How I got into UX

This article is about motivation and that you shouldn’t stay too long in a place that just a few years ago was called the offensive word “Webmaster”.
Offensive, because it did not oblige you to have a higher education, did not promise bright earnings and did not require deep scientific knowledge in order to satisfy the demand for a product - a regular website. Today a site is not just an attribute of its presence on the Internet. Today the site is a tool to control the will and consciousness of a huge number of living people. And “Webmasters” are not suitable for its development, but a whole team of specialists of a narrow profile is required.
Today, a site must have many faces: versions for mobile devices, cross-browser versions, versions for different screen widths, and entire mobile applications, which at the speed of light become a “masthead” for any service provided via the Internet. Before the scale of such a task, the web-based all-in-one hand is lost. Although he should simply set himself the right direction in development and grow with the WWW, benefiting himself and all of humanity.

I will talk about how I solved this issue for myself.

That May day did not portend anything special. Just for the whole thought came to my head: "There is nothing impossible."
I have long dreamed of working professionally in the field of IT. As a matter of fact, I have been doing this for 8 years now. I am a freelancer with extensive experience in developing turnkey websites, developing mobile interfaces, and I am well paid for the design of print ads. But when I say "work professionally in the field of IT", I mean something more.
I want something more upscale, more serious, more meaningful. Something that would give me not only recognition, but also the satisfaction of my creative ambitions.
Creative ambitions, as a rule, I satisfy with money. Accordingly, the question arose:

And for what now they give dough?

I was surprised to find that being a designer is much more profitable than a layout designer or even a programmer. This applies to web designers as well as printers.
Analyzed supply and demand in the labor market, region - Moscow. It turned out quite curious: Designers with my experience are paid exactly the same as paying lawyers with my experience if this experience was legal. I ceased to regret that it did not work out to become a worthy lawyer. Although, I do not remember that I would have to regret it. After all, I still became a sought-after web designer, even against the wishes of my entire environment. This is doubly valuable, as it came from the heart.
I realized my own significance and went to bed with proud pacification.
In the morning I was persistently awakened by a new thought: “Why not go and take this money, since they are so easily distributed for talent?” And I said to myself: “Yes!”

And here the monkey inside me — the one that was smart and beautiful at the same time — almost broke in two. And which of my talents would I like to sell more expensively? After all, freelance obliges a web designer to be a designer, and a programmer, and a SEO-optimizer, and a copywriter, and a usability analyst, an SMM marketer and a merchandiser, as well as a project manager with fluent English.

I hovered in earnest. After all, “to go into hiring” means a lot to “go into narrow specialization,” outlines the prospect of development in the coming years in only one of the directions. And experience in IT is such a moody friend. It is so easy to lose by turning away for a moment. The IT industry is developing so fast that there is no need to convince you of this.

With that, I continued my research on the topic of salaries and turned to recruiting agencies. For example, one of the professional players in the domestic HR market in the field of IT is BigFish ( imagined my imagination with numerous variations on the topic of the profession of web designer, as well as the salary range that was offered to people of rare expressions. Among them: Digital-designer (one bigfish is clear what kind of beast), WEB-architect, WEB-designer, Web-interface designer, Creator, Strategist, UI / UX designer.

Despite the fact that the essence of these professions is her, the latter proudly stood two steps away from the rest in terms of salary - the bait on which BigFish wants to catch this unseen person, and then make good money on his employment. Judging by the size of the bait, it was supposed to be a professional of the highest class, with a certain set of knowledge and experience.

It is interesting to know how? We are going further.

Who is a UI / UX designer?

It should start with the fact that such a strange combination of “UI / UX” exists only in the imagination of employers who do not want to go broke into two different specialists. Meanwhile, the UI and UX designer are functionally and logically the essence of two different professions.
Decrypt. User Interface (UI) designer- Develops the appearance of everything that may turn out to be a user interface. It's funny, but in some cases the leaflet is also an interface, and surprisingly custom. We discard the unnecessary and conclude briefly: the user interface is a front-end interface that aims to encourage the user to perform certain actions. In the grip of modern reality, everything in the world comes down to sales. The UI designer is called upon to get them with his creativity. The main knowledge that a UI designer is required to operate is Usability. Oh yes! Higher specialized education is required.

More and more complicated with User Experience (UX)- “user experience” with the interface. The task of the UX designer is to extract and measure this experience with the help of certain tools and build from it new experience that will be used in designing an improved version of the interface. Designing an interface is also the task of a UX designer. Therefore, he must be able to operate with such UX-components as: information architecture, interaction design, graphic design and content. That is, to know this and be able to correctly enter into the structure of the product.

According to the requirements of UI / UX designer vacancies at BigFish, a candidate for this position must have a higher education (moreover, an education profile is not indicated), but the presence of specialized advanced training courses is not just welcome, I am obligatory. It also requires the ability to design interfaces for mobile applications, knowledge of the popular ERP and CRM systems, and experience in the field of design \ Web design. And just something?

It would seem that all these skills are available. They have at their disposal any average web-developer.
It remains to demonstrate their high level. Why was it decided to redesign the portfolio, create a new website, comb the profiles on behance and upwork (is it worth mentioning the domestic FL?). And most importantly, give yourself the opportunity to gain new experience and turn it into a step on the path to your dream. I analyzed the weaknesses of my portfolio and decided to correct them with the development of new projects.

Unfortunately, not all knowledge can come with experience. Many will have to learn from traditional sources.

What to do with specialized education?

I am not one of those who "does not need a higher education." To me it was "needed" always and more necessary in view of the above.
That would not blush when BigFish will shake my pieces of paper, on the same day I went and entered the magistracy of the International Institute of Advertising ( ), as I dreamed from a young age. After hesitating for 15 years, I did not hesitate for a second, transferring money for training. In 2.5 years I will have a degree in web design.
This will be my first book. Dreaming is not bad ...

UX training itself costs a lot of money. Those who managed to get comfortable in a new profession are in no hurry to share knowledge in open source.
The courses that are offered in Russia did not inspire confidence in me, and I decided to turn to the origins. Today, the center of UX design is the United Kingdom and (unexpectedly) India.
I chose General Assembley, UK courses. ( ) AND BLOCK Bootcamp ( )

I decided to earn money for training ... to earn.

How I became a UI Designer

Many freelancers go on hiring (we call it "go to office") in order to organize their lives and consolidate their experience. Many leave the office to give freedom to self-development again. For many, going back and forth can be a painful step. For me, hiring is a conscious choice. I do it for the sake of science. (Oh my god! Of course, for the sake of money!)

In addition, when you spend days and nights months sitting in front of the monitor in your underpants, and the measure of your communication with the outside world comes down to two phrases: “Well, when will it be ready?” and “well, finally,” hiring is able to give other options. “Catherine is an upscale specialist. Let us set the front tasks adequate to its level. ” Such “little things” help solve various problems with motivation. In some cases, you can rake, but for some reason this does not stop me.

Gathering my courage, I laid out all my advantages briefly and in the case in the form of a resume on , attached the most concise portfolio (for special occasions) and prepared to receive calls. Frankly, calls would not have rained down from the sky if I had not sent 40 responses to vacancies daily.
My resume hung on hh for two business days. By the end of the second day I received 3 invitations. I went through all 3 interviews and accepted offer number 1.

The duties of the vacancy were: website, identity, advertising.
At the meeting, I was voiced the following:
- We are introducing a new product. This will be a portal in which users can manage their services from various devices. Perhaps we will develop customized versions for individual users and user groups. We would like you to apply your knowledge and experience in this direction.
- You go so that I would develop a user interface for you?
- Yes ...


Perhaps it is time to interrupt this stream of thoughts with a significant ellipsis. In the near future I have a lot of work to do.

Paolo Coelho, who has knocked me out of my old path many times, said: “When you follow your dream, the whole Universe helps you.”
So this article was born, like a love letter. Lightning fast, from the very bottom of the heart.
And it’s not that I would love and respect Coelho as the greatest writer of our time, but this guy turned out to be hellishly right this time ...

Being an UI / UX designer for me, whatever it is.

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