Christine Maggi's approach to a career in the UX and product design industry
Our latest conversation on The Product Design Podcast was with Christine Maggi, who is a Sr. Product Designer from the San Francisco Bay Area. She is well known for her Design Gal YouTube channel that helps newbie designers navigate their way through their careers by sharing her own experiences and what she's learned over the years. Currently, she has started a new chapter along her career path, and we had a chance to learn more about how the ebbs and flows have gotten her to where she is today.
Christine was lucky to discover design as a teenager while making graphics for online message boards. She quickly recognized how much she loved designing in the digital space but had no idea that someone could find a career doing something like it until she neared the end of her time in high school. Learning this early on allowed her to focus her efforts in the right direction during college.
After college, she worked at a few small agencies and eventually moved into a graphic and web designer role at a tech consultancy that worked on software projects. This role allowed her to learn by doing and, over time, understand the landscape of user experience and product design.
It's not something just to look at, but something that's actually useful.
She soon realized that the user experience space allowed her to blend her love of visual design and ability to use logic and problem solving to create products that offered more than just an excellent design. Armed with her newly found passion and excitement for user experience and product design, she moved across the country to focus her attention on learning more and going all-in on UX!
Further along in her career, Christine realized that she wanted to do something more, where she could give back and make an impact on the world. She began to think through the things that genuinely lit her up and made her feel fulfilled. During this time of soul searching, she recognized how much she loved helping people who were entering careers in design. Her career path gave her an extensive amount of valuable experience to share and ultimately help others navigate their new design world.
Our industry is so broad, I think everyone can find a special place that fits what they're looking for.
Christine decided to use YouTube as her platform, created her Design Gal channel, and dove into creating content to share. During this time, she used her creative nature and problem-solving skills to learn how to record and edit videos, create timeless content and grow her Design Gal subscribers to over 12,000! The process of learning and expanding into new areas continued to bring her enjoyment and excitement for several years, all while growing her network and helping so many people as she had set out to do.
When asked about advice she would now give to her younger self, Christine said she would tell herself to focus less on the things that ultimately weren't aligned with the career path she was passionate to be moving towards. She shared that she was way too concerned with getting good grades in subjects that did not tie into design. She wishes she would have spent more time making connections with fellow design students and building a solid network. Christine believes that spending more time building your network, working alongside people with common interests, and gaining shared experiences along the way would help to create stronger relationships in your network in the long run.
Lean into the connections you are building amongst your fellow design students because your network is going to be with you for the rest of your career.
Christine believes that spending more time building your network, working alongside people with common interests, and gaining shared experiences along the way would help to create stronger relationships in your network in the long run.
We talked about the highs and lows that come along with a career in the product design industry during our chat with Christine. Her incredibly positive outlook is something that has gotten her to where she is today.
Regardless, Christine trusts that the lows will become a catalyst for change. When you trust your instincts and keep move along your path, all of the lows can lead to the next high of your career.
It was so great catching up with Christine Maggi on The Product Design Podcast. We hope to continue bringing you insight from behind the scenes of inspiring product designers like her. We would love it if you joined us for the entire episode over at The Product Design Podcast.