UX Maturity feat. Monica Lozano

We caught up with Monica Lozano, UX Designer at Shelter for our content series ‘UX Maturity’.

Through this series, we hope to shine a light on all things UX Maturity. We hear about the UX Maturity of organisations, of the industry and of careers. We talk to people on all sides of the conversation, those on the beginning of the journey and those well on their way with the aim of sharing knowledge, stories and insight that others might find useful on their own path.

Chris @ ADLIB: Could you tell us a bit about yourself and your role?

Monica: My name is Monica Lozano, I am originally from California and have been living in London for just over four years now. I am a UX Designer at Shelter.

Chris @ ADLIB: When did you first discover your interest in UX?

Monica: I’ve always been interested in the digital and creative space. I studied Multimedia for my undergraduate degree and one of the classes I took was in web design. That’s where I was first introduced to wireframing, building personas, and prototyping. We went beyond just designing web pages to look nice and focused on the “why”. I really enjoyed the process and methods that helped shape what we designed and those experiences. I enjoyed it so much that I ended up taking on an additional course where I worked one on one with a professor to research and develop a website focused purely on UX and UI Design tools that is still used as a resource for students today. I haven’t looked back since!

Chris @ ADLIB: What’s been your journey so far and how did you develop your UX skills?

Monica: I really wanted to continue learning about UX Design, so I decided to pursue a master’s in Digital Service Design at Brunel University London. To develop my skills further and work on real world projects I volunteered as a UX Designer to help redesign websites for non-profit organizations. This really helped with putting what I learned into practice, and it was also a great way to collaborate with other designers. 

After building out my portfolio, I started to apply for jobs. This was during COVID, so it did take me some time to land my first job. While applying, I also used my time to keep learning by taking some online UX courses through the Interaction Design Foundation. I was determined to start working and eventually landed my first job as a UX Designer for a start-up where I was a part of further developing and designing a business intelligence platform for procurement professionals. After 5 months the start-up unfortunately closed, and we were all made redundant. Not long after, I joined a data science consultancy where I had the privilege of being the sole UX Designer on a client project for a global furniture retailer. More recently, with the help of Chris from ADLIB, I was interviewed and offered a job to join Shelter’s digital team as a UX Designer. I couldn’t be happier with where I am. 

Chris @ ADLIB: What would be your top 3 tips for people looking to secure a UX role?

Monica: My top 3 tips would be:

1.      Keep learning, whether that’s through reading books, listening to design focused podcasts, or even taking some online classes.

2.      Don’t be deterred from applying to jobs where you don’t meet all their criteria, you are not always going to have experience in everything that they have listed, but it does not mean that they won’t consider you.

3.      Network as much as possible! there are some great meetups online and offline and it really helps to build connections with other designers who have more experience within the field. This could also lead to finding a great mentor!

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