Isaiah “Ike” Robinson has always had a passion for design. In fact, he would often spend his spare time creating mockup ideas for apps and websites, just for fun, before knowing UX/UI design was a real career.
Before starting UX Academy, Ike was a project manager for an ad agency, and was truthfully growing tired of managing projects.
I felt a void in my creative side, so I decided to make the career switch and seek out happiness in my everyday work. I still have a lot to live for, so I might as well be happy doing something I love.
As a UX Academy student, Ike had a great experience that he believes prepared him to be successful in the UX/UI design industry.
“You get out of UX Academy what you put into it. The program covers everything from the basics of design, down to the technical processes, such as research and design thinking. Then, you get your mentor who really knows the ins and outs of the industry, which is extremely helpful,” says Ike. “I’d like to send a special shoutout to the mentors I was paired with during my learning journey, Kieran, Emily, and Bob!”
Ike particularly felt like his mentors wanted him to succeed. He also found the UX Academy Slack community and student interaction involved helpful, because it provided the opportunity to receive constructive criticism from his peers.
Honestly, at Designlab, I never felt like a number. Every Designlab associate is just a Slack, Zoom, or email away to address any questions or concerns you might have. The tuition was also fair for what you get.
After graduating from UX Academy, Ike had the opportunity to work with Rock the Vote during the 2020 Presidential election. While there, he worked to redesign the information architecture for the online voter registration process and absentee ballot tools.
“Rock the Vote was a great experience” Ike says. “I was nervous because it was my first real UX design job. However, I was able to apply the skills that I learned in UX Academy to my role. I was also able to speak with my mentor to bounce ideas around, and that helped me confidently transition into the new position.”
After the contract with Rock the Vote ended, Ike accepted a position at Amtrak as a Jr. UX/UI designer working on their mobile app and in-station kiosk.
With both of these roles, Ike has been able to utilize his previous marketing and project management experience, as well. These additional skills and experiences have enabled him to think beyond the design, which is helpful for working collaboratively with stakeholders and clients—a great indication as to how transferable a lot of skills are as you transition into the world of UX/UI design.
“I can apply my prior experience to assist businesses in improving as a whole by looking at the big picture—from managing timelines and budgets, to translating terminology with business development to other designers and developers.”
Now that Ike has graduated and landed an amazing job, he has some advice for those switching to a career in UX/UI design...
“Do not get discouraged. You are a good designer. You may get more no’s than yes's but once you get that yes, run with it and kick ass. It’s also great to attend (virtual) UX design events, always practice your skills, and read up on new trends,” says Ike.
I can’t stress enough to new designers not to get discouraged. For those who are transitioning from another field, your hard work will pay off in the long run.
Outside of work, Ike enjoys riding his mountain bike. He also recently popped the question to his now fiancé, and is planning for their wedding. Oh, and he loves watching Bridgerton—it’s his guilty pleasure.
This year, Ike is looking forward to becoming a better UX designer, becoming more confident in his skills and abilities, and “creating dope, tangible work at Amtrak”. He’s also hoping to organize a design fest in his home state to help local businesses and entrepreneurs grow their web presence.
“I’m ecstatic to break into UX/UI design, especially as a Black man. Representation matters, so whoever you are or whatever your path has been thus far, know someone is watching your example. I finally feel like I’m where I am supposed to be in my professional life.”
Connect with Ike on LinkedIn.
Interested in making a career switch to UX design? Check out our UX Academy program.