Student Spotlight

Switching career paths: From professional mixed martial arts to product design

Danny Berry
Danny Berry
UI/UX Designer

Many designers come from different walks of life, but many believe you should have skills in art. For Danny Berry, it’s a different story.

Danny, a former professional mixed martial arts fighter and coach, recently embarked on a new career path: product design. His time in the fighting arena honed skills that contribute greatly to crucial to design—strategic thinking, problem-solving, and the ability to adaptswift adaptation into changing circumstances. Before his career as a fighter, Danny also earned a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology. This helped cultivate his understanding of human behavior and interactions with products. 

Driven by the passion to create solutions that improve people’s lives, Danny thought to apply his skills by helping companies create user-centered, intuitive, and visually appealing designs. 

Now a product designer, Danny continues to level up his skills with courses like The Ultimate Figma Masterclass Course that enhances his innate knowledge on human interactions and design principles. 

Behind the designer

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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

  • Light Mode or Dark Mode? Dark Mode.
  • Naming layers or Unnamed layers? Named layers.
  • Mac or PC? PC.
  • Landing your dream job or Winning the lottery? Win the lottery.
  • Music or Podcast? Music.
  • Outer space or Deep sea? Outer space.
  • Morning Person or Night Owl? Night owl.

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

Danny: Coffee/Energy drinks

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💻 What does your designer toolkit look like?

Danny: I have 

  • Two Samsung 24-inch monitors
  • Logitech G600 mouse
  • Logitech G513 keyboard
  • Corsair Virtuoso RBG wireless SE headset
  • HP gaming desktop
  • Fezibo electric standing desk

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🎧 What is your go-to music playlist to get jamming?

Danny: When I'm working I prefer listening to beats. For any other time I have a bunch of Spotify playlists!

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

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Danny: The thing I liked about the move about becoming a UX/UI designer is the daily problem-solving. I love being able to use critical thinking and creativity to solve problems.

⛔ What problems were you encountering in your career?

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Danny: The biggest problem I couldn't find anywhere is a rock-solid process highlighting how a high-level professional manages and builds a product. This gave me a standard to strive for in my own work.

💼 How did you decide to pursue a course in UX/UI design?

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Danny: I have been watching and learning from Mizkos' Youtube channel since he started. I learned about Designership from there and I actually joined the community before there were any courses. I knew since his Youtube channel was so good, that his course would be, too.

✨ What motivated you to enroll in Designership's Figma course?

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Danny: I simply wanted to learn and get better.

💭 What were your expectations with the course? Were they met?

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Danny: Definitely exceeded my expectations. I learned a ton about how he manages his files and interacts with stakeholders and developers. And I'm still learning more about Auto Layout!

💡 How did the Figma course help you solve the problems you were facing prior to enrolling in the course?

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Danny: It helped me manage files, and interact with stakeholders and developers. It also gave me a ton of insight on how to use Auto Layout.

🚩 What aspect of the Figma course do you think created the most impact on you toward your career or personal growth?

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Danny: The entire course made a big impact on my skills and confidence. It would have taken me three times longer to learn this stuff on my own.

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

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Danny: My ultimate goal is to eventually open my own agency.

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

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Danny: Keep learning and improving; you'll never know everything.

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

Danny's inspiring journey is a true testament to the versatility of design. Anyone can succeed. As Danny had put it, advancing in this field comes down to continuous learning so you can hone your skills. 

Danny entered the industry armed with a fundamental understanding of design principles, from how users interact with products to creating strategic and informed solutions. By merging the best of these skills, he delivers knockout solutions in every product design he creates.

Regardless of your background, finding confidence in your work brings you closer to your goals —- whether it’s getting higher rates or starting your own business. 

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