Please introduce yourself. What are your role and responsibilities?
I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in interaction design in 2012. I had been a graphic designer prior to that, but I felt that I needed to do more than just create visually appealing artwork. I wanted to make design decisions based on data because we know that data-driven design has logic and results behind it. So I started exploring the subject of interaction design from that point. It was ten years ago, and back then, many companies hadn’t yet understood the value of UX design. It was quite challenging to find work, and I began my journey with some graphic design jobs at smaller agencies and later at larger digital agencies.
How did you get started in UX design? What was your career path?
As I was still working at a digital agency in 2019, I decided it was time to start my own company. I was interested in things like 3D design, VR (virtual reality), XR (extended reality), and the whole shebang. My goal was to merge UX thinking with 3D and explore this field. Today, I have my own business, but I also work as a UX designer at a digital consultancy here in Sweden, making UX and UI for large companies. I have quite a lot on my plate, but it's a fun ride. That’s exactly why I like Uxcel. I have so much work on my hands but still want to keep up with design news. With Uxcel, I can spend 5-10 minutes a day completing exercises and getting relevant feedback. Through Uxcel, I know I'm not missing anything, I'm still in the game, and I'm still updated.
How did you first find Uxcel?
I don't remember exactly how I stumbled upon Uxcel. I can say I was an early adopter. I'm all about design communities and always trying to find creative ways of learning and getting more knowledge and experience within the branch of interaction design, UX design, and design overall. So I don't know when I first began using Uxcel, but I think I encountered Uxcel’s profile on Instagram. The platform itself hasn't yet been launched. However, you have just begun posting A/B questions on social media. Basically, it was the gamification that hooked me up, and I decided to explore the platform.
What do you like most about Uxcel?
Uxcel’s Instagram profile was my first introduction to the platform. I really liked the whole idea of gamification-style learning. There’s so much going on in our busy lives, especially if you handle multiple projects and have kids and a family. Nowadays, there’s not much room for traditional ways of learning, like sitting with a book, for example. At the same time, I still want to be up-to-date with the latest design trends and prove to myself that I still have all the skills relevant to a UX design job. Plus, UX design knowledge makes you feel more confident when articulating your design decisions to clients. Uxcel seems like the most natural solution for me. I can take a lesson or an assessment on the go or while I’m having a break.
Why have you decided to get a Professional UX design certification?
As I mentioned earlier, I want to acknowledge my profession and prove to people that don't know me well that I have sufficient UX design experience. A lot of people tend to think of a designer as an all-around, jack-of-all-trades person. I can certainly do a lot, but I want to be a T-shaped designer who has deep, specific knowledge of one field or at least works on hybrid designs. So I asked myself: “How can I prove my expertise in UX design and product design?” That question led me to Uxcel’s professional design certification. For the same reason, I completed the Interaction Design Foundation certification. Designers often struggle to find a way to demonstrate their practical skills, as many of them work on NDA projects. However, professional certification is a worthwhile opportunity to demonstrate that you have knowledge of a specific discipline.
What benefits your professional certification will bring to you or your company?
I consider certification itself a valuable asset. As a sign of their accomplishments, soldiers wear badges on their coats in the military. Certifications work similarly in the design community to show clients that a designer has been through a lot of theoretical stuff and can be trusted.
How would you summarize your experience and thoughts about Uxcel’s Professional UX Certification?
Before Uxcel released certifications, I used the platform to learn UX design, take tests, and verify my design skills. But I also wanted others to see me as a professional. With the certification, I can finally demonstrate my results to design colleagues or clients which can lead to better career opportunities. Like many designers, I’ve experienced imposter syndrome and had doubts about my abilities as a designer. Uxcel helps me back up my experience and verify my knowledge.
The moment I received Uxcel’s newsletter saying that certifications are now live, I was hooked right away. I did have my concerns, though, about whether UX design certificates would ignite interest and trust in people because not that many people know about UX. There's no proof that certification is reliable either. However, I really want people to understand that behind visually appealing designs there’s a lot of work and research. Earning a professional certification indicates that designers actually learned a lot and completed tests to pass this examination. Plus, certifications provide a great opportunity for designers to brag about their efforts and results and receive recognition.
Uxcel’s certification also brings competitiveness among designers and motivates them to grow their skill set and move forward. This desire to compete and be better than others drives us to create better products and learn more. As humans, we are wired to win. Even if you come in last in a race, competition inspires you to try again and next time be better and succeed.