How did you get started in UX design?
Working in agencies I was designing and coding heaps of websites, doing ‘expert design’ without really considering the user’s perspective. When I was asked to design my first mobile app I stepped back and thought about what was required for a functional and enjoyable experience in what was then a relatively new space. I started researching and discovered a lot of articles and information on user-centered design principles, and psychology which I started to apply in my design process, gradually adding more and more user input and feedback to inform design decisions. 10 years later I’ve tried many different techniques (and sometimes failed), I’m still experimenting and adapting the process for each and every project, placing user input and research as the foundation of a successful design.
What advice would you give to aspiring UX designers?
Read, everything you can get your hands on. Then, read some more – education never ends.
Try out the techniques of UX but more importantly understand the principles of research and user-centered design, you can pick up and put down techniques . Get involved with the design community, follow UX designers on Twitter. Go to meet-ups (eg. IXDA and UX Australia, UX book clubs etc). Build your own product outside of work, a side project will push you to learn things that may not be applicable in your current work environment. Get some technical skills, maybe even learn to code – it will help when working in a tech environment. Don’t be afraid to try and fail – in this industry experience is golden.
What inspires you to achieve awesome UX?
People. People have problems. Problems that you can help solve, making their lives better even if it is in the smallest of ways. In solving their problems, why not try and add a little delight as well. This is awesome.
Why is UX a great career to get involved in?
Design is increasingly becoming a driving factor in successful businesses. Enterprises and startups alike recognise the benefits of design activity, and accordingly designers of all stripes are in great demand – particularly in Australia where there is a shortage of experienced and talented design professionals. UX designers can make a real difference to users and businesses.