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How I Became A UX Designer - My Journey From Engineer to UX Designer

How I Became A UX Designer – From Engineer to UX Designer

I’ve always been interested in how things work and solving problems. As a kid, I loved taking things apart to see how they worked and then trying to put them back together (often unsuccessfully). This curiosity led me to study engineering at the university. After graduation, I started working at a Fortune 500 company.

I enjoyed the work but didn’t feel like I was making an impact. I wanted to make. Then an opportunity came that made me realise that what I really wanted to do was design. So, I decided to become a UX designer.

In this article, I’ll share my story of how I became a UX designer, the tools, and resources that helped and some of the things I’ve learned along the way.

From engineer to a UX designer

Even as a child, I was always the one my family turned to with their problems because I loved finding solutions.

When it came time to choose a career, there was no question that I wanted to help fix the infrastructure issues my home country of Nigeria was facing. That’s how I ended up becoming a civil structural engineer.

After I graduated, I landed a job as a Site Engineer with a property development company in Abuja. My responsibilities included designing and supervising the construction of buildings. Since part of my job required me to constantly interact with clients – whether it was to discuss their needs or test our designs – I unknowingly laid the foundation for a future career in user experience design.

I received a scholarship to continue with my master’s degree in Hungary a year later. Shortly after beginning school, I got an internship at a Fortune 500 firm in Budapest.

During my internship, I worked on projects that introduced me to User Acceptance Testing for a mobile application. After earning my master’s, I was offered employment as a Mulesoft API Integration Developer. I was assigned the task of integrating systems and designing applications.

After taking part in a User-Centered Design course and working on a web app, I realized that UX design was my favorite thing to do. As a result, I decided to pursue a career as a UX designer.

I’m grateful for my engineering background as it’s given me a strong foundation in problem-solving, which is an essential skill for any UX designer.

I’m also thankful for the opportunity to work with different teams and learn about various aspects of product development. These experiences have helped me understand the user’s journey and how to design products that meet their needs

If you’re considering a career in UX design but have a different background, don’t let that deter you. Pursue your passion and learn as much as you can. You never know where it might lead you.

If you have any questions or would like to share your story, please feel free to reach out. I’m always happy to chat about UX design. 🙂

How I Became a UX Designer

The first thing I did was learn about UX design. I read books and articles and took online courses. I also started working on personal projects to build my portfolio.

At first, it was a lot of trial and error. But with time and practice, I got better at it. One of the most important things I learned is that good design is not about making things look “pretty”—it’s about solving problems. As a UX designer, my job is to understand the user’s needs and then create a solution that meets those needs in the simplest way possible.

Once I felt confident in my abilities, I started looking for projects in UX design. The transition from engineer to UX designer wasn’t always easy, but it was definitely worth it. These days, I wake up every day excited to go to work because I know that what I’m doing is making a difference in people’s lives.

If you’re thinking about making a career change, don’t be afraid to follow your heart—you might just end up somewhere you love!

Making the switch from engineer to UX designer was one of the best decisions I ever made. If you’re thinking about making a career change, don’t be afraid to follow your heart—you might just end up somewhere you love!

I am a UX Designer because I want to make a positive impact on users and their lives. Good UX design can change the world for the better. And that’s why I became a UX Designer. What about you? Why did you become a UX Designer? I would love to hear your story. Leave a comment below and let me know.

What I learned as UX Designer

The most important thing I learned is that good design is not about making things look “pretty”—it’s about solving problems. As a UX designer, my job is to understand the user’s needs and then create a solution that meets those needs in the simplest way possible If you’re thinking about making a career change, don’t be afraid to follow your heart—you might just end up somewhere you love!

When designing solutions, I always keep the following in mind ;

1. What is the user’s need?

2. What is the simplest way to meet that need?

3. How can I test my solution to make sure it works?

These days, I wake up every day excited to go to work because I know that what I’m doing is making a difference in people’s lives

If you’re thinking about becoming a UX designer, my best advice is to just start doing it. There are tons of free resources out there (books, articles, online courses, etc.) that can help you learn the basics. And if you don’t have any experience, that’s OK—just focus on building up your portfolio and showcasing your problem-solving skills. With time and practice, you’ll get better and better at it. And who knows? You might just end up loving it as much as I do!

Recommended UX Resources

If you want to learn more about UX design, here are some of my favourite resources;

  • The Design of Everyday Things by Don Norman: This book is a classic—it’s a must-read for anyone interested in UX design
  • Designing Interfaces by Jenifer Tidwell: This book is a great resource for learning about interface design patterns
  • The UX Reader by Smashing Magazine: This website is a great place to find articles on all things UX, from beginner tips to advanced concepts
  • Don’t Make Me Think by Steve Krug: This book is a quick read with lots of practical advice on how to improve your website’s usability
  • The UX Booth: This website is a great resource for beginner and intermediate UX designers. It features articles on various topics, as well as interviews with experienced designers
  • UXPA International: This is the website for the User Experience Professionals Association. They have many resources, including local meetups, webinars, and annual conferences.

Courses to Learn UX Design

  • Google UX Design Professional Certificate on Coursera: If you are a beginner and looking for a comprehensive course to not only learn UX design in-depth and get a professional certificate then this Google Professional Certificate on UX Design is the best course to start with.

best UI Design Professional certificate on Coursera

  • Skillshare: If you’re looking to test the waters of UX design before investing in a UX Design course, Skillshare might be for you.

  • UX and Web Design Master Course: Strategy, Design, Development: This is one of the best courses to learn UX and web design on Udemy. It provides a strong foundation for those who are just starting to learn the fundamentals of UX design.

UX Tools

The following are some of my favorite tools for UX designers;
  • Adobe XD: This is a vector-based tool for designing and prototyping user interfaces and other graphics. It’s similar to Adobe Illustrator, but it has more features for creating web pages.
  • Figma: This is a cloud-based vector graphics editor that’s great for collaborating with others on design projects. It has an intuitive interface and lots of features, including the ability to create your own fonts.
  • Adobe Illustrator: Adobe Illustrator is one of the most popular drawing tools out there. You can use it to draw freehand or trace over pre-made shapes. There are also many tutorials online if you get stuck.
  • Balsamiq: This is a tool for creating low-fidelity prototypes. It’s not meant to be used as an actual product, but it can help you get your ideas out of your head and onto the screen. **Figure 1-2:** The Balsamiq Mockups app lets you create wireframes and mockups in minutes.
  • UsabilityHub: This is a tool that lets you test the usability of your designs with quick, simple user tests
  • UserTesting: This is a tool that allows you to conduct usability testing with real users
  • HotJar: This is a tool that lets you see how users are interacting with your website or app and what they’re doing on it. It’s really useful for seeing where the pain points in your product are and also to help improve user experience. I recommend using this outside of your company so that you can get feedback from people who don’t work at your company.
  • Crazy Egg: This is a tool that lets you see where users are clicking on your website or app. It’s super simple to use – just install it, create an account, and start seeing the results!
  • Google Analytics: Google has a free analytics tool for websites called “Universal Analytics” which allows you to track visitors from all devices (desktop, mobile phone, and tablet). I recommend using this one as it provides more detailed stats than CrazyEgg.

What I’m currently reading

The Lean Startup by Eric Ries: This book is all about how to create and launch a successful startup. I’m currently reading it because I’m working on a startup of my own!

The UX Book Club: This is an online book club for UX designers. We read one book every month and then discuss it in a live video chat. It’s a great way to meet other designers and learn about new books.

What I’m currently working on

I’m currently working as an Experienced Interaction Designer at Ericsson. Also, I have an Education Channel – The Success Elite which is focused on Personal Development, Career Advice, and Scholarships.

I’m also currently working on a startup of my own. We’re still in the early stages, but we’re working on a product that we think will be helpful for people who are looking to improve their productivity. Stay tuned for more updates!

That’s all for now. Thanks for reading!

If you want to learn more about UX design, or if you’re just looking for some interesting reads, then be sure to check out my blog: anthonyejiogu.com/blog. I post new articles every Monday and Friday, so there’s always something new to read!

Want to chat, feel free to reach out to me on LinkedIn (@anthonyejiogu). I’m always happy to chat about UX!

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