• Sridhar Rajendran

Day 4 — Getting out of the building

Updated: Aug 23, 2018

Real magic happens outdoors

Image credit: Pexels
I have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened. — Mark Twain

In my previous post, I wrote about my fears and the negative self-talk that left me paralysed. But as the above quote says, they were baseless fears. So to get out of my own head, I decided to head out of my home and meet some real people who do UX design for a living. I looked up local meetups on Meetup.com, Facebook, Eventbrite and other event ticketing sites. I came across the Bangalore chapter of Interaction Design Foundation (IDF). By then, I knew IDF was a reputed knowledge source in this domain. So I assumed that many smart people would attend these meetups.

Apparently, the IDF Bangalore group was still in its infancy at that time. I signed up for the second meetup they were organising. I arrived all excited before the time at the venue. About 10 people turned up. Not exactly the scene I pictured in my mind. But the conversations were in-depth and personal due to a small group. I must thank ArunKumar for taking this initiative. When I left the meetup, I was less scared and the fog was starting to lift.

Ever since then I made it a point to attend every design related meetup whether I understood the topic or not. There is only so much swimming you can do from the shores. Before heading to the event , I read up about the speakers (if any) or the topic that would be discussed so I didn’t look like a total noob.

There were plenty of kindred souls like me trying to switch to UX from different fields. Project managers who wanted to incorporate design thinking, quality assurance and customer support executives curious about UX design. There were some experienced folks as well who were quite warm and approachable. They took the time to answer any questions and discuss their work.

I signed up for IDEO’s human-centered design course and even joined a team in Bangalore. We met once and had a good time discussing the assignment. But unfortunately, everyone was caught with up with work and it fell through.

I am very thankful for all the people I have met in these networking events. They helped me understand the design industry and figure out where I fit.