Student Spotlight

Switching career paths: From Marketing to UX Design

Zohdi Rizvi
Zohdi Rizvi
UX Designer

Marketing and UX design share a common heartbeat: a customer-centric approach. Both are grounded in crafting messages and experiences that connect with the audience.

For Zohdi Rizvi, the leap from marketing to UX design was more than a career change. It was a natural evolution of his consumer-focused approach, now geared towards understanding users.

While at Amazon as a UX designer, Zohdi designed the UX for their employees' internal business travel suite. He conducted interviews, surveys, customer journey mapping, and heuristic evaluations of existing products to identify gaps and areas for improvement.

Immersing himself in courses like the Practical User Research & Strategy Course and The Ultimate Figma Masterclass, he refined his skills to create designs that are not just visually appealing but deeply user-centric. His perspective shifted from meeting subjective expectations to developing impactful, user-driven designs.

Zohdi's story is a compelling journey of applying his insights to practical, real-world projects and making a significant milestone in his career and personal growth.

Behind the designer

Every designer is different in preferences and thought processes. This is why we make it a point to ask some fun questions to get to know them a little better.

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💁🏻This or That

  • Music or Podcast? Podcast.
  • Deep sea or outer space? Deep sea.
  • Naming layers or Unnamed layers? Naming layers.
  • Mac or PC? Mac.
  • Light mode or dark mode? Dark mode.
  • Landing your dream job or Winning the lottery? Landing my dream job.
  • Morning Person or Night Owl? Night owl.

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🎨 What’s that one thing you can’t live without as a designer?

Zohdi: As a designer, the one thing I can't live without is my obsession with details. I thrive on delving into the intricacies, understanding customers on a profound level, and relentlessly seeking out the root causes of problems.

This innate drive extends to my passion for uncomplicating existing solutions, ensuring that designs are not just visually appealing but intricately aligned with the needs and experiences of the end-users.

It's this meticulous attention to detail that defines my approach to design and fuels my commitment to crafting meaningful and effective user experiences.

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💻 What does your workspace look like?


💻 What does your designer toolkit look like?


  • Mac Mini M2 Pro
  • Samsung monitor
  • Apple Mouse
  • Logitech Keyboard
  • Macbook Pro M1
  • IPad Pro

✨ What motivated you to become a UX/UI designer?

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Zohdi: In 2015, I navigated the shift from Marketing to UX Design driven by the inherent connection between these domains—the consumer.

Having honed my skills in targeting and understanding consumers through marketing, I recognized a parallel opportunity in crafting meaningful user experiences.

The transition was a natural evolution, as the consumer in marketing seamlessly transformed into the user in design. My passion for creating not just visually appealing but functionally effective interfaces found its home in the world of UX design.

It became clear that the art of attracting attention in marketing and the science of user-centric design were intricately linked, and this realization fueled my career pivot towards a more immersive and fulfilling path.

⛔ Before enrolling in Designership's Masterclass, what problem(s) were you encountering in your career?

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Zohdi: My career in design faced significant challenges. Initially joining RAKBANK, a leading bank in the UAE, I started my design journey in 2015 with a misconception that UX was synonymous with UI.

The prevailing belief was to please senior stakeholders without a genuine understanding of user needs, pain-points, or opportunities through research.

Within a year, my role felt more like that of a graphic designer, iterating endlessly to meet subjective expectations rather than employing quantifiable research and delivering objective results.

This frustration led me to seek a transformative shift. A pivotal moment came when I discovered valuable resources like Mizko's Youtube channel and AJ&Smart.

These revelations reshaped my understanding of UX design, prompting me to break free from the constraints of merely pleasing superiors.

Enrolling in various UX programs, and recently in Designership's Masterclass became the solution to the problems I faced—providing the knowledge and skills needed to align my design practice with user-centric principles and objective research.

👀 How did you first hear about Designership's Masterclass(es)? What stood out to you about our course offering/s?

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Zohdi: I first heard about Designership's Masterclass through Mizko, whose exceptional command on design, especially his top-notch UX work for renowned companies, had already impressed me.

Mizko's free yet highly valuable tutorials on YouTube, which I had personally applied in my design work, convinced me to enroll in his first masterclass on Figma. Experiencing unmatched success in that program, my interest deepened when I saw Mizko's Practical User Research Masterclass in early March 2023.

Gratefully, he extended an invitation for me to be among the first few to enroll in this course, when it was in closed beta, which I completed in July 2023.

What stood out to me about Designership's offerings was the combination of Mizko's expertise, the practicality of the content, and the chance to delve into advanced topics like user research.

✨What motivated you to enroll in the Designership’s Practical User Research & Strategy Masterclass and The Figma Masterclass?

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Zohdi: I was motivated to enroll in Designership's Practical User Research & Strategy Masterclass due to several compelling factors. The courses commence with a thorough introduction to the double diamond process, guiding designers from an uninformed state through divergence and convergence to the informed stage of design.

The initial part of the course is particularly noteworthy as it is entirely dedicated to customer discovery, problem statement formulation, competitor analysis, and interviews with both users and stakeholders. This foundation sets the stage for a holistic understanding of the design process.

The middle segment, a substantial part of the course, focuses on practical research methodologies through hands-on exercises. What truly stood out to me was Mizko's inclusion of adapted usability sessions with clients' customers, providing a real-world perspective on research practices.

The final part of the course adds a unique dimension by emphasizing that design doesn't operate in isolation. Mizko introduces product-related strategies, highlighting the symbiotic relationship between design and the broader realms of the product and business.

This holistic approach resonated with me, motivating me to enroll and gain insights into the multifaceted aspects of UX design.

💭 What were your expectations going into the course? Were they met or exceeded by the end of the program?

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Zohdi: Before enrolling into the Designership's Practical User Research & Strategy Masterclass, my expectations were elevated, driven by Mizko's exceptional expertise and the comprehensive course highlights.

I sought a profound and practical grasp of the UX research from end to end, especially double diamond process, practical research methodologies, stakeholder management and the seamless integration of design with product and business strategies.

Upon completing the program, I assert confidently that my expectations were not merely met but surpassed. The course established a robust foundation in customer discovery, problem formulation, and effective research practices.

Mizko's hands-on approach, featuring adapted usability sessions, provided pragmatic insights directly applicable to my professional endeavors. The emphasis on the interconnectedness of design with broader product and business strategies marked a valuable paradigm shift.

In essence, the course not only fulfilled but enhanced my expectations, elevating my comprehension and application of UX research in my design work. This alignment seamlessly addresses the real-world challenges encountered in my professional journey.

💡 How did the Masterclass(es) help you solve the problems you were facing prior to enrolling into the course?

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Zohdi: The Masterclass has been instrumental in broadening my understanding of the entire UX research process, encompassing its phases, challenges, and viable solutions. Before enrolling in this course, my approach to UX was somewhat limited, and I grappled with complexities in customer discovery, problem formulation, and effective research practices.

Throughout the Masterclass, I delved into these intricacies, gaining profound insights under Mizko's structured guidance. This course strategically addressed my initial challenges by offering practical solutions and hands-on exercises that facilitated a nuanced grasp of each phase.

Now, armed with a holistic perspective, I confidently navigate the intricacies of UX research from inception to resolution in my professional pursuits.

🚀 Looking back at your journey from enrolling in the Masterclass(es) to where you are now, what do you think made the most impact on your career or personal growth?

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Zohdi: Reflecting on my journey from enrolling in the Masterclass(es) to my current position, the most impactful element has been the direct application of the learnings in my recent projects at Amazon. Integrating the insights gained from the course into two significant projects yielded outstanding results, significantly influencing both my career and personal growth.

This hands-on experience not only enhanced my proficiency in implementing UX strategies but also bolstered my confidence in guiding, coaching, mentoring, and leading design teams.

The practical application of the Masterclass teachings has been a transformative factor, shaping my capabilities and setting the stage for my future plans to offer UX and Design freelancing services to clients.

The ability to seamlessly translate theoretical knowledge into tangible, successful outcomes has been the cornerstone of my career and personal growth trajectory.

🌟 What is your ultimate goal as a Product (UX/UI) designer?

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Zohdi: My ultimate goal as a Product (UX/UI) designer is to evoke smiles and happiness from users, ensuring they experience fulfillment every time they engage with a product I've designed.

This goal goes beyond creating visually appealing interfaces; it's about crafting experiences that resonate deeply with users, bringing joy to their interactions and leaving a lasting positive impact.

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What would be one piece of advice that you would pass on to a designer that’s reading this interview?

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Zohdi: Regardless of the skill you want to master, practicing rigorously is the key to commanding and conquering. UX design and research are no exceptions.

Often, beginners in the field struggle to get their hands dirty with real experience, so they should not wait for any opportunity but start learning the UX Design and research process and practice it with day-to-day products/services.

For example, they may personally struggle to find a movie on Netflix, so they can validate it with 5-8 people to establish it as a problem.

Additionally, they can observe and ask probing questions to figure out the goals, gains, and pains of users in the current solution. Use the learnings to explore solutions with further customer validations and research.

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Zohdi's flight to his <span class="purple-text-clipped">North Star</span>

Zohdi's story is a great example of how changing careers can be successful. His journey also reveals that the skills you develop in one career can be valuable and applicable in another.

However, the learning doesn't end there. Initially, his outlook on UX design was to please superiors. He eventually realized that UX design, like marketing, relies on solid user research to deliver results that benefit the business.

One of his projects at Amazon demonstrated this. With a new perspective on how research leads to design, he strategized and executed a project end-to-end with a business mindset.

Zohdi's career transition from marketing to UX design illustrates that continual learning and adapting skills to new contexts can lead to impactful, business-driven results in any field.

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