So you want to get into UX

Every now and then I talk to somebody looking to get into design (whether it is user experience, user interface, industrial design, design research, etc). So I thought I'd make a post of all of the resources that I tend to recommend to people. I will be updating and organizing this over time.

1. Overview
There are a lot of different fields within design and I think it's interesting to get an overview of what all of those fields are and how they're associated. In my opinion the most important fields to know are User Experience Design, User Interface Design, Human Computer Interaction, Human Factors, Industrial Design, Architecture, Data Visualization, Interaction Design, Design Strategy, and Design Research (or User Research). Design Strategy and Research are not in the graphic below, however, they certainly touch most of the fields in some way.

2. So you want to be a designer
Nancy Douyon, a UX designer at Uber, wrote three cheat sheets that I think are really helpful.
UX Cheat Sheet 1
UX Cheat Sheet 2
UX Cheat Sheet 3

3. Start thinking about your resume
Make it nice and use InDesign. See my resume as an example.

4. Take a look at portfolios from different designers and from different schools
See what types of design you are most drawn to and what schools are doing work that is most exciting. Here are a few to get started:

IIT Institute of Design

Carnegie Melon

5. Things to read/watch
Made to Stick
Enchanted Objects
Thinking Fast and Slow
101 Design Methods
Watching Closely
The Wisdom of Crowds
Design Meets Disability
The Language of Things
Cradle to Cradle
Don't Make Me Think
This is Service Design Thinking

A Behavior Model for Persuasive Design
A Practitioner's Guide to Nudging
Design and Research
Building a Design Driven Culture
Seven Rules for Observational Research
Incremental and Radical Innovation
8 Classic Storytelling Techniques
Interview Probes
16 Interviewing Techniques
Beginner's Guide to Design Research

John Maeda's Design in Tech 2017

6. Sources for Information
Nielsen Norman Group
Yanko Design
This is Service Design Thinking
Behavioral Economics Hub
Design Research Techniques
The Design Sprint
Smashing Magazine
UX Magazine
Service Design Network
Designing with People

Old Projects – Fixing the US Postal Service

This project was for a class called New Product Definition. The idea was supposed to be around creating a new product/service for a given entity. Our team had the challenge of thinking about the USPS. We focussed on the experience of receiving and sending mail and how there is an orthodoxy that our current address must correspond with where we live. We wondered what it would look like if instead of mail being addressed to a specific place, it could be addressed to a code (which would correspond with you, the receiver). The receiver could then decide where they wanted the mail to be delivered. 

In itself, this is a good idea. However, the real opportunity lies in the ability for USPS to package this service with many of their other services (which are woefully unknown).