Web Design and Development Alumni Highlight: Jenna Smith

Web Design and Development Alumni Highlight: Jenna Smith

Written By: Adrinn Kang

Edited By: Jenna Berndt


Jenna Smith is an alumni who majored in Web Design and Development with an emphasis in Interaction Design. I interviewed Jenna to get an insight of what she is up to after graduation, the inner workings of her field, and how her degree prepared her for the industry.


What are you up to after graduating from UVU?

After graduating Utah Valley University (UVU), I was able to get a job as a Junior UX Designer at Fishbowl and have been there for a year. At Fishbowl, they make software for retail, warehouse, and manufacturing operational workflows. We help customers gain insights that enable timely decisions to grow their businesses. Project Managers will ask me to design various features to add to the software to make it better. We often encounter the need to scale back project scopes due to constraints, such as time limitations and technical challenges. I've learned the importance of involving developers early throughout our projects. Additionally, collaborating with the development team allows us to gain valuable insights, understand technical limitations, and find the right balance between ideal UX design and feasible development


What is the general starting salary for a UX job in Utah? 

Between $40,000-$60,000 dollars.


Skills learned in the Program:

The first skill that Jenna mentioned was learning Figma. Figma is a digital tool currently used in industry to create user interface designs collaboratively.

Jenna also mentioned the importance of having soft skills. Jenna explained, “…working in group projects helped, you work with people all the time, having good people skills, and being a good team member” were important due to the amount of collaboration.

Other skills that Jenna talked about learning in school was learning the usability laws and design principles. She said learning how to explain the reasoning behind your designs was an essential skill. 


How did UVU Prepare you for the Future?

UVU brought me a connection where I landed my first job. My friend Paige Young, another UVU alumni in the program, was working at Fishbowl and recommended me. It’s important to be friends with your classmates because they can always get you a job later. UVU is also pretty good at helping you get connections. The professors did help a lot …They are always willing to help with your portfolio and connect you with previous students. 

Another aspect that helped Jenna prepare for the field was UXpeditions. UXpeditions are school trips where students learn more about Interaction Design. These trips give students the opportunity to visit different companies and industry professionals, while giving students the chance to network and see what it’s like to work in the industry. Jenna had the opportunity to go on one of these UXpedtions to Austin, Texas. She said her experience going on a UXpedition “personally gave me a lot of confidence and the people you meet on those expeditions are so nice and so encouraging.” 


What are some positions that you could potentially get with a Web Design and Development degree? 

  • Senior UX Designer
  • Director of UX
  • Project Management
  • CPO (Chief Product Officer)
  • Product Designer
  • UI Designer


Advice for future or current students in the Program:

Become friends with people in the program and get to know people in your classes and take your projects seriously. Put a lot of effort in them so you would be proud of them in your portfolio.


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