Kadisha Conteh '24

Kadisha Conteh headshot

M.S. User Experience '24
Program Coordinator, Women Business Collaborative

Kadisha Conteh’s natural creativity and willingness to learn brought her to the user experience master’s degree program. Here she received personalized connections and knowledge about this rapidly changing field.

Conteh worked as a paralegal and intended to attend law school after receiving her international studies and global science degrees. However, a pivot in her direction would land her at the iSchool.

“I’m a natural creative and that’s something that I had to put on the backburner for a long time,” Conteh said. “I wanted to test the waters, and if I did not like it, I could move on.”

“There’s such a push for user experience, accessibility and functionality because there’s a lot of people who struggle with these things...”

During her first semester, Conteh connected with Professor Rebecca Meehan to learn more about how she can successfully adapt to the UX field. Meehan connected Conteh with a UX women’s group in DC and landed a volunteer social media lead position.

“She was responsive and attentive, and I never had that before,” Conteh said. “I do not live in Ohio, so to have personalized communication and resources was awesome.”  

Conteh was also able to learn more about the importance of UX research and earn a Google certification for UX design and other minor certifications.

“I honestly just went for it,” Conteh said. “I had nothing to lose and wanted to learn as much as possible.”

Within a semester of her master's program, Conteh felt ready to start applying to positions in the UX field.

“I am a self-taught digital marketer,” Conteh said. “Although a lot of jobs that I applied for had a lot of requirements that I didn’t have, the ball was in my park.”

As a result, Conteh landed a digital marketing and communications assistant position with Women Business Collaborative in Washington, D.C.

“I have been able to make our websites user-friendly for partners or people just Googling for more information, which I learned through my courses,” Conteh said.

UX professionals serve as links between consumers or audiences and an organization to help provide functional, accessible experiences. It is important that companies understand the meaning of the functionality of websites or applications, Conteh noted.

“There’s such a push for user experience, accessibility and functionality because there’s a lot of people who struggle with these things,” Conteh said. “You’re losing conversion, click rates and interactions on your website because of one minor functionality that was not accessible.”

Conteh also stressed the importance of understanding audiences and demographics to ensure full functionality for services.

“It is our job to make sure things work properly,” Conteh said. “In order for that to happen, we need to make sure every target audience and demographic can use our services.”

However, two of the most important traits a UX professional needs are empathy and listening, Conteh emphasized.

“Knowing how to sympathize and empathize with people going through a problem will help you a lot in this field,” Conteh said. “It’s important to think about how you’re going to fix the problem, not the problem itself.”

Just like Conteh, many UX professionals have pivoted to the field to fit their strong skills or interests. As a result, Conteh encourages future UX professionals to remain open-minded to those entering the field.

“UX is not a gated community, everyone and anyone can share information,” Conteh said. “People in education, law and healthcare pivot to UX, so it’s important to see how different avenues can open the door to this field.”