#35 How do you know if UX is the right fit for you?

The field of UX is getting popular than ever.

Many people are not sure if UX is the right fit for them, especially when they want to switch their career path or a field of study.

Because the field of UX is broad and constantly evolving, everyone sees UX differently.

The only way for you to find out if it’s the right fit for you is to actually experience what its like to be a user experience designer.

So what does that mean?

This means, you have to try working on your own UX project.

Some of you might wonder, 

“What? How can I work on a UX project if I haven’t learned anything yet?”

That’s very true to be fair.

But at the same time though, the best way to learn is to actually try it by yourself.

If you are already interested in UX at this point, something in UX must have attracted you in the first place, right?

That means you know something about UX.

You might have already done quite a bit of research, reading books and articles, watching videos and so on.

If that’s the case, it’s all good.

You can start your own UX project.

To do so, you need to go through the followings:

  1. Define a problem
  2. Research similar products that solve similar problem you are trying to solve.
  3. Develop a concept to solve the problem
  4. Test with users
  5. Iterate your design based on what you learned from users

It’s OK that you don’t know.

The important thing is that you look for a UX problem that you came across in a product or a service that you use on a regular basis, and start defining that problem clearly.

Once the problem is clearly defined, go through the 5 step UX process that I described.

For more details on how to work on your own UX project, check out my other article.

There’s another thing that you should look into.

This is more about your mindset and traits, whether it fits for a UX designer or not.

I put together 12 traits that are required for a UX designer as follows:

  1. Continuous learner
  2. Humble
  3. Great at collaboration
  4. Problem solver
  5. Less ego
  6. Do-er mentality
  7. Eager to experiment
  8. Curious observer
  9. Empathetic
  10. Good listener
  11. Understand how UX impacts business
  12. Good story teller
A diagram of 12 traits required for a UX designer, with links to show its inter-connectedness.
12 traits required for a UX designer

A UX designer solves a user’s problem. You need to be a problem solver, as well as a problem spotter, and a problem definer.

To do so, you need to talk to various people including users and stakeholders. You need to be a good listener when listening to PM and engineers to understand product requirements. Same thing when you listen to what users have to say during user research. Especially when you listen to users describing their pain points when using a product or a service, you need to be empathetic so that you can put user’s shoes to really understand their frustrations.

During usability test, you need to shut your mouth, and be a curious observer trying to carefully observe how users interact with your prototype.

UX designers often function as a facilitator of various different teams. When working as part of larger team, you need to be great at collaboration, with less ego with a humble mind to be open for other people’s comments and critiques.

And when you take all the stakeholders’ feedback and user research insights, UX designers should have do-er mentality and be eager to experiment with various ideas and concepts hands-on to explore and achieve the best solution for a given problem.

At the same time, UX designers should have a good understanding of how UX impacts the business, so that they don’t propose unrealistic concepts.

When presenting UX concepts or user research findings to a larger product team, UX designers need to become a good story teller without getting egoistic. At the end of the day, UX designers create user experience for users, not for themselves.

As you can see, all these traits are deeply inter-connected with each other.

Many of these can be learned/acquired, especially #11, but some people have some of these more “naturally” than others.

To summarize, you should be able to discover many things around whether UX is the right fit for you by 

  1. Working on your own UX project.
  2. Going through 12 traits required for a UX designer to see how many fits you.

Check out YouTube version too.

Leave a Reply