Jodie Locklear
UX design thought map

UX/Interaction Design Transition Mission

UX design thought mapI’ve been a visual arts teacher for the past 9 years and have a BS degree in Art Education. I’ve studied interior design, photography, graphic art, fine arts, love constantly learning new things, and being creatively challenged. Over the past few years I’ve lost my passion for teaching. It hasn’t been creatively challenging in a long while, and to put it simply – I’m bored with it.

In addition to art and design, for years I have been fascinated with human psychology, personality, what motivates people, and how they think. Up until a few months ago, I was set on training to become a life purpose and career coach. However, I never felt completely satisfied with that goal. My gut kept telling me that something was wrong – that I wouldn’t be completely satisfied in that career.

Reading Dick Bolles, What Color Is Your Parachute?, helped me map out my skills and the type of work environment that I would work best in. It also helped me realize that while life coaching had the psychological focus that I love, it was missing a big aspect of who I am, a DESIGNER. I still couldn’t put a name to my dream career, but I now knew that it had to combine psychology and design.

While browsing the psychology section at my local B&N recently, I found a psychology book with a section on interaction design, user experience design, user experience research, and user testing for the web. It was an “aha” moment for me and I immediately knew that this type of design is a good career fit for me. It combines my interest in human psychology, my art and design background, and my love of learning new things.

So here I am – with a UX/interaction design transition mission. My goal is to transition into a UX career without going back to school to get another degree. I plan on teaching for another full school year (to be fully vested in my teacher’s retirement plan) and then getting an entry-level job as a UX or interaction designer. As of today that gives me 14 months to get a lot of learning and some valuable experiences under my belt. During that time I will post here on my progress, as well as useful resources I come across such as: articles, books, websites, classes, etc.

Maybe you’re out there and you ‘re just like me? Meaning you have several years of visual design experience and training, have dabbled in web design, but haven’t built a website since you learned HTML 2.0 in college. But you’ve got a growth mindset, you’re crazy about good design, and oh – you’re a little nutty about psychology.

Or maybe you’re out there and you’re a seasoned UX professional with words of advice, a resource, or…

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This entry was published on April 13, 2012 at 12:21 pm. It’s filed under UX Transition Mission and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

2 thoughts on “UX/Interaction Design Transition Mission

  1. Congratulations, Jodie, on your new beginning! I would love to know more about this career myself. What does the UX mean? What, exactly, will this career have you doing? Building websites with interaction from people who will be using the website perhaps? Or is it more involved with the human psychological response to the visual and auditory aspects of the website you are designing? I remember a course from college I really liked called Human/Computer Interface which was such a combination. For example, the notion that you shouldn’t have more than 5 plus or minus 2 choices on a single screen since that is a short term memory limitation. Love the picture of you on the blog by the way! Ann

  2. Hi Ann, Thanks! UX is just an abbreviated way of saying user experience.

    UX design for web and web applications is the area that I am most interested in and includes both of the things you mention. A UX designer steers the design of the project by doing user testing, and research, to determine the user audience/s.They also apply human/computer psychology to design the way the user will interact with the site, or application, and makes sure it meets usability standards. Depending on the UX designers background and company they work for, they may also do a number of other roles such as: the visual/graphic design for project, writing the code, writing/editing the content, and project management, etc.

    Yes, let’s chat more about this! Can’t wait to see you soon:-)

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