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Things I Wish I’d Known before starting my career as a UX/UI Designer

On June 17, we are hosting a free webinar on the challenges of starting a new career titled “Things I Wish I’d Known before starting my career as a UX/UI Designer.”

The webinar is hosted by Vienna-based UX UI designer Maggie Jandova who will take you on a journey of starting as a junior designer while sharing all her learnings so that your path is easier. 

Here are her thoughts on the subject and what you can expect in the webinar: 

Brainster: Hi Maggie, welcome to the Brainster Blog. On June 17th, 2021 we are hosting a webinar with you as a guest lecturer! What would UX/UI designers benefit from attending this webinar?

Maggie: In this webinar, I want to put things into perspective and share some tips on getting ready and learning from situations that will happen along your way as a UX UI Designer. This topic comes from my journey because when I started as a UX UI Designer I did not have many expectations and just went with the flow. However, things usually don’t go perfectly, and that can sometimes be hard to understand.

What to do if your design decisions are questioned? How to respond if a project you have been long working on gets canceled? How to not feel drained after a harsh feedback round? Those are just some of the topics that usually UX UI courses don’t cover, yet they have a significant impact on your happiness and confidence. 

>> Join us on 17th of June at 18:00 CET, to find out everything you need to know.

Brainster: The subject of the webinar implies that it would be more beneficial for beginners, however, will there be useful things for professionals as well?

Maggie: No matter your level, there are always things to learn. While it will be a great topic for beginners and juniors, being a designer with many years of experience doesn’t mean you have it all figured out. Especially when it comes to communication, it’s one of these things that is not upfront clear how important it is for this role. So I would invite anyone curious, willing to learn, or who wants to feel supported. 

Brainster: How did you make the decision to start a career in UX/UI design and what were the biggest challenges at the beginning?

Maggie: While studying Graphic Design, I realized I was more interested in web and app projects than print or marketing design. With technology playing such a significant role in our lives these days, I wanted to be part of it and know that my work is leaving an impact.

The beginnings were hard. I was the only designer in the company, and knowing that I am a junior and a team of one made me feel powerless. I was micromanaged and wasn’t mentally there to do something about it. What helped was when the design team finally grew, there was a senior designer and dedicated UX Researcher from whom I could learn a lot. At the same time, I felt overshadowed by them and therefore had to do a lot of personal growth to get confident.

Brainster: What would you tell your younger self at the beginning of your career now that you have the experience?

Maggie: Join a UX UI community or find someone more senior than you from whom you can learn. This way, you’ll have someone who supports you, shares their knowledge, and you’re not on your own anymore.

Brainster: From experience, where do you see young UX/UI designers struggle the most?

Maggie: One of the struggles is presenting work. If you’re not prepared and can’t explain why you did the things you did, you will get questioned, and stakeholders will propose new ideas. This way, your proposal can go out of the window, and it’s not because it was not a good one, but because you weren’t able to explain it. Especially when there’s not enough research to back up your decisions, you’ll have to use your knowledge that comes from design principles or best practices. You’re probably making all these decisions automatically without thinking. However, you’ll need to walk others through your process; the design hasn’t come from anywhere.

Another one would be ego. This one is very limiting as if you think you know better, you won’t learn. That leads to ignoring feedback, having a lack of empathy for users, and not compromising. Remember that this job role is teamwork, so stay humble and open to ideas.

Brainster: For beginners, UX/UI design might seem mostly like a solitary profession. What importance would you put on teamwork with copywriters, developers, and content creators? 

Maggie: Teamwork is everything! Collaborating with copywriters or content creators depends on which part of the product you’re working on and how big the team is. However, establishing relationships with the Product managers and developers is essential. With PMs, you’ll work very closely, and some responsibilities might even overlap, and when it comes to developers, they are the ones that make your designs come to life. We will also cover the topic of collaborating with frontends in the webinar.

Brainster: What do you hope attendants will get out of this webinar?

Maggie: I hope this webinar will point out some of the tricky parts of the UX UI role and how to get ready for them. From improving the way you communicate to finding opportunities to learn and keeping a healthy distance from your work. 

>> Join us on 17th of June at 18:00 CET, to find out everything you need to know.

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