Feeling frustrated with Graphic Design, Daiane decided to change fields after learning about the MID program. To achieve her goal, she decided to map out a career strategy that would lead her to her first UX design opportunity, in a Product Design role.
Check out Daiane's pivoting story, as well as her tips for those who want to change careers as well.
To get us started, please tell us about your background
I have a background in Graphic Design. I started out in this field in 2009 or 2010, and in 2013 I had my first contact with interfaces.
Around two years ago, I became very frustrated with my career. Although I've always loved my profession, living in smaller cities left me feeling constrained, like I couldn't fully apply my knowledge and skills.
Furthermore, I was overly focused on personal tastes and opinions because I was working as a graphic designer for marketing. So instead of relying on a solid theoretical foundation, I focused more on the client's preferences.
At that time, I was exploring a bit about UX Design and user-centered design projects, but I still had no experience or specific knowledge in this field.
I eventually pursued a graduate course in Design and Innovation Management, and there I had a brief glimpse of Design thinking and UX.
Since I started the MID program, I have been studying a lot, and I recently got an opportunity in Product Design.
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What was it like to conquer your first role in UX Design?
My first experience in UX design was at a startup in Rio Grande do Sul. I was brought on board because the company needed a visual identity with a strong focus on interface design
It took a long time for me to be able to turn my attention to the product itself because I was dealing with several other demands that were always rising.
Although it was time-consuming, my work at the startup provided a great deal of freedom. As a result, I gradually began expressing my interest in transitioning to product design and focusing on that area.
It didn't work out well because I realized that the company didn't have the maturity I needed. I couldn't focus on what I wanted there, which was the product, so I decided to quit.
And coincidentally, that's when I found out about the MID program. So I decided to focus on the course to learn more so I could totally focus on Product Design.
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How was your transition process to Product Design?
I think the first thing is to decide what you want to do. When you decide, things start happening around you.
When I decided to focus on Product Design, I found the MID and left the startup I was working on. I made a six-month plan to switch careers entirely.
The MID program was pretty much the only thing I was focused on: studying every day and preparing myself to look for jobs in the field.
I found that using task management methods helped me to stay organized while taking the course. I treated it as though it were a remote job and even set weekly goals for myself.
Although I had originally planned to secure a position by March of that year, I realized in February that my timeline would be delayed. In the end, I received an offer in May.
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How was the process to land this Product Design role?
I spent about two months looking for jobs, but I realized it's important to have a strategy when looking for the right position.
I wanted to work from home, but in this case, most jobs required a level of English that I didn't have.
I eventually shifted my focus to other states, relying heavily on LinkedIn for job opportunities and on the resources shared within the Aela community.
The process with Mercos was very fast, it took about a month. I think there was also a cultural and profile match, which is important.
I realized the portfolio is your showcase – it will define whether you will advance in the recruitment process.
A great advantage, which they always talk about in the MID program, is to explain everything in detail and elaborate the explanations well.
The application process involved answering a few questions by email and completing a design challenge. I was given some user survey data and presented with several problem options. Then I had one week to develop a solution based on that information.
I also did a video conference interview with the Product Design team and then one with the company's HR to make sure everything was okay.
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Daiane, please tell us a bit about your new job
Mercos provides Software as a Service (SaaS) for other companies. It basically has a platform that helps companies and sales representatives sell better, both in terms of automation and tools to assist in sales strategy.
My team consists of myself and a Senior Level Designer, so I had the chance to learn a lot from him. We work closely with Product Managers (PMs) and developers.
Much of my work is informed by the feedback and insights our PMs provide. Our PMs maintain regular communication with our customers and users, which enables us to identify pain points that require our attention.
The Senior Designer focuses a lot on user experience, not only on the screens – it's the company's mindset to think about the user experience and not only on aesthetics.
We always validate the project with the developers, PMs, and customers. We use a kind of kanban to help during the product creation journey.
Regarding UX, I'm starting to structure a guide to have as a reference in the company. It's been a pretty cool experience.
What do you consider to be the greatest MID contribution to your journey to Product Design?
I was going through several situations in which I was getting frustrated with the market, and I realized that in the Aela community, there were also people in these situations. We talked about how to solve these problems.
This exchange of information and knowledge with mentors and students from different levels also brought me a lot of peace of mind.
I think what counted the most about the MID was the community.
Another thing that I found essential was the mentorships and the opportunities to develop real projects.
Getting UX mentoring in the live classes and feedback to know where you can improve was very cool in this process.
Can you give some advice to those who want to switch careers too?
The first step is to make a decision, followed by enrolling in the MID program. The program provides ample support from experts in the field, making it an essential part of my career turnaround.
However, persistence and patience are crucial. The journey is long and requires determination.
It's important to seek information and ask for feedback from others, continuously working on projects and identifying areas for improvement.