How I ended up here: From Customer Experience to UX Design Amid the Pandemic

Before the pandemic, I was deeply involved in a series of projects in the aviation sector. One notable project was "Wayfinding and Signage within Terminal and Ground Transportation" at SJC Mineta Airport, where we conducted passenger experience surveys focused on navigation, check-in, shopping, and dining experiences. This role was crucial as it honed my skills in data analysis and emphasized the importance of user-centered design principles.

However, in 2020, everything changed with the global pandemic. Faced with growing personal responsibilities, including homeschooling my children and managing the household, I made the tough decision to take a leave of absence. What I thought would be a temporary break turned into an opportunity to redefine my career path.

During my time off, my workaholic nature took over, and I couldn't just sit still. I began participating in user testing sessions through a platform called This experience was eye-opening—it introduced me to emerging new tech products big companies like Apple, Google and Meta were working on and I was fascinated. Although I signed NDAs that prevent me from discussing specific product details, seeing features I tested hit the market was always a thrill. It felt like I had a secret inside scoop on the next big thing.

While I enjoyed providing feedback and insights that could shape the future of products and services, it was also clear to me that this was the field I wanted to pursue further.

To get my feet wet, I started freelancing as a web designer, taking on projects that involved creating e-commerce websites using no-code platforms like Shopify, Wix, and Webflow. This phase allowed me to apply my UX insights practically, improving user interfaces for online businesses and enhancing their overall customer experience. The positive impact of my work and the feedback from clients confirmed I was on the right path.

Determined to solidify my career transition, I enrolled in Google's UX Design Certification course. By the end of the course, I was not just a participant in user studies; I was a certified UX Designer ready to tackle complex challenges in the e-commerce sector.

As the world began to recover from the pandemic, so did I—with a renewed sense of purpose and a clear direction in my professional life. I had transitioned from a Customer Experience Specialist working on airport signage to a UX Designer shaping the future of e-commerce platforms. This journey was not just about changing careers but finding a role where I could truly make a difference by enhancing user experiences and solving real-world problems.

The pandemic presented many challenges, but for me, it was a catalyst for change. It allowed me to step back, reassess my passions, and pivot towards a career that aligned perfectly with my skills and interests. Now, as I continue to grow in this field, I am more excited than ever to see what the future holds.

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