I imagine learning UX is much like learning to surf.  The mechanics are simple.  The real challenge lies in the battle of the mind between over-confident presumption and learning to take cues from the environment about changing currents and the behavior of the sea. Much like evolving technology and user personas (more on that later…).

I had a big decision to make this week.  One that I would have to live with for the next six months, at least.  The UX design course with CareerFoundry is based on a single project that I will use to learn and practice all the areas of user experience design and then showcase the result in my portfolio.  The folks at CF have laid out a beautifully rehearsed course plan that includes designing a task management app.  They also allow for students to choose their own project if they so desire…tempting.

My little head can sometimes get big ideas.  Ideas that make me think I can surf the big waves before I learn to paddle.  Sure, I get the concept and the theory is easy to learn but practice is where the board hits the water and I fall in and get back on and fall in and get back on…etc.  (I’ve never surfed, but it’s an intriguing metaphor.)

In the past, this eagerness has led me to take on large projects and spend more time than necessary on them because I’m learning as I go.  They come out good, but are they great? Not likely.

This time, I decided that if I think I have a great idea, I’m going to put it on the shelf, practice the skills on a different project and then when I’ve surfed a few small waves, that’s when I can see if that idea is still worth pursuing. IF it is worth pursuing, then I’ll be better equipped to execute the project toward greatness.

It’s settled then, I shall set aside the foolish pride of the past and choose to go along with the suggested course project—a task management app.  I am happy and free in this decision because it opens my mind to receive the new information and skills I will need to practice without the distraction of nurturing some “big idea”.

In biblical scripture, Jesus said that a person must become as a little child, humble unto God, to receive new life.  This applies to me everyday and in all my endeavors, for as long as I think I already know something, there’s no room to learn it.  I choose to humble myself unto my Creator, as a little child, to receive new life.  And, I’ll learn to create good user experiences in the process. ♥