3. It’s still new
I’ve had a job where people consoled me on my career choice more times than you would believe or I would care to share. That’s what happens when you hitch your cart to what society perceives as a dying wagon (echem—print journalism—echem, echem).
And while I still believe in free press (that’s a story for another day), it’s fun to be working in a field that ignites a passionate response from people for a less discouraging reason.
Cowgirl/wannabe UX design unicorn. It’s good to have goals! Image credit: Conor Ward/UXMuch
When I talk about my future career with friends, family, or even strangers, most of them have no idea what UX actually is—but they’ve heard of it, and that goes a long way in terms of cultural clout. To them, the world of UX is the new frontier, which sort of makes me some sort of cowgirl riding in on my horse, cutting my teeth, seeking out adventure and guiding the visitors to safety.
And what little kid doesn’t dream of being a cowboy/cowgirl at least once in their young lives? None! That’s right people: childhood dream fulfilled!
4. It’s the Renaissance in job form
Because of its many forms and endless applications, UX design is a game changer for multipotentialites who refuse to stick with just one project/job/career/path/life.
When I scale back and think about the reasons I’m so enjoying my exploration into UX design through a wider lens, I see it for what it is—the metaphysical meeting point of all of my favorite things: art, science, technology, and yes, humans.
A simple, beautiful Venn diagram of the broader scope of UX design. Image credit: Peoplevendor
For anyone looking for an open-ended career path with lots of potential futures, who could resist a job that could be, quite literally, anything you make of it?
I couldn’t. That’s why I’m here.
5. It’s “disruptive”
Industry-specific jargon aside, UX design as a job (or rather, many varying jobs) is here to stay, and its focus on designing for the user ensures that it will be, at least for as long as we, the users, exist. Because of this intrinsic tether between user and designer, UX design is constantly changing, evolving and iterating itself based on changing user trends.
Designers muse about what this changing tide will look like, but the truth is, we’ll find out soon enough—the future is inevitable, and the processes will continue to evolve to match it as it comes.
6. It’s in demand
Remember that rising tide of UX design I’ve been talking about this whole article? Well, the proof is in the pudding, so to speak.
Personal and professional satisfaction aside, we’re all on the hunt for gainful employment, are we not? I, for one, like the look of these figures... Image credit: creativegroup.com
Today, UX designers are one of the most sought-after new tech roles, with some 238,000 UX designers and growing working with 129,000 companies just across the US alone. Pair that with a rising salary—the average UX designer’s wage in 2018 is $93,000!—and flexible work options (UX designers have ample opportunities for both full-time and freelance/self-employment work), and you have a highly competitive market with lots of potential points of entry.
7. It’s full of beautiful surprises
With every unit so far I have had the opportunity to try out new skills and discover hidden gems of new elements of design work I didn’t know I could enjoy so much—like logo creation!
The assignment was to recreate the top three icons identically, and then develop another six originals to match—an exercise in rapid skill building.
Working on food icons also made me so hungry I spent the rest of the night baking. So, SO fun!
This project was my first time using Adobe Illustrator in any kind of productive capacity. Where Photoshop and InDesign had made (more) sense to me due to years of repeated rudimentary use, Illustrator has always been an elusive program hidden at the top of a giant steep learning curve. If you’d asked me a week ago whether I thought I could learn the program well enough to create a set of unique icons based on illustrations in just one afternoon, I would have laughed in your face.
But then, following this icon tutorial, I shocked myself, and did. And I probably never would have discovered I could do it—and actually enjoy it—if I hadn’t taken the plunge two and a half months ago.
I’ve come out of these past ten weeks of hard work feeling overwhelmed, yes (I’m still at the tip of the UX design iceberg, after all), but also invigorated and encouraged and confident. And excited for more—for the next twelve weeks of Phase 2 and the new career opportunities that have already started to follow.
Next week, I’ll be getting to play around with a whole new way to prototype (can you say animation?!)—if all goes according to plan. Though I’m sure the exploration will be creating more work for myself than is absolutely necessary, that’s perhaps what I love about my new UX design path the most—the ability to explore my strengths, learn new skills, and find ways to fold personal innovation into my work.
Who could ask for more?
Looking for a change of careers? Designlab’s UX Academy program offers rigorous curriculum, personalized mentor support, and a thriving, global student community. Ready to launch your new career as a UX designer? Get all the details here.