Breaking into UX Design: My Journey and Lessons Learned

Karolina Reynolds
March 15, 2023
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Transitioning from health care to UX design might seem like a giant leap, but for me, it’s a natural progression in my career.

As someone who has worked in healthcare for several years, I started to feel that every day at work looked the same. Moreover, I couldn’t advance any more in my career.

I’ve also realized that my true passion lies in creating positive experiences for people. While my work has been rewarding, I’ve been drawn to UX design because it allows me to use my skills and experience to create products and services that broadly impact people’s lives.

I am a very empathic person, and during my healthcare career, I noticed the great importance of empathy and understanding the needs of patients, putting myself in their shoes. This is also a skill in UX design, where understanding the needs and behaviors of users is critical to creating effective and user-friendly interfaces.

I was highly interested in graphic design; I adored just being in the zone and creating designs. But then, a few years ago, I moved to the US, life happened (long story short), and I started my healthcare journey. A few months ago, when I began to think about going back to graphic design, I stumbled on UX design. I researched it, and I noticed that UX design is more than creating pretty designs; the focus is on designing things that are not just visually pleasing but also intuitive and user-friendly. This requires a deep understanding of user behavior and testing interfaces to ensure they meet users’ needs and expectations. UX design lets me use many of my abilities. I also want to add that graphic design has given me experience working with layout, typography, and color theory — all skills that are also valuable in UX design.

I have liked taking photos since I was a teenager, especially pictures of nature and architecture, and I recently discovered portrait photography. It helped me train an eye for detail. Taking a good photo is more challenging than I thought at the very beginning. Throughout the years, I learned that to create the image I want; I must consider many variables: composition, light, shutter speed, aperture, and what lens to use, etc. Changes in any of those components can result in different outcomes. A similar situation is in UX; the design process is very complex. I have to pay attention to the detail and think about users’ needs, stakeholders’ directions, technology, financial limitations, and many other things combined.

Overall, transitioning to UX design feels like a natural evolution of my skills and interests, and I’m excited to continue learning and growing in this field. My path toward UX design reminds me of a labyrinth, but it finally feels like I am going in a good direction.

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