Upskilling in UX design to transition back to workplace as a mother


Gusti Ayu Nyoman Kartini

Completed SGUnited Skills Programme in UX Design and Product Management

Please share with us your professional life’s journey and at which point in your career did you aspire to pursue this programme?

I was working in the overseas hospitality industry for more than 10 years before I relocated to Singapore due to my husband’s work commitment. I started as a full-time home maker because I needed to take care of my daughters. When my daughters were accepted for full day childcare, I was driven to develop my new career path. I thought that transitioning into the digital industry will be a good choice as we live in an era of high technology and I enjoy art. So, I decided to explore my career as a UX designer and signed up for NTU’s SGUS Programme in UX Design and Product Management. One of the courses, Design Thinking and Human Centered Design, taught us to put users at the center of our thought process which I observed to be similar to what I learnt from the hospitality industry where customer satisfaction was our core business. Both of my experiences were related to one another, and I was aspired to learn about UXPM more in depth.

Describe the factors that led you to choose PaCE@NTU.

I chanced upon government’s advertisement on career conversion programmes and was intrigued to research more. I was looking to upskill in technology related field and found out that NTU was offering SGUS Programme in UX Design and Product Management. I decided to enrol because of the reputation of NTU and their course content was highly credible which made my learning journey more reassuring. Furthermore, the programme duration was 6 months with good learning structure. Government subsidies were also available for us which enticed me further to enrol.

How was your learning experience with this programme?

Every day was exciting to me. Even though I had no design background, I found out that I was not alone as some of my coursemates were the same as me. We worked together as a team to complete our projects during the programme. The best part of my experience was having good trainers who gave me full support throughout my studies. They were very engaging, and I am thankful that I chose the right programme to pursue.

What were the challenges you faced when trying to complete this programme?

I was struggling at the User Interface stage so I approached my trainers, Joshua Wang, Sean, Allan, and Peter for guidance. They were really helpful and supported my learning journey including my UI design work. They helped me to get back on track. Even though there were challenges, I am thankful that my trainers, coursemates as well as my husband supported me in completing this programme.

Could you share with us some interesting facets of the programme you enrolled?

The design thinking process course from the programme taught me the importance of designing products that can be useful, desirable, and at the same time accessible. My favourite part was the Ideation stage, where I was tasked to conduct research and transfer my findings into a design that we later created in Figma with a goal of solving our users' problems. I found this process fascinating.

Which aspect of this programme did you like the most?

I enjoyed the quizzes given by the trainers. These gave us the opportunity to complete them together on the FigJam. The collaboration between me and my coursemates was very fun and I enjoyed our teamwork. I also enjoyed the quizzes from Blackboard Learn and their interface was very user-friendly. My learning journey was very memorable.