Hi, I’m Amber, a recent Design graduate. When I walked across the stage at the University of Melbourne to receive my degree in Architecture Design, it felt like a culmination of years of hard work and dedication. Little did I know, however, that my path would soon take an unexpected turn towards a different passion: User Experience (UX) Design.
My journey into UX design began with a simple realisation that while I loved the creative and structural aspects of architecture, I found myself drawn more towards the user-centric approach to design. I was fascinated by the idea of crafting digital experiences that not only looked beautiful but also worked seamlessly to improve people’s lives. That’s when I decided to pivot towards UX design.
One of the remarkable aspects of the UX field is that it’s accessible to self-learners. Armed with determination and a thirst for knowledge, I embarked on a journey of self-teaching. I devoured online courses, and joined UX communities to absorb as much as I could. It was a challenging but immensely rewarding process.
As my UX skills evolved, I knew I needed real-world experience to truly understand the intricacies of the field. That’s when I stumbled upon Illume Foundations, a platform that connects aspiring students, graduates and early entrepreneurs with startups. It was the perfect opportunity for me to bridge the gap between my architectural background and my newfound passion for UX.
I had the opportunity to work with startups from Farmers2Founders Program. Working with agritech startups opened my eyes to a world of innovation and entrepreneurship. I was privileged to meet inspiring founders and their startups such as Favoom, an agri-food startup, and Certmate, a bio-security app startup. The founders were determined to revolutionize the agricultural industry through technology. Their dedication was contagious, and I felt privileged to be part of their journey by improving the web user experience of their platform. Seeing how my designs enhanced their product and made it more user-friendly was incredibly satisfying.
However, my growth during this journey wasn’t limited to just my professional skills. I also honed my soft skills, such as teamwork, communication, and problem-solving. Working closely with diverse teams taught me the importance of effective collaboration and adaptability.
In retrospect, my transition from architecture to UX design was not just a career change; it was a journey of self-discovery. I found my true passion in UX, and I’m grateful for every step of the way that led me here.
So, here’s to embracing change, following your heart, and continuously learning. Who knows where your own journey might take you, but one thing’s for sure — it will be an adventure worth taking.
By Amber Chen (Illume Fellow’ 23)
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