After working as a designer for three years, I was at a crossroads. I knew some things, but I was still pretty new to the field. I wasn’t sure where exactly I wanted to go, or even what all the options were. I felt like there was still a lot for me to learn, but I wasn’t sure how to get started.
As I was trying to figure out my next step, I came across Springboard. It felt like the right way to learn what I needed to be successful in my career. I also wanted to meet other designers who could help me understand the right path forward for me, and I was excited about talking to a mentor who could share how they’d made career decisions themselves.
Through Springboard’s curriculum, I identified different areas of User Experience to explore further, including visual design, user testing, personas and workflow analysis. The projects also helped me test out the ones I liked the most.
In one of them, I redesigned a craft brewery website for a friend, using it as a chance to practice user-centered design. I learned how to ask who users really are, what they were supposed to get out of the experience, and how to connect those insights to how the site should work.
The mentorship was one of the biggest net positives of the program. At the time, I was making a critical decision in my career – whether to leave my current job for a new one. I wasn’t sure what I should do, and I turned to my mentor Megan for advice.
In our conversations, Megan shared her story. She told me how she had made decisions in her career, and she was very open and upfront about answering personal questions, like what drove her and why. I found it incredibly insightful to see how she discovered what she wanted, and it helped me understand what I wanted myself.
With Megan’s help, I was able to recast my portfolio in a different, more autobiographical light, which helped me get a new job at CloudLock.
Almost every day, I use tools and techniques I learned at Springboard. By keeping the focus on users and their workflows, I’ve earned consensus from the developers I work with. I’m also implementing user testing at our company, which will help us make sure our products work before we release them, and I’m deciding which design tools we’ll use as a company. It’s very exciting!
My ultimate goal is to be a User Experience unicorn – someone who is a great visual designer, a great prototyper, a great workflow analyst, and a great researcher. I’m still on the way there, and Springboard has given me a great foundation to work from. Now I know where I’m headed and the steps I need to take there, and I’m looking forward to getting there soon!