A Journey In Product Design

October 10, 2018
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This photo was taken December 2017 on the day that I decided to switch careers from the movie/film industry as a VFX Compositor to a UX/UI Designer. I had just completed a UX Bootcamp class that was offered by General Assembly.

This was the view from one of their classrooms. I was just shown a brief glimpse into what exactly UX was/is – and I immediately felt like I was a kid again. I had created websites circa 1999 as a teen just for fun. I never considered web design could lead to any kind of career, I just really liked doing it with the other cool kids during the Everything/Nothing (E/N) movement. We were sort of like Proto-Hipsters according to articles saying those born in 1982 are the oldest millennials.

A 2013 Time magazine cover story used 1980 or 1981 as start dates. Demographers William Straus and Neil Howe who are widely credited with coining the term, define millennials as born between 1982–2004.

I wanted to lean on my natural talents and abilities to find a career that I would really enjoy doing until the end of my days. I got my kicks working in video games as a youngster entering the workforce for the first time. I was enticed by Hollywood and blinded by the stars and had my fun with film. I got to work on some of my favorite franchise films & international titles.

I’ve experienced some amazing programs from video-game development, web-development to film production. As I’m in my 30’s I started to feel the need to give back.

While I did not actually end up enrolling in General Assembly’s full-time course, I was inspired by them enough to seek out alternative schools/courses that could assist me in the transition of going from visual design to product design. I had no idea what I was getting myself into.

I enrolled in Designlab’s UX Academy and graduated this month (October 2018).

I felt that after their program I have a completely better understanding of not only design but business as well. As a visual effects artist, your focus is photorealism and perfection. Meanwhile, in the business world, I have noticed that some quality is often sacrificed in the name of deadlines. I had to completely re-wire the way my brain worked my creative process.

Luckily the entire Staff & Slack members were very helpful, and their courses contained all the necessities for me to crystalize my skillset.

I found that my design skills were fair, but I had some trouble explaining my work. I never had to present research findings to a shareholder. I was advised that writing about my work often, and perhaps starting a blog would help build some verbal chops.

This blog was created for the purpose of remembering my journey from a user to a designer. (Also because DesignMonk.com & DesignerMonk.com was taken).

Welcome to my design blog where I take my struggles and insights and put them up for others to learn from my mistakes, laugh at my fails and learn my hacks & discoveries.

If interested, please head over to https://mikegonzalez.me to view my online portfolio.

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