a job she loves, she has some advice for incoming and current UX Academy students.
For incoming students:
Take the time and really figure out how you see yourself fitting into the world of UX design. When I sat down and thought through why I'm going into UX design and where I hope to be, I was able to better create a path to get there.
For instance, because it was really important to me to be involved in the world of accessibility, I made sure to structure my portfolio projects around that. I was able to graduate Designlab with a portfolio that I felt really represented myself and my career goals, and I learned a lot about accessibility and design in the process.
For current students:
I would similarly advise to think about what makes you unique, and try to utilize that to help your portfolio and resume stand out. We're all coming to design from different backgrounds and skill sets, and those skills we've gained in our previous lives are in part what makes us such unique and interesting designers.
When you identify what makes your design perspective special, you not only help yourself by identifying your design strengths, but you also can communicate to potential employers what makes you a standout applicant.
Looking forward beyond Designlab and her first few months at Voiceitt, Sara’s goal is just to continue to learn and grow.
“This is such an exciting field with so much to learn, and I just hope to continue to learn from my work, and from seeing what other talented designers in this field are doing.” Sara says.
“I'm so blessed to be a mom to two little girls, the youngest of which was born just a month after graduating Designlab! My days are full, but I thank G-d that they're filled with much happiness and fulfillment.”
Interested in making a career switch to UX design? Check out our UX Academy program.