I’m 23 years old; I live in Leicester at home with my family. I went to De Montfort University and studied Media & Communications there. I loved photography and videography so much I spent time teaching myself both before and during university. Since college, it had always been my goal to pursue a career in the creative Industry.
Looking back at it I think that studying UX was the right move because it is an industry where I will be learning something new. Whether that will be a technological shift, trends, user behaviours, there is always something to learn. I’ve always wanted to work doing a job that wouldn’t bore me, or that didn’t feel stagnant as I get bored very easily doing the same thing over and over again. The more and more I speak to experienced people in the UX industry or listen to podcasts, watch videos, and read books, I can just tell that with UX that won’t be the case. There is so much I can do, so much I can learn that will help me stay interested and have that opportunity to have something refreshing come along every so often.
When I signed up for Love Circular in January, Zaire was quick to phone and speak to me. He spent time getting to know me, my background, what I want to do, who he is and what Love Circular are trying to do and what he can do for me. At no point did it feel like someone who was trying too hard to sell a service to me. He came across as a genuine person who was really trying to help and get to know the people he wanted to help. Other courses I’d thought of doing just felt like students and course leaders, there was nothing more to them. Whereas Love Circular was the opposite which made me think I should just go for it.
I’d say getting to meet like-minded people. The course has created a community that I can feel comfortable in, I can look around, and it’s mostly young black people pursuing a tech career just like me, which makes me feel comfortable. I can be myself, they can be themselves, and that way friendships made feel organic, we are all happy to help each other, and all want to see each other win.
As with anything new, you spend quite a lot of time finding your feet and try to get the basics understood. That was made easier through the support provided by my mentor and peers. As time goes on, it does begin to get easier. You start getting a better understanding of things. Even without previous experience, the course shouldn’t be seen as something daunting. With time and repeated practice and application, I found it wasn’t as difficult as I was telling myself it was going to be.
The course has helped me gain the knowledge I need to show that I can be a capable UX Designer with little prior experience. I have demonstrated this with the case studies that I completed as part of the course, which I’ve used for my portfolio, which helped me land a job. This was possible through the structure of the course which prepares you for working situations. Giving us the ability to show potential employers how we work, our design processes and our skillset.
The first piece of advice I’d give is to give it 110%. If you’re doing the course make sure that you are giving your best shot, try to produce the best work you can do, put in a few good uninterrupted hours of work, and do some additional research on the topics covered (watching videos, reading books, podcasts). Since you’re doing the course, you owe it to yourself to get the most out of it and do your part to make sure the result will be what you want it to be (showing you’re a competent designer who can get a job).
Another quick bit of advice would be to make use of the community the course provides to you. Start conversations with people from your cohort, people in the Slack channel, and the Twitter design community. The times I was struggling or felt a little frustrated I’d find it easier to go to a peer as I assumed they might have gone through what I had at one stage and it always helped get me back on the path and keep working at my goal.
I would greatly recommend this course based on my experience and seeing what it’s done for other people too. I would recommend this to people looking to get into the UX industry and are currently self-teaching. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being a self-taught designer, I was doing it myself for many months. However, with structured courses and a mentor/mentors to learn from and always ask questions, the learning curve is a much more focused one.
The help you receive on this course covers more than just learning about UX and then leaving you to it when it comes to finding a job.