Where has my Q1 of 2017 gone?! Well, it's been busy but well spent. Here's what I've been up to...
The purpose of this blog has been for me to have an outlet to share works-in-progress, design ideas, UX research, and other career related wisdom. However, the events of the past week have forced me to reevaluate: to question my place in this country and my value to it. As a woman who chose a career and education over a more traditional path of marriage and children, this election in particular has felt deeply personal to me.
In October of 2011 I chose to begin a QA journal that simply asked one short question a day, offering a small amount of space to write a response. With this tool, over the course of 5 years, I answered these questions, not always every day, but catching up frequently enough that I could give a small piece of insight into my mood and psyche over the course of those five years. Here's some takeaways.
Over the past several weeks I’ve had the privilege of interviewing for a number of UX design roles and have been asked to complete a number of design challenges. The point of a design challenge is for the potential employer to have a chance to see how a designer approaches and solves a given problem. For the designer, it’s a chance to showcase on-your-feet thinking, presentation skills, and creative software skills outside of a team project.
How do you market your experience, skills and knowledge with a standard resumé? I wanted to show the evolution of my freelance work over time, developing new skills that often preempted similar full time roles: moving from branding, graphic design, and website design work, into more information architecture and UX work. However, when it comes to developing the skills and career to be a full stack UX/UI Designer, nothing is ever that clean or nicely bucketed into neat little boxes.
What happens when a supposedly modern, cashless society suddenly requires cash from those who don't carry often carry it? And then what happens when ATMs don't dispense bills in the denominations required? Pure rage. That's what happens.
This is the first time I’ve had the luxury of a few months time spent being methodical and meticulous in my search process (with a detailed spreadsheet and everything). In the process of preparing for interviews, cover letters, personalized resumes and portfolio updates, I’ve been able to reflect and learn a bit about myself, what I’m looking for, and how to best approach a job search.
I think in visuals. When I'm working through a system, concept or UI, I nearly always start with pen on paper, even if its just words, scribbles, and rectangles. Thinking visually is something most people stop doing as soon as art class isn't a requirement, for many this is in grade school, which is a travesty. Learning to visualize our ideas is an important skill in all kinds of fields, not just design.
Dear Adobe Photoshop,
It's not me, its you. While I appreciate that you're the only tool capable of handling complex image manipulation, I had to leave all of your complexity and feature explosion behind. While I see great potential in Adobe XD as a tool for building both UI and flows, it's simply become too unwieldy to use you for UI.
I lead a structured an ideation session around three key activities, each one with a separate goal that would move us from research into the design and build phase. Ultimately, the session proved so fruitful that nearly every other Capstone team copied our same methodology (partly because we did our presentation first and everyone followed). Here’s what we did: