There’s nothing more daunting than planning a career switch. The thought is so overwhelming that you sometimes start to doubt if it’s a weight that you can actually pull. This was my exact situation last year and I can confidently tell you that, yes, you can do it! That’s of course, with the right plan and resources.
Taking a few steps back, to the very beginning of my UX journey, I had so many questions. But the predominant one was “Where do I start from?” Getting a UX degree was totally off the list for me because of the huge financial implications it involved. After talking about it with a couple of friends who were already in the UX field, one of them suggested IxDF alongside other options. I took a look at their website, read some of the articles there and just decided to give it a shot. I paid for the one year subscription and that was how my IxDF and UX journey started.
Looking back from where I am now as a UX designer, I can say that, it was one of the best decisions I ever made for my career.
First of all, you’re probably wondering, what is IxDF?
Interaction Design Foundation (IxDF) is a learning platform that offers a wide range of courses on UX Design, UI Design, Interaction Design, Product Management, UX Research, Visual Design and many others.
So far, these are some of the things that I find exciting about the platform.
I particularly love that the learning is self paced and I can take my classes whenever it’s convenient for me. In addition to that, the platform puts into consideration beginners like myself who may be clueless on the right combination of courses to take.
Once I selected a path I wanted (UX Designer), I got a breakdown of the courses I needed to start with and how I could build my learning from foundation level to being an expert.
The path consists of four parts: Foundation, Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced.
IxDF has around 30 courses on the platform and once I paid for the one year membership, I had automatic access to all of them. I could choose to take either one course at a time, or juggle more. The content delivery is balanced, as it is a mix of both text and video format. The classes are indepth and well explained, with real life examples. There are also open source literature like this— https://www.interaction-design.org/literature for further readings and understanding.
At the end of each class, assignments are given; they are either multiple choice or open ended questions. The course scores increase when questions are answered correctly and once 70% of the entire course score has been attained, I can generate my certificate in less than a minute. IxDF is industry-recognized which means that I could add my certificates on my LinkedIn profile and Resume.
My most exciting courses were “Become a UX Designer from Scratch” and “User Experience: The Beginner’s Guide”. I learnt how to: conduct UX Research (Quantitative and Qualitative research), affinity mapping, create a persona, conduct a usability test amongst so many things.
On the platform, there are different communities around the world where UX Designers can connect with each other. They hold events and conferences that are geared towards career development in UX. In addition, there are discussion forums too where people like me who are taking similar courses can discuss what they’ve learnt and ask questions that start insightful conversations.
Self learning is tough, but IxDF makes learning feel exciting and less overwhelming. With the wealth of knowledge that I have amassed so far, it has improved the quality of my work output and design process in general. I can’t wait to see how much I’d have grown in my career in the next few years.