How My YouTube Education Stumbled Into The Corporate UI/UX World
3 min read
Everyone learns in different ways. In my journey to become a UI/UX Designer, I spent countless hours poring over YouTube tutorials, learning from awesome content creators, and piecing together what I could to become proficient in the techniques required. But the transition from being a self-taught designer via YouTube to the actual corporate design things is definitely not seamless. Let me illustrate my struggles, differences between expectations and reality of UI/UX design in a corporate setting, through my experiences and those of friends.
Ditch the Online Tutorials Mentality
Soon after starting my first UI/UX design job, I realized corporate projects are totally different than following tutorials. I thought I was well-prepared with all the knowledge, but in the corporate world you will face tons of new challenges, for which a creative and problem-solving mindset is essential. You cannot Google the answers for all the unique problems in each project, they must be thought through and discussed with colleagues to come up with a solution.
No room for endless revisions
Yet again, corporate life has deadlines. In school or with YouTube, you can always revise assignments until perfection. But in the real world, organisations want to stick to timelines to launch product iterations sooner. Therefore, you've to strive for iterative improvements with constant feedback, and not for 100% perfect end-product.
I saw designs in YouTube tutorials that I would love to experiment with, but clients have their own criteria, business objectives and proprietary styles. All these requirements need to align and be fulfilled in your design decisions. It makes it harder to fall back onto what you crawled from tutorial videos.
Coping with Less Guidance
No (simple) tutorial answers
In the YouTube DIY-learning universe, tutorials usually have one right answer or demonstrated approach from which you can follow and recreate. But in reality, projects are more complex with no YouTube instructor available to walk you through every simple uncertainty.
Outcome vs Process
Sometimes (*most of the time;)*), the design process followed in freelance designing and tutorial videos is less methodical compared to corporate standards. They're too focused on generating the perfect end-result appeasing the audience, rather than the deep documentation/workflow/rules surrounded in a cooperate environment.
It's teamwork, not a lone-wolf journey
The UI/UX process in companies engages teams that generally involve stakeholders, developers and the rest of the design team. Getting adjusted, communicating and integrating with real-life work process can take compelling amount of extra-efforts beyond things accustomed on YouTube.
The Reality Sandwich
YouTube tutorials frame UI/UX design as an appealing creative profession, but in the fast paced corporate environment you have to handle multiple projects, struggle with timelines, ready/ flexible approach to alterations, decode client wishes, understand the back-end process, etc. Navigating through all these frenzied situations is skilful hanker beyond YouTube's portrayals.
Of course, none of this is to discourage YouTube binge-learners or self-developed designers. You can still make changes from unintentional consequences/drawbacks in your learning style. Start by keeping yourself updated on industry norms and labour to build stronger ideation, communication and problem-solving skills that support adaptability, work alignment and overall elevating (/balancing) your caliber tailored for corporate designing standards.
Amazing thing about YouTube tutorial learning is, stay confident & say, "I can solve it based on my previous learning/experiences" while you narrate the richness it imbibed in your journey to become a UI/UX designer;)