From Auditor to Service Designer — How to become a designer with no design background in Hong Kong

Interview with Anindita Saha — Senior Service Design Lead

  • How Anindita discovered UX and the exact steps she took to become a UX designer
  • How to know if is UX right for you
  • Four benefits a UX course provided to help her switch career
  • How to overcome impostor syndrome when you feel like you are a “fake designer”
  • The correct mindset to interview for a UX position as a newbie
  • How to proof to future employers that you are ready for a career in UX without a design degree
  • Startup vs Corporate — where should a UX newbie go?

Discovering UX

How did you get into UX?

What was the job market like at the time?

What made you decide to learn more about UX?

How did you know UX is right for you?

Why did you take a UX course?

Facing self-doubt

How did you overcome imposer syndrome — the feeling that you not qualified as a UX designer?

On job search

What was your job search strategy at that time?

  1. Do as much work in UX as I possibly could. I worked for free. It doesn’t matter because you just needed the experience. That supplemented my journey of improving myself, so when I had to write down on my CV about my experience, I already had two projects to talk about.
  2. I networked with as many people as possible and telling them I was a UX designer and I’m looking for a new opportunity at the moment. I pretty much went to those events as many nights as I possibly could. Obviously not every single lead gets you something, but it was still good because I got to learn and know about a lot more people in the industry in that way, and also got some of them to review my work to give me pointers. This external validation helps you to know you’re on the right track and doing the right thing.
  3. I went to every UX forum, every page, every something that had anything to do with UX and basically contacted every single person that had posted in the last three months.

Tip: DO NOT discard your previous experience

  1. Being an auditor makes you extremely structured. In some sense, being very structured in UX can actually help you in both the way you do your job, as well as how you look at a problem and how you structure a solution.
  2. There was one particular thing that we had to do as auditors, what I used to call it — controls. So what we would do is that we would interview all the people involved in a particular process end to end to see how it was done, to see if there were any breaks and to see how it could be improved.

How did you get your first UX job?

What was your mindset for interviewing?

Startup vs Corporate — What should UX newbies choose?

Closing thoughts

How do you embrace the unknown and commit to UX?

Any advice for people looking to follow a similar career path with no exposure to UX in their current job?

What’s next?

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Hong Konger in Vancouver. Previous Product Design Lead @ HSBC. I give you the no BS truth about the UX industry and help you climb the design ladder.

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Tim Chan

Hong Konger in Vancouver. Previous Product Design Lead @ HSBC. I give you the no BS truth about the UX industry and help you climb the design ladder.