Before switching to a career in UX design, Christine Li spent nine years as a fashion graphic designer where she designed prints and embroideries for diverse international fashion brands, and even worked her way up to the management level. 

Like many career switchers, her previous work experience is now paying off in a unique way in her new career in UX design. 

“My previous fashion design experience has helped me to think from different perspectives. As I grew as a fashion graphic designer, I started to raise more questions about why, and how to aim at the right audience or solve the right problems. These questions brought me closer to UX design,” Christine says.

In her previous career, Christine yearned to bridge the gap between logical facts before jumping to a design decision. Since then, and after completing UX Academy, she’s grown into finding meaningful outcomes before the aesthetics side of things.

A two-column table which reads “From Insights” to “Needs” and has arrows pointing from left to right across 6 rows of text.

A “from insights” to “needs” flow Christine created during UX Academy.

Christine’s UX Academy Journey

Early in her UX Academy journey, Christine understood that getting feedback—both from mentors and peers—during the design process, is one of the best ways to improve your work. This is a big part of why she chose UX Academy by Designlab to learn UX design. 

“The weekly 1 on 1 mentoring session and Group Crits are why I chose Designlab. These were a good way to learn how to present my work and how to critique other people’s work. Also, Designlab has a very good Discord community to help each other out,” says Christine. 

Christine chose to complete UX Academy on the part-time track, which held space for her to freelance on the side and maintain an income.

“Even though I took UX Academy part-time, I treated it like a full-time job in order to get the most out of it,” she notes.n the end, I’m glad that I chose part-time, though, because it gave me a good amount of time to deliver meaningful results and finesse pixel-perfect prototypes without rushing to submit them.”

An image of a map with various text boxes, lines, sticky notes, and emojis, illustrating the audience journey from problem to adoption.

An audience journey map that Christine created during UX Academy.

Landing a Job as a UX Designer at HSBC

After Christine completed her portfolio, she started job hunting right away, mainly using platforms like Linkedin and JobsDB. One of the first interviews she had was with HSBC in Hong Kong, who were looking for a contract-based UX designer. 

“During the interview, I presented my NFT case study but mainly focused on the UX side and less on the UI. Since it was a UX role, I was prepared to answer questions like: How did you turn your research findings into design solutions? And, how do you explain design rationale when stakeholders don’t agree with your design decision?”

Her interview prep in Career Services paid off, because she landed the job with HSBC and has been working as a UX designer for the company ever since!

“In this new role, I’ve learned so much by doing. It’s been very rewarding to work on solving true human problems with solutions that are innovative and intuitive,” Christine says.

At HSBC, Christine works closely with a UX design lead, a team of UX designers, a UI designer, a delivery manager, a content studio team, product managers, copywriters, SEO experts, and engineers. It’s a huge collaboration which requires a lot of soft skills and teamwork—so they typically start the day with a stand-up meeting to talk about status and any obstacles.

Her and her team are currently working on a website revamp using a lean UX approach, working diligently to get their product tested and validate their hypothesis.

It’s not all work and no play, though. Working at HSBC has lots of fun perks, from group lunches to summer boat parties! Plus, outside of work, Christine enjoys playing her Nintendo Switch, doing pilates, and baking yummy treats.

5 mobile phone app screens mocked up.

A final app design project Christine worked on in UX Academy.

Christine’s Advice for Future UX Designers

Now that Christine has completed her learning journey, she has two key pieces of advice for anyone transitioning from learning UX design to landing their first UX design role:

  • “Think about how to maximize your learnings from UX Academy, such as real-life projects which give you the opportunity to work with stakeholders to face real-life problems.”
  • “Be honest. Nobody can know everything. But keep exploring and you’ll learn along the way.”

Connect with Christine on LinkedIn and check out her portfolio.

Looking to transition your career into the world of UX design like Christine? Learning visual and UI design is the best way to start. With UX Academy Foundations, you'll work 1-on-1 with an expert mentor to learn key visual design concepts and practical skills.

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Alexa Harrison

Designlab

Content Writer

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