How to Work in UX 🤷🏽

Last updated on 30 May 2024

After 21 years in the industry, here’s what I think about how to work in UX. These seven tips should help you accelerate your journey.

I read once that someone asked a famous war journalist how to get into war journalism. She said, “Just start doing it.” I feel that #UX is the same. Still it pays to be prepared, even for a war reporter.

1. Prototype your Career

Before going all ‘UX for life,’ find little ways you can feel what it’s like. Try an (online) #course or bootcamp. Work on speculative projects for your #portfolio (as long as you’re explicit about them being speculative!). Or find a gig with someone who’s willing to guide you through their process.

About courses: there are plenty schools out there. Watch out for overpriced ‘name brands’ and too-good-to-be true So there’s no need to go for the overhyped ‘name-brand’ ones 😬. I recommend doing one in person if possible – if you’re in the NL, check out UX Academy Nederland.

🌍 Here’s the UXQB’s international list of training providers.

🔎 Otherwise you can just search on DuckDuckGo.

2. Know Yourself

Figure out your #values and stick to them. That’s the quickest way to do work that you #love and fills you with energy and inspiration.

🧭 Here’s how I figured out my own core values.

3. Cultivate Healthy Mindsets

The details of our craft will come naturally. Anyone can learn new #tools and #methods (they’re always changing anyway), but your core is what makes YOU unique.

🧘🏽‍♀️ Here are the 4 mindsets I find most important in a UXer.

4. Think Beyond the Screen

Learn (and practice) how to talk about your work, with #hiring managers and especially with yourself. Remember that there’s always a broader context around your work, as a #designer, #researcher, or #developer. So make sure you understand and can communicate that context confidently.

💁🏽 Here’s what I look for when hiring a designer (researcher or developer).

🗣️ And here are my 4 habits for giving better presentations & pitches.

5. Create for Humans

Please create for humans (or animals or plants), not just for users! We UXers are designing the world in which we live. So let’s create #meaningful things that make #life a little better for all of us.

🙏🏼 Here are my thoughts on Human Experience Design.

6. Make Friends

Go out and meet your people! I don’t have a blog post for this one.

There should hopefully be meetups, conferences, or other gatherings where you can meet industry folks. Just please remember that it’s not about networking, it’s about making genuine friends!

🤝 Try this DuckDuckGo search to get started.

7. Get In Touch

Or talk with me! Message me, text me, send me a pigeon. I’m always happy to help fellow UX people.

👉🏼 Here’s my UX website with free tools, videos, and more.

🤙🏼 By the way, I’m developing a coaching practice for creative professionals, including meditation & breathwork. Interested? Let’s talk!

🏝 Lots of love and greetings from Palomino, Colombia Corfu, Greece 🇬🇷