I'd love to hear all your thoughts on this one.
Move up: Become a product manager or director
Move out: Partner up and start a creative services agency of your own
Go long: Create a product of your own and start growing a user base
Go wide: Expand your skillset - starting dabbling in code, project management, etc.
Go deep: Go back to school, get an advanced degree, dive into research
Wildcard: Take a hobby you love and nurture that into a career of its own!
This is the best answer from every perspective. I wish I could think of something great to add.
…or steer your direction a little and get into Service design, if you consider yourself to be patient.
I wouldn't say becoming a product manager is "moving up"
I want to start up a donut shop
I've spent the first few years of my career working as a front-end developer/information architect for agencies. The one thing that has bugged me is that despite claims that they do User Experience, we don't talk to end-users as part of our process.
I'm currently enrolled in a Masters in Human Factors/Information Design program so I can expand my research skills. Afterwards, I'd like to find a smaller software company that wants someone who can do both research and prototyping in HTML/CSS. I'm not sure if this position exists so we'll see :)
These positions exist, and will actually crop up more and more. I share the same skillset and frustrations as yourself so feel free to reach out. :)
There is no next step, only a steep muddy hill that I am crawling on, feeling shit about my work every day because I know it's not perfect. So, more of that in the future :)
Programming as much as I can and building my own interfaces and experiences.
Move to NYC
Keeping myself passionate and hungry for "moar". As long as I have these... all else will follow.
Finish my MSc IT thesis in Interaction Design
Ideas by Tim Brown (CEO at IDEO):
Designer Coder Design Entrepreneur Hybrid Design Researcher Business Designer Social Innovator
I have no. fucking. clue.
Next step might be moving to product from client services. There are a lot of steps between that move though.
Bust ass on learning and applying more UX to my work as it is Get more comfortable with up-to-date front-end methods Get more fit and stop being a fatty Stop being so damn grumpy all the time, etc etc.
I'm in a bit of a rut right now.
Still building a solid foundation, learning the basics/fundamentals, and developing a process. Improve my technical skills. Find a product and problem I'm excited to tackle. Get hired.
I'm literally at the beginning of my career, haha.
For me it's going to be something like design entrepreneur or I want to try architectural design.
Design entrepreneur is where I'm heading. Me and a couple dev/designers started texasbeardcompany.com. We work at an e commerce software company, figured we'd launch a company for fun. It has been really successful.
We are about to launch a new one, and we are building some apps and stuff. It is so much more satisfying when you are in the driver seat making your own decisions.