Meet Nuno, who decided to expand his passion for human-centered design and joined the Ironhack Remote UX/UI Design Bootcamp.
Before we talk about your experience in detail, can you please introduce yourself?
I am currently 29 years old and originally from Porto, Portugal. I have lived in Berlin for 6 years now and worked as an architect from 2015 until 2020, mostly designing public buildings (museums, hospitals, schools, and more). I can proudly say that I've had several important achievements throughout that career; in 2018, for example, my team was voted the best in Germany on competitiononline.de. But I wanted to reach more people through my designs.
From an early age, I was curious about understanding how things work and are designed. It captivates me to keep learning, create, and share my knowledge with others, bringing innovation into everyday life. So in the second half of 2020, I've decided to expand my passion for human-centered design towards digital products and started learning UX/UI Design. March '21 was the beginning of my journey at Ironhack.
I was able to transfer some of my skills acquired in architecture into this new field. Throughout this astonishing adventure, I was able to learn many different skills and methodologies which naturally gave me a sense of the direction that I want to take. I feel that now my mission is to empathize with people by understanding their needs in order to design delightful experiences that will improve their life.
Thank you, Nuno. Ultimately, why did you take this step and why did you chose Ironhack?
The year of 2020 was a turnaround point for many of us, including myself. In my case it was not only due to the pandemic, but also because I reached 5 years of working as an architect and felt that I wanted to pivot my learning curve towards acquiring skills in a field in which I was interested. A big part of the world went digital and I was motivated to get myself on track working on products that could bring innovation to everyday life.
From an early age, I have been fascinated by building products and understanding how things work. I have a previous background of working several years as an architect, so I was used to human-centered design.
My decision to break into tech was due in large part to the desire to design for a wider audience and acquire user experience skills about empathizing with people while understanding their needs. I chose Ironhack mostly because of the learning rhythm and structure of the course. After doing my research on previous alumni experience, I understood that having a full-time bootcamp at this pace would be the most suitable training to get me ready for the job market.
How did our Ironhack Remote Campus fit into your plan?
The flexibility of a remote bootcamp and the ability to connect with people from all over the world were the key factors for this decision. I was able to start the course from Berlin and end it from Portugal. My teacher, Juno, was living in Miami and the TA, Carolina, also changed locations during the course. I have had the opportunity to learn and share my skills with talented people from different countries and backgrounds. In the future, we will see an increase of digital nomads. This course has proven that I could be one of those in the coming years and easily adapt to the remote way of working.
Sounds amazing. I'm curious, what was your favorite moment at Ironhack?
The last week of the final project was definitely the best moment. It was also the most intense! I don't know how many hours I worked altogether in those final days, but it was definitely worth it the achievement that we have received at the Hackshow and all the comments from the people that saw our presentation. It's rewarding to see the progress you can make by leaving your comfort zone and working towards high goals.
Congrats on winning the Hackshow! Can you tell us more about your project?
For the final project, my colleague Léonard and I wanted to work with extended reality. We knew that this would be extra work on our shoulders as we would have to think in 3D and design for a medium with which we didn't have previous experience. But we wanted that challenge and contacted a company, "Grandpa's Lab," that was developing a virtual reality showroom for a brand of shoes. They gave us the task of designing the interactions for the experience. We did an extensive research process on designing VR and the problems that users face. In addition, we sent out 59 surveys and interviewed 10 people that shaped our UX research process, finding the pain points that we aimed to solve with our proposed solution. In the last few days, we have created a hi-fi prototype using a 3D modelling tool, so that we could test the interactions and present it in the final presentation. It's interesting to see now how much work can be done in just 2 weeks.
With all the new skills you've acquired, what's next for you?
With the skills that I've acquired at Ironhack and the ones that I've transferred from my previous experience, I feel confident to work in any area of UX/UI Design. My goal is to enroll in projects that I believe in, focusing on innovation while solving people's needs. Additionally, I am looking to share my skills with others that want to pursue this career.
Do you have advice for anyone who is thinking about changing their life with Ironhack?
My advice for new students is to have the mindset that you will learn as much as you put into it. From my experience, I met a qualified team at Ironhack that provided everything needed to obtain important skills and create high expectations. It's up to you to turn them into real achievements throughout your career. Tech is a fast-growing field and it is important to continue learning and keep challenging yourself, even after the bootcamp.