Originally hailing from Johannesburg, South Africa, Hope Ndlovu is a UI/UX designer based here in Los Angeles. Below, she talks about her experience taking UX classes in UCLA Extension’s Design Communication Arts program and shares some of her work.
I became interested in UX after working at a startup and learning about creating user-centred products. I had just completed my Bachelors Degree in Psychology and I was in search of a discipline that would allow me to use my knowledge and fascination with human behaviour in a technical but also creative way. User Experience was the perfect marriage of both of those things. I chose UCLA Extension because of the great reputation the program has and the calibre of graduates they produce. I was also impressed to know that each and every instructor there was a working designer with great accomplishments. To me, that was important. I wanted to be learn from people who knew what they were talking about and cared about what they were teaching.
For someone who is new to UX, what should they know about getting started?
1. Spend time on your portfolio. A good portfolio represents your process and being able to articulate this in your different projects is important.
2. UX has many facets. Figure out where you fit in under that umbrella and work at becoming great at it.
3. Last but certainly not least- NETWORK! The UX community in Los Angeles is small and tight-knit. Going to different events will help you meet people, keep up with new trends in the field, and hopefully land some awesome gigs.
There were SO many! If I had to choose just one, it would have to be UX: Mobile First. I was taught by Julia Morton. Again, I loved the passion she had for what she was teaching but also how knowledgeable I found every class to be. I learnt things I thought I already knew!
My dream job would be to work at an agency that values good UX, within a collaborative design team.
I know that there are things I don’t know, so I’m constantly seeking opportunities to learn and share ideas and ways of thinking. My philosophy is, if you find yourself not “Googling” anything anymore at your job, it’s time to move on.