To me, design is about connection, knowledge and passion. I fell in love with design because of the technical challenges, as well as the social challenges. It is both analytical and creative. Programming and database programming are, for me, these beautiful puzzles out of which interaction occurs. Above all, I want to create designs and solutions that align to user needs, in both commercial and non-commercial settings.
For me, project management and collaboration are essential to the design process, particularly in user experience design. Our work depends on collaborating with those in business, visual designers and programmers; being able to to collaborate on projects requires a shared understanding. Technical knowledge helps with this (it’s important to know the challenges a programmer faces when implementing applications, and the challenges of business that those leading face), but empathy is the most essential ingredient. The other ingredient essential but at times overlooked is project management; understanding the flow of the project, and how it connects to other projects and systems, is essential. Good project management allows you to test assumptions, change direction if needed, and measure progress.
This design work was done both in industry, higher education and graduate school. I am passionate about design, and always have a project I am working on that expands my knowledge base. I have collaborated with industrial designers, environmentalist, museum designers, graphic designers, information technologists, marketing strategists and programmers. Like all good collaborations, I learned so much, having the luck of working with bright, determined people.