I did it — I joined Lambda School as a student of UX Design. I am so extraordinarily exhilarated to finally get the chance to do something I actually want to do. My whole life has been about doing what’s sensible — or what’s necessary. For the next 9 months… I’ll be doing something fulfilling and it feels damn good.

I am 3 weeks into the program and we just started doing some interesting exercises. In a shocking turn of events, I inexplicably enjoy putting myself out there for my fellow students and have been able to receive feedback and critiques without questioning my own self worth constantly. I am VERY interested in feedback (how else am I going to get better?).

This week we focused on identifying and organizing problems — our assignments were to create a proto-persona and use that as a reference to build a user journey map. FUN!

Here’s my work:

And….

It’s funny, some of the things I learned were what my instructor told me I would learn… there was just no way I was going to retain it until I actually went through the exercise. Yeah yeah yeah… getting into a user mindset… but upon setting out to complete the assignment I literally couldn’t avoid the hard work.

It’s not easy to jump into someone else’s shoes — especially when you essentially made the person up. I had a single user interview, a competitive analysis, 2 survey responses, and my own life experience to pull from. The sample size was indeed small.

That being said, I gained a lot of insight from going through the process. I was forced to think about the product from this user’s perspective. What would he hate, what would he like? What would he be annoyed at and what would he want to do within the product?

This process also helped focus my efforts. How could I design something for a user without really going through how the user might interact with the product? It takes just a bit more work, but thinking through the problem and following the user’s journey throughout the product can illuminate issues you may not have considered yet. Correctly identifying and solving for user issues is the backbone of good UX.

And if I could pinpoint a singular goal of mine — it would be to deliver good UX to my users.

Wish me luck!

UX Designer, science enthusiast, relentless cynic, eternal optimist.