Senior UI / UX Designer at PivotPoint
Wellington, New Zealand
How he started his design career
I’ve always considered myself a ‘digital native’ growing up. I spent a lot of time on the internet as a kid, and I’ve always been fascinated with how websites work.
When I was in my early teens I discovered Photoshop (PS CS3 at this time!), and spent a lot of my spare time making digital posters and banners – looking back at them, they were absolutely terrible, but that’s where I can pinpoint my design passion starting. This eventually turned into an internship as a Graphic Designer which was the springboard for my design career.
In this role I worked on all things digital and print – social media adverts, motion graphics, business cards and posters. I gained a lot of exposure to a lot of design principles very quickly. I also spent time working on the company’s marketing website.
This was my turning point towards the UX field – I started thinking about how people were interacting with the site, and how to best position the content they were looking for, instead of just designing the visuals. I couldn’t get enough of this, and absorbed as much information as I could about UX best practises and principles. And that’s how I ended up working in product and experience design.
Tips for new designers in 2023
If I could only offer one piece of advice, it would be to get stuck in and make, make, make, as much as possible. The UX field can feel daunting – there are so many frameworks, tools, methods, and best-practises out there. This can be overwhelming, and this is where paralysis can creep up. But the thing about design is that the journey is constantly evolving, and no solution will ever be perfect. Overcome a lack of experience by trial-and-error as much as possible. Pick up as many projects as you possibly can – find a product you use often, and see what pain points you can solve. Talk to a friend or family member about frustrating experiences in their day-to-day, and sketch out some solutions. Through this body of work you’ll pick up valuable knowledge along the way, and before you’ll know it you’ll have an awesome portfolio of case studies for your first design interviews!