Karan Shakya: On starting a career as a UI/UX designer
Despite having a degree in business, what inspired you to pursue the IT industry?
After completing my +2, I’d been involved in creating local handicrafts for a while which I really enjoyed. After I completed my bachelor’s, I wanted to pursue my passion for arts and thus started working as a graphics designer which can basically be considered digital art. I dwelled into social media marketing for a while but later started working as a UI/UX designer.
What were the main difficulties that you faced at the start of your career?
The main difficulty was to learn to use the graphical tools such as Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator especially as I was not originally from the IT background. Also, the daily 10–14 hr. load shedding that we all Nepalese faced around that time also was a major hindrance.
IT industry is one of the fields which changes rapidly, both in terms of technology and user expectations. What are the major changes that you faced in your career?
At the early stage of my career, the web designing was more focused on a table-based design which rapidly changed into “div” structure with emphasis on frameworks like bootstrap and flex-CSS. Better frameworks and upgraded technologies such as SASS, flex, and git have been introduced. The tools and technologies change rapidly and one must learn to evolve with these changes.
Piece of advice you would like to give to the newcomers interested in UI/UX designing?
The most important thing is to improve your designing skills. Design and interaction are the most important aspects of a web developer. Learn to think and design from a user perspective so that the majority of the users will have a great experience while using the website. Then, you can go on with learning good frameworks such as Bootstrap to maintain your coding standards.
Also, skills on Photoshop, Illustrator and other graphic tools are equally important for wireframing. The best approach would be to utilize websites such as CSSWinner, CSSAward, CSS Design Awards for both inspiration and challenging yourselves to improve your design skills.
What is the major challenge in your field of work?
Of course, the major challenge would be to please everyone. The biggest part of being a web developer is to create web apps that will provide a meaningful user experience. But different people will have a different view on visual design and what feels best, be it the position of a button or coloring.
One last question, do you prefer YouTube videos or blog/articles?
Blogs, because when I was at the early stage of my career, YouTube tutorials weren’t in trend as now. I’ve learned most of the technology via. articles and blogs.
Certainly, being a UI/UX designer not only requires technical skills but also an aptitude in art and that art should appease every user. As Karan says, “learning programming tools for development is easy, what matters is the developer’s ability to understand what the user needs along with current trends, then design and build interactive user interfaces for the web that will get their users hooked up”
I think he can be the motivator for anyone who wishes to develop his/her career in IT and especially if not from the IT background. He loves to hike to different places. Recently, he is busy making his own vlogs, which is available on his own Facebook page- Travelling Nepal Tips or his YouTube channel.