Nicole graduated with a degree in advertising and gained experience in both Design and Strategic Planning. However, feeling dissatisfied with her work in advertising, she made the decision to pursue her dream of becoming a UX Designer.
In this article, Nicole shares her journey and the process she followed to transition to a career in UX Design successfully. She also discusses how she received two job offers in UX Design in less than six months.
Don’t miss this interview to learn more about Nicole’s journey and the valuable insights she gained to achieve her professional goals in UX Design!
Nicole, please tell us a little bit about yourself
I hold a degree in advertising and used to work as a designer. Still, I began feeling uneasy with the advertising industry due to the many obstacles present in my projects and workplaces.
I started exploring new options to change my perspective on work and involve clients more in projects.
During my college years, I first heard about UX Design, but I didn’t fully comprehend its strategic and behavioral aspects at the time.
However, after enrolling in Aela’s Mastering Interface Design program, I took a strong passion for UX design, which led to my first job offer.
I am now pursuing a second job opportunity in the field.
How soon did you pivot to UX Design?
I have been studying for a while. But I managed to switch from advertising to UX Design after 10 months of study, so it was fairly quick!
I quit my old job because I was unhappy. So, I decided to study and dedicate myself to pivoting to UX, which was what I wanted.
It was an interesting experience because I learned to establish rules at home and discipline myself to study every day.
I made sure to attend Aela’s course, read the recommended books, and complete the course projects on time.
In addition, I tried to allocate some time for conducting user interviews and also took on some freelance work during the course.
What was the biggest challenge to landing your first UX Design role?
The main challenge was getting a Junior UX position because there were not so many opportunities for beginners.
There was a moment when I got desperate because I couldn’t find an opening for a Jr. UX Designer.
And that’s when I got a very good tip from an Aela mentor: try not to focus only on one type of position, but look for other opportunities as well!
I realized that switching from one area to another was a process. And I had the other experiences on my resume, there was a background. Besides, I had already worked as a designer, and with strategic planning, I had experience.
So, I started looking for UX Designer openings as well and to apply the knowledge I already had along with what I was learning in the course.
The first role I got was as a UX Designer (not a junior position). My boss noticed that I really wanted the job and hired me even though I was still a junior!
How was the process of getting your first role in UX Design?
I found out about the job through LinkedIn. I took a simple test with some questions about UX and other general questions.
After a month, the company – which was a startup – contacted me via WhatsApp and invited me to a meeting.
In the meeting, I explained to the recruiters why I changed from advertising to UX, and they were receptive and understood my discomfort.
One of the recruiters gave me a case study to do in one week. In the end, he liked the project, and I was hired! It was my first opportunity as a UX Designer.
Reading Tip: LinkedIn for Designers: Tips to Boost Your Profile
What was it like working as a UX Designer at this startup?
Startups are fast-paced, the processes vary, and everyone has autonomy!
Within this startup, I was assigned to marketing and was in charge of citizenship-related websites. I was involved in other projects, but my focus was UX Design.
They worked with Scrum, so I already knew the methods used.
In fact, I was eager to apply what I had learned in the MID program right away. But as time passed, I understood the processes better and the right moment to apply my learnings in each phase.
So it was challenging, and because of that, I’ve grown a lot. This first experience in UX Design was very important to me!
And how did the second UX job offer come about?
The second opportunity was within the network of people I met during my transition to UX Design. I became friends with a person who was already working with UX Design.
He helped me with several tips to develop myself in the profession and even talked about job openings.
After a while, he referred me to a UX Designer position, more focused on video – I never thought it was my thing, even though I had already worked as a UI Designer.
I have always enjoyed understanding user behavior and metrics, but I considered the opportunity another challenge!
I went through the selection process, and in two weeks, I was approved! I got my second UX/UI design opportunity in less than six months! I was so happy!
Today, I work as a UX/UI Designer at TOTVs, which is one of the largest companies in business management software in Brazil.
The opportunity to interact with experienced professionals in a department solely dedicated to UX in this company has been extremely valuable.
What is your work routine like in your new job?
Coming from a startup, there are certainly differences in adjusting to a larger company.
At the startup, the pace of work was faster, but I was able to gain a better understanding of various processes due to their diversity.
In my new role, I work on a variety of projects including screen design, visual processes, and more advanced work in UX design.
However, I’ve noticed that the company has a more mature and specific approach to UX design.
And the company’s established UX processes have been beneficial in allowing me to learn more about the field.
I’ve been at the company for three weeks and have gained valuable experience in visual processes for both the business side and UX design.
Additionally, I am currently in level 3 of the MID program and have been learning many specific skills that have been helpful in my role.
What advice would you give to those who are migrating to UX Design?
I tried to focus a lot on the MID program and do all the assigned projects.
I updated my LinkedIn profile and started talking to people in the Aela community who were from other fields and had pivoted to UX Design.
Furthermore, I also joined WhatsApp groups of professionals who are looking to change careers to UX.
All of these experiences were beneficial to me, particularly in improving my communication skills. I was able to break down barriers in direct communication over time.
My advice to those transitioning into UX would be to remain open and willing to use these tools to their advantage.
Don’t be shy to ask for tips from those who are already established in the field!