UX for Change
Mar 18th, 2016
For the better part of my career I have been giving back to the web design community in some fashion or another, its sort of my way of saying thanks to all the amazing people who helped me along my way and helped mentor me. I’ve ran an online publication for web designers for 10 years, I contributed to an open-source design curriculum project, I have mentored many designers, and I have given many design workshops. Despite all this effort I have found some pretty large gaps in our industry.
I am finding a number of students who graduate without any real-world experience and are having a hard time finding their first web design job because of it. Many employees require about two years of work experience as a designer to get a entry-level job. Some universities are catching on to this and offering the final of their four-year degrees as a project work, on-site at a businesses, but this isn’t happening often enough to support the number of designers going thru design programs. We call this The Experience Gap.
I have also seen an alarming number of students and new designers who do not have a mentor, not because they haven’t tried to find one, but because there are simply not enough design mentors out there. Fewer and fewer experienced professionals are participating in existing mentoring programs. Likewise, there are many talented designers with a few to many years of experience under their belt that simply haven’t considered mentoring a designer. I call this the Mentorship Deficiency.
So I set out to do something about it. Yesterday, on stage at the DIBI Conference, I publicly launched a project that is very near and dear to my heart, I launched UXforChange.org, a project that aims to address these two gaps head-on. It is very much in its infancy stage and I will need a lot of help to get it off the ground. We’re going to need projects that are for a good cause which are in need of designers, we’re going to need mentors, we’re going to need a small staff to support this project. I’m hoping you will join me and make an impact on the lives of designers around the world.
About the author
Nick Finck is a user experience professional who has dabbled in the web for over a decade. He specializes in information architecture, interaction design, usability and user research. Read more