How I got into UX

computer and ipad

It’s inevitable. Roughly 20 minutes (if not sooner) into an interview, the interviewer asks “so tell me, how did you get into UX?”

My first thought is how far back can I go while still keeping them interested. I mean, it really began back when I was 9 years old and played Amazon Trail at the desk in my parents closet (it’s not as weird as it sounds). But in attempts to keep the story relevant, I tell them about my initial interest in Computer Engineering.

I studied Computer Engineering at Miami University where I first began my love-hate affair with object-oriented programming. After a year struggling through the program, I decided to direct my efforts towards something that came naturally to me, so I switched my major to Psychology. It wasn’t until I went into an initial master’s program discussion with DePaul that I learned about Human-Computer Interaction. When I saw that I thought “that is PERFECT.” It was a nice marriage between what I loved about Computer Engineering and my Psych major. I do feel very lucky on this one. As in the sort of luck where preparation meets opportunity. I had never heard of User Experience until well into the grad program, but apparently that was what I was studying to become. I’m thankful it’s fed into such a demanding field of interest.

To further add to my unexpected path, I took an internship as a developer before eventually landing a job as a UX Designer. Though my background is in development, my strengths lay in research and design. Psychology is largely a research based field, so I spent most of my undergrad studying research methods. I enjoy bringing this discipline to the user-centered design process.

And that’s it! Would I do it again? Yeah, for sure. I get to be a part of making things that don’t yet exist. It’s a process that eliminates a lot of what were previously unanswerable questions, because now, we ask them.

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