After the Coronavirus pandemic spread across the United States and impacted most of our lives, it landed me in a situation where work slowed down immensely. This time has been a challenge but also a gift because it finally allowed me the opportunity to refocus my attention on my aspiring UX/UI design journey that’s been resonating in me for over a year. It’s been in the cards for some time but it’s finally the most opportune time for me to take the leap! I recently enrolled in the CareerFoundry UX/UI bootcamp; a 5 to 10-month intensive design program concentrating on user-centered design principles including competitive analysis, user research, conceptualizing, and designing products through wireframing and prototyping, as well as visual design.
My first assignment was to complete a competitive analysis of 3 similar mobile apps that help users learn new words. The biggest challenge was just getting started. Honestly, that was the hardest part for me. For some reason, fear can get the best of me at times, and frankly it caused me a turtle paced start. The reading material on User Design Thinking was good but I went down a rabbit hole doing many other side research projects on everything else, like did I decide on the right bootcamp to how to properly create a iPhone mockup to use in presentations. I dreaded the idea of starting something new that I could possibly fail at. Gulp.
But after many days struggling internally with my own fears, I pushed through it and started plugging away at the project at hand. I learned how to apply the first stage of the design thinking process to a given problem through the research phase. I took the time to develop an assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of competitor apps. I ended up putting in a lot of hard work and time into my first assignment. Throughout the process, I was critically evaluating my own work, stepping back to see if I was producing something of quality.
I went back a dozen times, asking myself – did I correctly answer all of the project questions, did I apply design thinking and understanding in the process, am I presenting this project in the best way without wasting precious time. It was a task that I was eager to accomplish and the moment I finally pressed the submit button in my student portal I was filled with relief and pride. My tutor responded hours later letting me know that my assignment was approved and job well done! Exhale. My UX/UI feet are finally wet and I plan to keep swimming in this UX/UI pool of new explorations!