User-Centered Design Alumni Story: Becoming a UX Designer Certificates in User-Centered Design and Storytelling & Content Strategy Give Alum Priya Saraswat an Edge
User-Centered Design Alumni Story: Becoming a UX Designer Certificates in User-Centered Design and Storytelling & Content Strategy Give Alum Priya Saraswat an Edge

As an undergrad, Priya Saraswat studied computer science and engineering, but, after beginning her career as a software engineer, she was still searching for the tech sector that stoked her passion.

When she learned about user-centered design, Priya knew that she’d found her field. After accumulating as much self-taught experience as she could, Priya was ready to take the next step toward a more formal UX design education.

“I really wanted to have the educational foundation and knowledge, so I could feel more confident,” she said. “Then I heard about the UW User-Centered Design (UCD) Certificate from a friend who had taken it, and his experience was phenomenal.”

Priya’s zeal for the subject matter drove her to the UCD certificate, and that curiosity sustained her throughout the nine-month program.

“I had so many questions about why we apply one method over another, or why one approach was better than another,” Priya said. “The certificate really helped teach me the testing and research that went into these decisions and how the industry handled these questions.”

A New Network

As she began the User-Centered Design Certificate program, Priya quickly understood the value of the cohort’s diversity of backgrounds and perspectives.

“The whole program is structured around people from different disciplines who are learning together, making projects and presenting together,” she said. “It really created this strong bond, which then helped me build professional relationships with these people.”

In fact, after completing the certificate program, Priya landed a job as a UX designer at Expedia based on a reference from a UCD classmate.

“I got that job because of the relationship that we’d built over time through the certificate program,” she said.

Priya was learning more and more about user-centered design, and, after such a positive experience with the UCD certificate, she was eager to keep learning.

“I had such a good experience with the first certificate that I decided to go back for a second,” Priya said.

In Her Own Words

Alum Priya Saraswat explains how the Certificates in User-Centered Design and Storytelling & Content Strategy gave her the edge she was looking for in her career.


Expanding Her Arsenal

In her new field, Priya found that UX designers are often asked to wear multiple hats — especially if a company doesn’t have a designated content strategist.

“Sometimes as UX designers we also have to be storytellers, and that’s something I always wanted to explore more deeply,” she said. “Since I had such a great experience from the last certificate, when I saw the UW Certificate in Storytelling & Content Strategy, it was a no-brainer.”

The second certificate buttressed Priya’s knowledge in the field while also instilling self-assurance in her storytelling abilities.

“The content strategy and storytelling program really gave me an edge,” Priya said. “I can actually be confident in telling people that I do have the educational background where I can support the team in its content strategy needs.”

For Priya, these two coveted skills have only increased her marketability in an ever-expanding sector of the job market.

“User-centered design and content strategy are emerging markets in Seattle,” she said. “I gained an advantage with these skills, and you’ll find ample opportunities here if you’re ready to learn and ready to go for it.”

For more alumni stories from UW Professional & Continuing Education, visit the News & Features section of our website. To learn more about our certificates, specializations, degrees and courses, explore your options or contact us.

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