Yesterday, I walked across the big stage at the Husky Stadium to collect my diploma holder. Today, I’m frantically packing for a 19 day trip to Vietnam and Thailand. As much as I am thrilled to go on this trip, I am overwhelmed. I feel as though so many major life changing, milestone events have happened and I haven’t had the opportunity to fully immerse in or enjoy them because they are all happening simultaneously. Likewise, it feels like this trip of a lifetime is approaching too soon, and I haven’t had time to mentally prepare for it. Perhaps my excitement will kick in the moment I step on the plane.
The photo to the right was taken almost 4 years ago at my high school graduation. At that time, I knew that for the next 4 years, I was going to study at the University of Washington, live in McMahon Hall, and pursue an engineering degree. I graduated with honors and felt like I had a good idea of my future. All I had to do was work towards it. I was excited to graduate because of the incredible journey ahead.
4 years later, I can't say that I have the same excited feeling to graduate from college. First, I'm going to miss college. I genuinely like school, learning something new everyday, and the autonomy that comes with college. But more importantly, I'm not mentally ready to graduate.
I used to be futuristic perfectionist. But while in college, I have learned to be easy on myself in order to enjoy the moment and to maintain sanity. I used to overly plan to avoid procrastination because I thought getting things done early would relieve stress. But I quickly realized that doing that very action was the source of my stressor. I was so busy getting ahead of deadlines, that I was missing out on moments. Now, I worry that I may have been too easy on myself, and in the mean time, lost my inner strength along the way.
I'm now faced with graduation in 32 days with no long-term plan after. For the last 16 years, my goal was to earn a college degree. But this is the first time I feel like I don't know what's in store for my future, and I don't know how to react to it. College prepared me with writing, research, collaboration, communication, and problem-solving skills, but it did not prepare me with life skills. How do you approach a new chapter in life?
The struggles of finding junior UX design positions
Inspired by a need for self-reflection and a podcast — The Grind — that I’ve been helping my mentor generate content for (it’s not yet published), I am writing to share the struggles that I’ve been facing as a graduating senior seeking entry-level, UX Design positions in a tech city, Seattle.
This is by no means, a cry for pity or an attempt to get my name out to recruiters. By sharing the emotional roller coaster I’ve been on, I hope to:
Since September, I’ve applied to over 100 UX design positions in the West Coast (with a majority in the greater Puget Sound region), attended 10 career fairs, interviewed with 12 companies, but haven’t received an offer.
Sublet is a mobile app that helps university students find and post sublets for short-term housing. It is strictly accessible by students with an .edu email. College students are the target audience because this age group is prone to traveling for internships, college, and etc. which require short-term stays.
This concept was inspired by my sublet-hunting experience when I interned in Boston. I experienced many frustrations that included not knowing where to seek for housing, not knowing if a list price included utilities/deposit, finding a place that was furnished with laundry, and finding roommates that were my age. Sublet solves all of those problems.
My goal was to evaluate desirability to determine if users find Sublet useful. In particular, I wanted to understand if my design captures the key factors that sublet-hunters and seekers tend to prioritize in their search.
Consolidate and prioritize feedback from A7 (wireframe prototype) to create a working interactive prototype (medium to high fidelity) of the same design.
For A7, I'd chose to create a task-management system that allows college users to create and manage personal to-do lists for academic and general life. The features that I created in A7 still existed in A8, however, in A8, I also added more features such as a calendar view and option for users to prioritize their tasks. In general, the app's purpose and functionality remain the same.
The guerrilla usability testing session from A7 was useful in helping me identify improvement areas that would make my design more functional. Informed by the feedback received from peers in A7, the changes that I implemented in A8 include:
Keep in mind that the the interactivity of the prototypes are lost in the below screenshots. As a result, the pop-up menus aren't displayed. To fully experience the prototype, please visit the following links: