In order to pay the rent, I've been doing first-level tech support for the past
2.5 years, and I'm sick of it. In my current job, I am chronically frustrated
by systemic problems that I am unable to fix but am forced to clean up the
Naturally interaction design has captured my interest. I may have an aptitude
for it: I wrote a critique of and new interaction and site design for a rather
horrible account ordering site used by the company I support, back in 2002,
before I even knew that interaction design existed. (You can see it at http://web.ncf.ca/ae771/gordon-fix.html if you like.) It was one of the most
enjoyable and fruitful projects I've ever put my hand to, despite the company
completely ignoring it. That's why I'm looking for more information about
getting employed in the field. You're the best people I could think of to ask
how to do this. The career counselling firm I'm working with, while good,
doesn't know that much about this area since it is quite new.
So, how do you get into interaction design and/or similar user experience
- What skills and characteristics are critical to competence and success in
- Is a particular (type of) degree de rigeur? (Mine is a Bachelor of
Humanities degree, which is Carleton University's high-class liberal arts
program here in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.)
- What background is required? What is helpful? How many years of experience
are necessary to be hired at a junior level?
- What is a normal day or week like for you, as an interaction designer? What
do you love about your work? What do you hate?
- How did you get into the field? Is that still a good way to do it? Are
there any methods you would recommend? Is there anyone in the Ottawa area whom
I should talk to about this?
- Does being highly intelligent, passionate about good design, and willing to
educate myself informally make any difference to my chances of getting into the
field? I can't afford another degree without going further into debt.
- What books, sites, or other resources should I be reading/using to learn more
about interaction design, aside from this list? Where can I learn about the
fundamental methods and concepts, to become a better designer and make myself
- Can you suggest any other careers that center around writing, design
(preferably of systems or processes), and problem-solving that might suit me?