A Tactical Guide For Transitioning To User Experience Design
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It has been ten years since we have lived in a world that has not included social media, smart phones, and mobile applications. Over the last decade, User Experience design has been infused into these digital products and services, with companies like Google and Apple creating in-depth design language systems for their platforms that can be used extensively as an open-source framework. With this growing breadth of experience in digital platforms, User Experience designers have been able to focus on the bigger user-centered needs and not reinvent the wheel with some of the more commonplace solutions. “…because designers are deeply committed to advocating for user needs/wants/desires in the face of corporate inertia…” User Experience design has been an important discipline for designers to enter and be the true voice for the user (e.g. user-centered design) as they create new products and experiences (Fabricant, 2014).
Over the course of three months, more than sixty-five prospective User Experience designers, current User Experience practitioners, and current recruiters for the User Experience discipline participated in tailored surveys for each of their roles (see Appendix D). These results have culminated in the final outcome for this thesis, a book concept consisting of a chapter outline and introductory chapter, and a book query that pitches the idea of a book (Making the Switch: A Career Transition Guide Into UX) for how designers from an auxiliary discipline can make a successful transition to User Experience design.
This book query was sent to forty-one individuals who had indicated that they were interested in entering into the User Experience design discipline, as well as current practitioners in the field for Validation Testing and feedback. The result was a reinforcement of the hypothesis and proposed solution, with 90% of the participants in the book query Validation Testing confirming that the book proposal had a unique perspective and would be a useful publication that they would consider purchasing.
After successful endorsement of the proposed solution of a book by the participants in the book query Validation Testing, an outline of the book and first chapter were written. The purpose of these two artifacts was to articulate the results from this thesis in an organized manner that orchestrated how the book, Making the Switch: A Career Transition Guide Into UX, would solve the needs and struggles of prospective designers and provide an example of the language, tone, and writing style that the book would take. Twenty-two individuals responded to this final round of book concept Validation Testing, ranging from prospective designers, to current practitioners, to educators in the discipline of User Experience design. Overwhelmingly, the responses acquired 100% positive support and demand for this book to be written and introduced into the arena of User Experience design publishing.
This thesis outlines the methodologies and results that concluded in a successful validation of the hypothesis that practitioners in Visual Design, Web Design, Industrial Design, and Architecture (adjacent disciplines to User Experience design) are making the transition from their current discipline to that of User Experience design with varying levels of success. These prospective practitioners require a step-by-step, tactical guide–– one that is founded in research and recommendations by industry practitioners, recruiters, and hiring managers––to teach them how to successfully make the transition into User experience design.