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I would really appreciate if anyone with similar background could share their experience. I am moving to the Bay Area because of my spouse's new job. I realized that there are many jobs available in UI, UX, User Experience or Interaction Design and I would like to know how to get my foot in the door without a formal education or experience in those areas?
I have been practicing architecture at prestigious arch design firms for 8+ years after my master's degree from a top program. I am also licensed in the field although I don't think these credentials would be of much help.
I don't know any coding but I am starting to learn very basic html and hopefully some css too. I am not expert in graphics software, but I do have a wide range of skills, including Revit, Sketchup, Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign.
I have been reading other threads and the "working out of the box" series, and it seems that I could apply my architectural training/ thinking in those jobs. To be honest, I have been considering alternate careers for the past 4 years and I am motivated by the potential financial reward in technology sector and its ever-growing influence.
All I can think of is to create an online portfolio that features my architectural/graphics projects and maybe tailor it in such a way that relates to user experience? Am i too naive to think that this would be sufficient to get my foot in the door?
Please advice. Thank you.
I think this a great initiative. I am in the same boat in considering a career change. If you could post your progress that would be much appreciated!
My daughter is an Interaction Designer and she went to school to get a degree in that specific discipline. Based on what she's told me about the challenges of the work, I'm inclined to think a transition from architecture - without special additional education - will prove difficult. I don't say this to bring you down -- only to be sure you are being objective about the challenges.
If you do decide to pursue this transition w/o additional formal education, I suppose the main challenge will be to demonstrate that you do - indeed - have the knowledge and skills require to make a contribution in what I perceive to be a fairly specialized area. I'm not sure simply publishing your architectural portfolio online will be sufficient -- you'll probably need to go much farther and mount a truly credible campaign. You'll need to demonstrate a working knowledge of the concepts and terminology associated with Interaction Design, and demonstrate your ability to use that knowledge effectively in a business setting to produce results.
In San Francisco, Cooper is considered one of the top Interaction Design consulting firms. They offer workshops to outsiders and you may wish to view their offerings: http://www.cooper.com/training/
I will add this also -- my daughter lives and works in the Bay Area and many of the other interaction designers she knows there work as independent contractors on a per-project basis. You are correct that there is opportunity in this field -- she tells me that Interaction Designers always seem to be in demand. However, it seems that permanent gigs with a big technology firm are somewhat rare.
Good luck. Please let us know how it works out for you.
Right now, it seems like everyone, their brother and sister with a MacBookPro is going this route - Me Too - this market is becoming over-saturated - jeez - every Coffee House I walk into around here - everyone is hunkered over their MBPs coding away in C# even on BART - Where exactly do you see yourself going with this? - architecture is picking up around here - in the long run?
Stone - Thanks for your candid opinion! I will look into those cooper workshops. Do you know if any community college or school that offers professional certificates in HCI?
Xenakis - thanks for sharing your view! I am just not sure if I want to be practicing in architecture anymore even though it is picking up. It has proven to be an enriching education and journey, however, I found that my current values no longer align with the masochistic nature of the profession.
kaiyuen -- no, I don't know of any such certificate programs, although I expect google can steer you to some offerings w/o much effort.
I found that my current values no longer align with the masochistic nature of the profession.
I don't know - I do remember when I was in the Video game industry, I made 2* as much - I had a co-worker there who graduated from Berkeley in archietcture - he became one of our UX designers and did quite well for himself creating the UX for "RedDead Redemption" He is self taught - it can be done