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This week is part two of my interview with Sagar, a UMASS Amherst student, and aspiring UX designer. We spent more time exploring how he constructed his own major to meet the changing needs of the UX industry as well as his experience with studying design thinking at Google and experimenting with emerging technology.

What have you learned from Youtubers like Michael Locke?

He’s taught me a lot about design and stuff like that. He just launched his UX academy. It basically teaches people how to go from zero to hero, build out a portfolio case study, as well as how to relay your portfolio in terms of what’s acumen to employers. It is just the easiest way to kind of understand what employers like to see in a story. They do not just want to see the final designs.

How does a four-year education fit into learning about the UX industry?

At UMASS they didn’t have a UX major, but they had something called BDIC. You can build your own major. So I built my own major and called it Human-Computer Interaction and Informatics. Basically, I took courses in psych, math, design, and computer science courses. It was a blend of creative and technical expression. There was a huge gap between the education now versus what you need in the real world.

What are you working on now?

Right now, My portfolio is set up where I had Medium articles written about my design thinking process. I just love the way Medium was set up. You can just write an article about what you did. I like that kind of story style, and I feel like the biggest next step is having your own personal website. So, for example, I’m taking one of my projects for the incarcerated youth app.

What’s your advice for people just entering the job market?

For your portfolios and how you communicate with potential employers, make your projects compelling. You’re solving problems and making the experience easier.

I feel like a designer is a great person to become an entrepreneur. That’s why it is very difficult for people to get into that mindset. okay, it’s great, I can do the next Uber, or I can do the next food delivery app. It is repetitive, but you’re solving a problem. Understand design and the design thinking process. Once you get further into it, you should start working on real problems that you know exist and actually coming up with a solution to them that no one ever has. That’s going to help them stand out a lot.

You can find Sagar online here.

Books that Sagar recommends:
Design of Everyday Things
5 Second Rule
How to Win Friends and Influence Others

Download full transcripts.

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Matt Eng

Matt Eng

DesignOps Manager. Based in Austin,TX. Worked with clients such as Alcatel-Lucent, Ogilvy, RBC, Deloitte, Whirlpool, Polycom, Symantec, and Pebble. Matt teaches, mentors, and speaks about design, creativity, and fostering stronger connections within teams.