In this interview, our MID Student talked to us about her career transition from Motion Design to Product Design.
According to Juliana, the main reason that encouraged her to change fields was that she wanted to participate more actively in the discovery and decision processes of the projects.
Take a look at her career journey and the advice she provides for people seeking to make a similar transition.
Juliana, what was your background before switching to Product Design?
I got my degree in Industrial Design in 2013. In my second semester of college, I got an internship at a small agency, so I used to do a little bit of everything but with a focus on UI – at the time, it was called Visual Programming.
I was lucky to have good bosses, so I could always learn a lot in all my experiences. I eventually fell into Motion Design because the other members of my teams didn't want to do it, so I was left to do it.
In late 2016, while working remotely for a startup in São Paulo and utilizing my Flash background, I became increasingly interested in the product area.
During my travels for in-person meetings, I gained firsthand experience of the challenges and frustrations faced by users of our service, as well as the ways in which our team worked to address those issues.
As a Motion Designer, I often felt like I was simply a cog in the machine, executing designs without much input into the creative process. Over time, this dissatisfaction grew, leading me to conclude that I wanted to transition to a different field.
Reading Tip: Animation in UI: How to Create Motion Design
What were the initial steps you took to transition to UX Design?
At that point, I knew I wanted a change, but I didn't know exactly how and to what. I started attending some UX and UI workshops to understand more about the fields and what makes a UX Designer.
After a short time, I knew I wanted to go into UX/UI and started looking for ways to specialize.
I studied a lot, attended more workshops, created a circle of contacts in this area, and got into a graduate school very focused on UX but that wound up missing UI.
It was then that I found the Mastering Interface Design (MID) program, through people who took the course and got a job in the field.
I watched the interviews, went after the students' portfolios, and thought it was amazing.
From the moment I decided I wanted a change, I set out to make it happen.
What was it like having to study, put together a portfolio, and apply for jobs in UX Design?
After leaving the startup in mid-2017, I began studying UX/UI Design. By early 2018, I attended my first workshops.
But despite my growing knowledge, I still experienced impostor syndrome and felt that there was always room for improvement and tweaking of details. I even mentioned this struggle in the MID community.
In this sense, the MID helped me a lot. After watching so many presentations and applying for jobs, plus the whole process of lots of discussion with the community and people from my graduate school, I improved my confidence in Product Design.
I think the great thing about our field is that there is not only a lot of demand but also a lot of people willing to help.
With the internet, we can easily find people in the same situation as us to exchange experiences. In fact, all the people I came in contact with were very helpful, both in answering questions and exchanging knowledge.
Something very interesting that we had at the MID was becoming partners with other MID students, that is, to have someone to discuss our questions, difficulties, and project development.
It's very nice to have access to people who are doing the same thing as us, or at least what we want to do. It helps to build confidence in your own portfolio.
What was the process like to get your first job in Product Design?
To start, I set a goal of landing a job in Product Design by early 2019. I subscribed to LinkedIn Premium and began applying to various positions, adopting the mindset of 'I already have the no' and not being afraid of rejection.
Soon, I started receiving some job offers and continued to pursue opportunities with confidence.
After applying to various positions and receiving interview requests from several companies, I was invited to participate in the recruitment process for Juno, where I currently work.
Although it was a daring move for me, given the company's size and number of employees, I accepted the challenge. Unfortunately, the position did not work out.
My portfolio wasn't very structured then, but I didn't want to let this stop me from participating in the recruitment process.
After continuing to apply to other positions, I was contacted by a recruiter from Juno once again for a new recruitment process.
I went through the initial interview and was then asked to complete a test, which I knew was a common practice in the industry. Despite the controversy surrounding this step, I understood it was an elimination round and completed the test as required.
In the meantime, we talked a lot, and I was very honest, I told them I was participating in other processes and made it clear that I had no prior experience in Product Design.
They liked it, and on the same day, after the test, they told me they would send me a proposal, and I got in as a Product Designer.
And the most unexpected thing is that I received a proposal from another company the day I started here!
How has it been working in Product Design?
I was lucky to start here at Juno in a project that was still in the immersion phase when we were trying to understand the user's need to use that product.
My first task in the Product Design role was to conduct quantitative and qualitative market research to gather as much information as possible. I collaborated with colleagues and Customer Experience professionals to carry out this work.
As a Product Designer, I understand that both the strategic (research) and execution (interface design) aspects are critical to the process.
While this can be challenging, it's also a lot of fun to be involved in every step of the way.
If you could go back in time, what would you say to yourself when you thought about changing fields?
I guess I would say, "Go for it."
My only regret is that I didn't switch to Product Design sooner.
I have friends working in some amazing companies and looking back, I regret not becoming interested in UX/UI sooner.
Now, I'm passionate about the field and encourage all my friends to consider making the switch. Being a part of the entire design process is incredibly rewarding, and it's hard not to fall in love with the field once you fully immerse yourself in it.
It's hard to change work fields, you have to jump in, study hard, and have a lot of motivation. But don't be afraid, because it will work out!