by Lost At E Minor in New Design on Thursday 19 September 2013

Educational institution General Assembly offers an array of short courses for young creative thinkers to transform them into ‘creators through education and opportunities in technology, business, and design’. We’re big fans of what they do. So we got the inside word from one of General Assembly’s instructors, Nirish Shakya, about the intriguing field of User Experience Design (UX).

 [Sydney-based readers can get $500 off the next UX course, starting September 24]

In 140 characters or less, what is user experience design?
User Experience design is all about thinking about your users with compassion and empathy and designing solutions that make their lives easier.

If a website were a car, UX design would be…
All the processes involved in finding out why people need to travel from one place to another, what’s good about how they’re already doing it and what can be improved, and designing a mode of transport that’s best suited to their needs. Maybe the user doesn’t even need a car or can’t keep one and a bicycle might be a better option!

What are some common misconceptions about UX design?
Before I got into UX, I used to think UX design was all about designing user interfaces. It’s so much more than that. It’s about juggling people, business and technology together.

How would you explain the relationship between UX design and information architecture to a five year old?
If UX design is like building a house, information architecture is like deciding which room goes where and who gets which room.


Any advice for an aspiring user experience designer?
First thing you need to start doing is to truly care for your users and their problems. Always think about how what you’re doing right now affects the end user’s life. Get in front of your users as soon as possible.

I still remember Jared Spool’s words of wisdom when I was new to the industry. According to Jared, UX is like chicken-sexing. It’s difficult to learn it just by reading a book or listening to someone. The fastest way to learn it is by spending time with people who’re already good at it. Attend UX events such as IxDA meetups and UX Book Clubs to mingle with other UX professionals.

Don’t be afraid to start your own blog and tell stories about your own UX learnings. The more you can articulate your learnings, the more you learn.



Interested in pushing your design career forward and upskilling in UX? Check out General Assembly’s User Experience Design course, beginning in Sydney on 24 September. We have a special $500 off the price offer available to Sydney-based Lost At E Minor readers. Check it out here!