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Are you sure you want to become a UX designer?

4 years of hate and despair


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Lorenzo Doremi

3 years ago | 4 min read

2014. I just finished high school and I had two choices: finding a job or going to college. Since I wanted to reach the top I went to college.

But I didn’t have really a plan at that point, because my dream to become an aerospace engineer was gone: my maths and science grades were extremely low, and entering Engineering while not understanding equations isn’t a great idea.

Useful degrees.

Some of us keep dreaming and go for the most loved degree, but others like me try to balance what they like and what actually can be spent in the world of work.

While I had bad grades in math I was a bit better in humanities, but finding a job in that field is pretty hard, and mediocre earnings await you; this forced me to look for a growing STEM field in which math was as unimportant as possible. I ended up doing Web Technologies (let’s say Computer Science for dummies): I always loved using computers and had an above-average informatics knowledge (I used Photoshop a lot those years)…so why not.

4 years of hate and despair

For many reasons, I didn’t like what I have chosen. So much math, logic, and algorithms made me hate everything related to computers.

I felt becoming a factory worker, and not an artist.

I always wanted to create my own videogames but becoming a developer killed the creative inner-me…and understanding it wasn’t the right path for me brought me to depression: I basically lost 4 years of my life and a college degree in something I hate doing.

Hating something kills your stimuli to become better, and in fact, I was not only frustrated but also a mediocre developer with no ambition.

Let’s become an artist

2019. With a bachelor’s degree in hand and any spendable skills, I tried to walk a new road. Since I wanted to enter the game industry, I thought that if development wasn’t for me, I had to become a 3D artist.

Well, after two years of crying at my horrible Zbrush sculptures, I understood that I was a bit too old and inexperienced to become a good artist: I needed many years to embrace anatomy, drawing skills, and many other things you need to be proficient in that industry.

What I missed, and I actually tested, is spatial cognition. Yeah, my Spatial IQ is basically 75–80. This explains why I just sucked and fatigued so much to improve in the 3D field. I could become a good 3D character modeler but at the expense of too much sacrifice and frustration.

2019 ends…What‘s next?

The last sculpt I did. I spent months on it…and then uninstalled everything.
The last sculpt I did. I spent months on it…and then uninstalled everything.

Discovering UX

Continuing my studies in university, I discovered and entered the world of UX. Now…do you remember the title of this story?

Are you sure you want to become a UX designer?

I asked you this question because when I started my master’s degree in Interaction Design, I noticed that most of my colleagues were similar to me: people who chose a job path or two, failed, and looked for a new life.

Different people, but with the same outcome: some started as developers, others were graphic designers, some studied foreign languages and marketing… but all felt not skilled enough to land a good job.

UX is the dream of jacks of all trades

UX felt an easier way for us people who experimented with tons of different software, while never having that spark of talent that made us enjoy the learning process.

Obviously, UX design isn’t easy, but it’s strongly enhanced by transversal skills:

  1. experience in graphic design helps you in good prototyping,
  2. being a developer gives you an analytical mindset
  3. being an artist could help you finding innovative concepts
  4. experience with marketing helps you in the research phase

and so on…but…

The great cost of becoming a UX designer as a fallback/makeshift job is that you’ll keep dreaming of becoming something you weren’t able to learn, and probably never enjoy your current job to its fullest.

For example, I still keep trying to become an artist and play around with Photoshop and Illustrator more than I should, because the creative side of Lorenzo is still inside and wants to be noticed: UX design is a way to have success in life and earn money, but it could be a path you’ve not chosen intentionally.

So, Are you sure you want to become a UX designer?

This story doesn’t want to cause you depression, but I want to make you deeply think of your current situation.

Did you choose this path because it fascinated you since the beginning, or it’s just a way to escape the fact that you aren’t talented enough to pursue an original dream career?

The bright side: what actually makes UX design great

Ok, let’s put all this gloom away and see what makes UX design not only a safe place for jacks of all trades, but also for ambitious people.

Often we think of UX as simply designing satisfying interaction processes… but let’s see what you can grasp and actually do:

  1. You can understand what works and what doesn’t work in the IT field. This means you have the tools to invent something…that sells a lot… 😉 (so why not opening your own start-up?)
  2. You design interactions that create mental models in thousands of people. If you’re a fan of persuading people to do what you want, isn’t this the right path?
  3. If you care for people’s wellness, you can contribute to projects that enhance people’s everyday life.

UX Designers design. And who designs, creates. And who creates, innovates the world.

Remember this.

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Lorenzo Doremi

A Jack of all trades UX guy. Mainly interested in human-computer interaction, contemporary sociology and art.


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