Background: Making a career change can be a challenge. Without the right support and resources, it can be impossible. This research was focused on people making a career change into the design field (e.g.) UX Design, Graphic Design, UI Design, Motion Design, UX Research, Interaction Design, and Design Leadership. Despite the many efforts by these career changers, sometimes they never get a job, or it takes a long time to reach their goals. I wanted to understand what motivates users, the kind of support and training they receive, and the connections they are making.
HMW: How might we help new designers cross over to a career in design?
Objective: Identify potential and find solutions to help overcome barriers to making a career change to the design field.
What motivated users to change careers?
What type of support do users need to be successful in their new career?
What type of skills did users acquire?
How do users reach out to people in that new career?
What were users doing before making a career change?
User surveys to assess demographics. User interviews (5) to understand pain points and behavior while making a career change, Usability testing (5) with low and high fidelity prototypes.
Users in a career for five or more years
Users looking to making a change in a creative field
Screener Survey: Ask if participants are interested in an interview on the survey
Survey Delivery: Facebook, LinkedIn, and Slack Channels
User Research Finding:
83% of users didn’t have a job in design before moving into a design career
100% of users sought education for their new career with a Bootcamp/Cohort
50% of users took an online Bootcamp/Cohort because they needed more flexibility with time and schedule
The other 50% took an in-person Bootcamp/Cohort because it would keep them accountable and get the work done
67% of users quit their jobs to learn full-time
All users felt unfulfilled in their current career
All users said networking, making the right connections, and having referrals will help them get a job
All users agree that a lack of experience would be the biggest obstacle when trying to get a job in their new career
All users agree that 1:1 mentorship is very valuable and could help them in their career
67% of users never had or knew how to find a mentor
My Challenges: When I started this project I was new to UX Design and Research, so there were a few challenges for me. As a former graphic designer I was programmed to jump straight to the solution. I wanted to skip all the sketches, wireframes and design those pretty mock-ups. I realize doing that will only create more problems in the long run. I had to change my way of thinking, ask more high-value questions, and remember I’m NOT THE USER.
My UX Design process is different for each project. Based on many factors such as; user needs, business goals, time, etc. Below I describe my process for solving this problem.
DEFINE THE USER
Understanding the Why with User Research
To fully understand my users, I conducted 6 different interviews (3 women and 3 men) to help identify pain points, opportunities, and insights. I found patterns in answers that users gave, which helped me break down my personas into 3 types of users. To help me find these patterns I used Miro and Airtable. This allowed me to see each question and all the user answers. These personas will later help me ideate and design solutions.
As a part of my Desk Research, I performed a Competitive Analysis to see what was out there already. During the analysis, I found 3 companies that helped users in different ways. Meetup – community, Behance – showing skill/experience, and Openmind – mentorship
Visual Breakdown of Data/Research Findings
Up top all the data was broken down into bullets for those who like list. For visual people here are infographics to help sell the info
The research showed me how many different users there are and the many needs they all had. They all shared one common goal of making a career change with some extra help. After summarizing the information from user interviews and data analysis, it was time to sketch some solutions.
Creating user flows helps me to understand the whole user journey and covering all the screens.
I had a list of screens to cover scenarios so I started to do blue scale wireframes to layout the flows. In this step, I also made a mid-fidelity WirePro to test the idea with users and fix the problems in the early stage.