Success Stories

Sami DeLuca

UX Designer at Each&Other

  • UX Mentorship
  • UX Research
  • Wireframing, Designing
  • Usability Testing
  • Presenting
View Mentorship details
Sami

“Transitioning from a diverse background in marketing and design to UX, I found my footing through the UX Tree mentorship.”

My name is Sami DeLuca. Originally from Detroit, Michigan, I received my Bachelor’s degrees in Graphic Design and Cinema Arts. From there, I spent a few years gaining experience in all forms of environments responsible for marketing, design, PR, events, and customer service. When things inevitably slowed down during the pandemic, I was able to take time to reflect on the things that I truly enjoy, and decided to make a career transition.

I moved to Dublin to pursue my Master’s degree in Digital Humanities & Culture in hopes of gaining the expertise to tackle today’s complex global questions by blending insights from both culture and technology. Simultaneously, I was able to receive my certification in User Experience Design from the UX Design Institute. As a recent graduate, between the two, I was lucky enough to have a balanced focus on the symbiotic relationship between technology and humanities, sending me on my way to help foster human-centred tech design.

How did you first hear about the UX Tree mentorship, and what made it stand out from other programs or courses?

I was researching for any available mentor programs and found UX Tree. What stood out to me was that it seemed incredibly focused on what I’d like to up-skill in, and that it matched me with a mentor that was related to industries I had an interest in understanding.

What was the most challenging part of the mentorship for you, and how did you overcome it?

The most challenging part for me was creating the prototype to share. It was the first time I was doing so in a sort of professional capacity and I was extremely nervous! I watched a ton of beginner Figma videos and tutorials in order to learn as many best practices as possible. My mentor also pinpointed me to certain methods that would best fit what I was trying to accomplish.

Can you share a turning point during your mentorship where you felt a significant growth?

When I was able to define specific solutions to the frustrations of my project, based on the research I conducted, I felt like I had somehow succeeded!!! It was exciting!

How would you describe your relationship with your mentor? What impact did they have on your learning journey?

My mentor Samuel was amazing. He was incredibly friendly and easy going which made asking questions less intimidating. It was just an overall really comfortable environment to work in and I am grateful! He also encouraged me to keep going and pushing the boundaries.

What are the top three skills or insights you gained from the program that you believe will benefit you the most in your UX career?

  • The importance of advocating for the user
    The program deeply instilled user-centred principles, teaching empathy, effective research, and translating insights into user-focused designs.
  • The hands-on project experience was amazing
    Guided by my mentor, I gained vital hands-on experience wireframing, prototyping, and usability testing for real-world UX challenges.
  • The importance of iteration
    The mentorship prioritised iterative design, honing skills in testing, feedback incorporation, and continuous enhancement, enhancing final product quality through user input.

Do you have any advice or words of encouragement for people just starting in UX?

  • Embrace challenges and stay curious. The field is constantly changing and it’s so exciting, there is an endless amount to learn and an endless amount of people to learn from.
  • Don’t be afraid to reach out and seek feedback! Constructive criticism is a key driver of growth and building a solid network of those you can collaborate with or bounce ideas off of will be invaluable.
  • Remember to advocate for the user.
  • ENJOY yourself on the journey! Remember each step gets you closer to your goal – no matter how small it may seem!