I'm a graphic designer+
I’ve recently been inspired by the Interaction Design Foundation through courses I’ve taken and want to share my experience with you.
Hello! So I'm definitely not a unique student, as I'm a graphic designer interested in expanding out to UX designer, which only means I need to try that much harder to reach my goals and to stand out from the crowd. When I came across IDF, I was brand new to the scene. I didn't truly understand the differences between user experiences, interactions, and interfaces. I knew there was a connection between everything, but I didn't know exactly where. I still don't know everything, but IDF has helped me to better understand the links through applied reasoning, problem solving, and other methods of application.
The presence of an IDF community is quite expansive, as well—which is ideal to further success through interaction with fellow students. I started out as a member of the London IDF community, working my way through community outreach and meeting other people with similar interests. Then, due to work, I moved to New York City shortly after joining IDF. I was relieved to find the IDF community was just as strong and inviting in NYC as it was in London, so I've been able to connect with like-minded people rather quickly—which is always helpful when moving to a new city.
With my background and training in graphic design, I recognized that there would be some similarities between UX and design, so I jumped in by signing up with all of the classes I felt I could take on. Honestly, there are so many great courses, that I'm not ashamed to say I signed up for more than I could handle at once; however, IDF's program is self-paced, so students can take their time with lessons to really absorb the information without feeling rushed. I mean, we all have lives outside of IDF—the majority of us are working professionals—so we can't spend 8 hours a day taking courses. What we can do, and what has really helped me grow in my current role, is applying what knowledge I have learned (at whatever pace) to my projects at work. I'm able to feel confident about working through problems to come up with solutions that I may not have seen before, for instance, a lesson on gamification. These courses aren't just for those wanting to succeed as a UX designer, they're multidisciplinary, so I can easily apply things to everyday projects. Of course, it doesn't hurt to have this knowledge when my team is talking about a website redesign. So I'm able to take my IDF courses and use them in ways I didn't originally plan for.
Additionally, it's so easy to add and "show off" your skills by linking your certificates of completion on LinkedIn. I absolutely love this feature, because you always want to put your best face forward in the professional realm, as you never know who might be seeking out someone just like you with your specific skill set! And this only encourages me to continue on in each course and in new courses! As a full-time (and sometime freelance) graphic designer, I don't have a huge chunk of time each day to work on my courses. But, what I've found to be incredibly helpful in finishing lessons is to spend my lunch hour at work going through a course lesson or carving out an hour each evening to focus on coursework, rather than blankly staring at the television, or some other inane activity. These small dents make a massive impact in the long run, especially since I feel like I absorb more when I take my time. Overall, IDF has been a massive help in advancing my career through multidisciplinary approaches in UX courses and application on my projects through work. I highly recommend IDF and know anyone can benefit.