From Technical Writer to Visual Designer...how best to make the transition?

14 Jun 2009 - 12:22am
5 years ago
2 replies
1524 reads
newbynoob
2009

Hi there,

First wanted to say thanks for this wonderful resource. My question
is that I am currently a technical writer interested in moving into a
visual design role. Though I have a stint of experience as a visual
designer, my educational background was not in design. I did look
into graduate programs but find that the HCI programs available seem
quite research based and are rooted more in psychology than applied
visual design, which is where my interest is in. Graphic design
degrees may not be quite as focused either on the interface design
aspects, plus I don't know how I feel about having to pay big bucks
for any masters degree that won't serve me much good in the future.

Would appreciate if I could have your thoughts- Is there a better way
to transition into the visual design field than formal education? Is
grad school even a necessity to succeed in this field? There is
currently no UI design team within my company, so a lateral move is
not a possibility unfortunately. Appreciate all thoughts as to how
best to go about making a design career a reality.

Comments

14 Jun 2009 - 3:12am
milan
2005

A graphic design professor of mine once said "the most important lesson to
learn when it comes to visual design is learning to see". How you
acomplish this (be it a graphic design or a interface design course, or an
art school, or even somewhere else outside formal education) is not that
important.
With technical writing background, you already have a great basis on the
conceptual side, which is what most communication design programs today
are still disregarding.

I don't know where you come from, but there are lots of free schools in
the world with very good programs.

Milan

--
||| | | |||| || |||||||| | || | ||
milan guenther * interaction design
p +49 173 2856689 * www.guenther.cx

14 Jun 2009 - 5:33am
martinpolley
2007

I asked a similar question a while back. You might want to check out the
thread. (I got some great answers -- thanks again, folks.)

http://www.ixda.org/discuss.php?post=25702

Cheers,

Martin Polley
Technical writer, interaction designer
+972 52 3864280
Twitter: martinpolley
<http://capcloud.com/>

On Sun, Jun 14, 2009 at 2:22 AM, newbynoob <dreamsicle1 at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hi there,
>
> First wanted to say thanks for this wonderful resource. My question
> is that I am currently a technical writer interested in moving into a
> visual design role. Though I have a stint of experience as a visual
> designer, my educational background was not in design. I did look
> into graduate programs but find that the HCI programs available seem
> quite research based and are rooted more in psychology than applied
> visual design, which is where my interest is in. Graphic design
> degrees may not be quite as focused either on the interface design
> aspects, plus I don't know how I feel about having to pay big bucks
> for any masters degree that won't serve me much good in the future.
>
> Would appreciate if I could have your thoughts- Is there a better way
> to transition into the visual design field than formal education? Is
> grad school even a necessity to succeed in this field? There is
> currently no UI design team within my company, so a lateral move is
> not a possibility unfortunately. Appreciate all thoughts as to how
> best to go about making a design career a reality.
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
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