It’s no secret, the field of user experience is quite popular and demand for UX professionals is increasing as so many companies recognize the value of a good experience — and more importantly, the expectation that people have for a great experience.
But, before you decide that you want to get started in UX, you should consider your intentions.
Do you want to get into user experience because it’s popular? Or, are you considering a career in user experience because you think it’s a good match for you — your passions, interests, and strengths?
My path to the field of user experience was a very non linear journey. At the time, it wasn’t popular and barely anyone had heard of user experience or information architecture. But, when I stumbled upon the field of user experience I realized it was the perfect field for me because it combined everything I was passionate about and had strengths in — design, technology, people, communication, creativity, and problem solving.
Don’t pursue user experience because you think it’s popular, or because you think you can make a lot of money, or because you think it’ll get you a job at the next Instagram or Twitter.
The truth is, user experience is really hard.
For me, the hardest thing about user experience is figuring out the best solution for each scenario. User experience is not a paint by number game because of the most important variable in each project — the people or end user. The context of every project is different. As a result, even when you feel like you have a good grasp at user experience design, the start of every project will make you feel like you just dumped a 5,000 piece puzzle on the floor.
But, the very thing that often drives me crazy about user experience is also one of the things I love the most. I love that nervous feeling of being at the starting line. I love always being faced with a new problem. I love forcing myself to wrap my mind around an entirely new story.
If you pursue anything for the wrong reasons, it probably won’t work out in the long term.
Anyway, just a few thoughts for this week’s Getting Started In User Experience series. Have to keep it short this week, lots to do today!
PS: For some ideas on how to figure out if UX is a good fit for you, check out my post on 7 Non UX Books For UX Designers. Some of the books might help you see what resonates with you and what gets your mind excited.