Is It Too Late To Become A UX Designer?

Is It Too Late To Become A UX Designer?

With so many artists between the ages of 20 and 30 years (according to the 2019 design census), many people are left asking if they are too mature for a career in UX design. The short answer to this question is certainly no. Although you through face different challenges than your younger peers, becoming a UX designer (and succeeding!) in your 30s, 40s, 50s (and beyond) is absolutely feasible.

The challenge of being an “ageing” UX designer

Having an impact and getting into the industry is a struggle for UX designers of all ages. However, those with more years of experience under their belts have particular obstacles to overcome as they first reach the profession or look to step up the ladder. Here’s a short rundown of these challenges—and how to solve them.

Is It Too Late To Become A UX Designer
Is It Too Late To Become A UX Designer

Feeling up to date with developments in design and applications

This can be a challenge for both seasoned and inexperienced designers in the industry. Seasoned designers who have been in the industry for a while may have a hard time letting go of previous patterns and keeping up with quickly evolving techniques or innovative software.

Similarly, while not unique to the designer’s generation, many new UXers do not feel as tech-savvy as their peers believe they are, or they feel rather overwhelmed by the amount of knowledge they have to absorb. This is normal, often linked to imposter syndrome, and is an easy challenge to overcome.

More daily duties and pressures

If you are applying for a job or a promotion, you are more likely to deal with a lot of younger designers with fewer obligations than yourself. Working your way up the UX career ladder can be hard work for everyone, and you feel exhausted more frequently than you were when you were 30.

Although energy levels differ regardless of age, it is also the case that people over the age of 40 have more family obligations; they may be more stable and less motivated or ready to move to work. And the all-nighters? They have been there and done that—and maybe they are less interested in summoning the energies of those.

How to overcome this challenge: Any strong organisation and a balanced work-life balance will actually help keep you on track with your UX design career. And who knows that? You may have one or two things to tell your younger colleagues.

How to tackle age-related hurdles

Age-related barriers should not have to get in the face of you and your new job. Here are some tips and best practises that are genuinely beneficial to designers of any generation, but that can be particularly helpful to new or aspiring UXers who resonate with some of the problems or benefits we have listed in this guide.

These tips will help you solve imposter syndrome, appreciate and express the importance of your transferable talents, and stand out for your experience and the value that you add to the table.

Attend sessions or online networking activities

Attending meetings or online networking sessions is a perfect place to meet other UX programmers of your generation and learn about their experiences. You will also be able to find a tutor who can help you transition between fields and across your UX career.

Keep your resume and portfolio up to date

While your resume and portfolio do not directly mention your age, if they sound outdated, prospective employers may be less likely to pay attention to your job. For example, previous patterns in work experience could have conditioned you to assume that formal presentations are easier. However, based on the work atmosphere and demographics of an organisation, work formalities can be more informal than what you may be accustomed to.

Find opportunities to take advantage of your age and previous experience

This is important to bear in mind your resume, portfolio, LinkedIn list, and one-on-one interviews. Let employers and peers know just what you bring to the table, how your previous accomplishments make you a better designer, and your potential value as a designer on their team. The incentives we discussed here are useful to highlight, as well as any personal talents and accomplishments that are important to the work.

Benefits of being an older UX designer

Though age-based prejudice is a challenge that you can face, there are also several advantages that designers in their 40s and 50s (or wiser) may bring to the design world.

Benefits of being an older UX designer
Benefits of being an older UX designer

More career experience in a wide range of fields

Having more professional experience, no matter the industry, immediately places you in a desirable role. People with a longer history of employment bring years of experience from a number of experiences. This experience also gives us a viewpoint that is grounded in a lot of life and work experience—a perspective that adds great benefit to the product design process.

Employers may be trying to improve inclusiveness

With more exposure paid to the topic of ageism in the architecture and product manufacturing communities, companies also seek to diversify their workforce and actively recruit designers with more career and life experience. Older programmers may be able to plan more efficiently for the needs of users who are age-related—or who need more empathic and life-long expertise to notice or appreciate. So you may have a specific experience that will help hold usability and inclusion at the centre of design decisions.

Greater expertise with soft skills

Soft skills also require a lot of time to build and practise. One advantage that older UXers appreciate is that they have had the opportunities to develop a diverse repertoire of soft skills. Their years of experience also come with well-practiced sympathy and quality time-management and leadership skills, as well as endurance from previous loss encounters.

There is an assumption in the User Interface Work that you are creating, planning and developing goods and experience with others. It follows, of course, that it is important to start your UX educational journey by understanding people and putting them at the forefront of everything you do.

Learning UX Design

If you are serious about mastering User Interface (UX) design, you first need to grasp the fundamentals of design thought. Specifically, design thinking is a way to read, gain insight into, and deeply understand human beings.

If you are interested in learning graphic design and UX design, the UI/UX design course by Blue Sky Graphics provides a design-centric approach to user interface and user experience design, and offers realistic, skill-based training focusing on visual communication, rather than one focused on marketing or programming alone. Learn about existing best practises and conventions in UX design and adapt them to create successful and convincing screen-based interfaces for websites or applications.

User interface and user experience design is a high-demand area, but the expertise and expertise you can gain in this specialisation can be applied to a broad range of industries, from marketing to web design to human-computer interaction.

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