How To Level Up Your Passion For Design And Become A UX Mastermind, According To An Expert

Since digital tech started disrupting pretty much every industry on the planet back at the start of the noughties, we’ve seen an explosion of new niche fields catering to us as the ‘end user’.

UX, aka ‘User Experience’, is one acronym that gets hurled around a lot – often without too much thought to what it actually is. Essentially, UX is about designing products and experiences with human needs in mind to make them as smooth and enjoyable as possible. Whether you’re swiping left on a new app, clicking pay now on an online purchase, or picking up a new gadget down at the mall, UX is everywhere.

Given the number of things that digital media and UX designers can create these days is damn near endless (and only growing), it’s a pretty neat gig to find yourself in – doubly so if you’re already inclined towards the design, communications and marketing arenas. So how exactly can you go about getting into this booming space? And what can you expect if you do take the leap?

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“Every day is different,” says UX designer Jade Krug.

Krug is a Bachelor of Digital Media (Interaction Design) graduate from Billy Blue College of Design at Torrens University Australia (home to a revered Graduate Certificate in UX and Web Design with pathways to more advanced courses like the Bachelor of Software Engineering (Artificial Intelligence) available to students). Since graduating, she’s become a total UX legend. Krug has worked with iconic fashion label Burberry in London and, more recently, she’s worked as a product designer for Woolworths’ Scan&Go app.

“Depending on what I’m working on, and in between meetings, you’ll find me sketching, wireframing, learning new design programs or prototyping projects,” Krug says.

“The one thing that doesn’t change is I always have a paper and pen next to my computer with my to-do list – I find it incredibly comforting knowing that my schedule is right next to me, so if ever I am lost I know what is required next while also super satisfying once that item is crossed off.”

Covering everything from physical products to digital experiences – apps, online shopping, websites and beyond – UX offers a broad skillset and a tasty array of different career avenues.

“There is so much opportunity out there in the world of UX and digital media,” says Krug. “Anything from product designer, UI and UX hybrid, design lead, motion designer, graphic/brand designer, UX consultant, front-end development, product management, and entrepreneurial.”

Add to that list: user researcher, usability analyst, information architect, interaction designer, visual designer, and UX designer – just a few other commonly sought-after gigs in the field, all in the aid of delivering a strong relationship with a brand’s customers, clients and emerging audiences.

Perhaps the most significant deal is that we’re really just at the start of the industry: we’re at the cusp of the AI revolution, and the possibilities and scope for UX and creative technology careers in the coming decades are potentially massive. People working with AI are already creating things that we could only have imagined a few years ago, and that’s not going to change – something Krug certainly agrees with.

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“As we enter into a new decade, technology is evolving at rapid speed. I believe we will see developments in autonomous driving and space travel, 5G network, artificial intelligence and smart wearables just to name a few,” she says.

Worried you’ve missed the boat? It doesn’t matter where you’re at in your own career – heaps of people have made the shift to UX without pre-existing design or communication experience.

Ultimately, if you’re jonesing to level up your passion for design and carve out a new career as a UX Mastermind, the advice is simple: drop the fear and go for it.

“Don’t be afraid,” adds Krug. “In a world of endless possibilities, rapid changes and exciting new trends, it’s an exciting industry to be in and I am so lucky to be a part of this rapidly evolving world where I am learning something new each and every day.”

Upskill fast in UX Design with Billy Blue’s accelerated 12 week Graduate Certificate in UX and Web Design. Classes start 14 September.

Lead image: Anthony Shkraba / Pexels