My journey to UX started before “UX” was a word.
But in retrospect, it was Destiny.
I’m fascinated by how individual the path to UX is for professionals. We start in a myriad of fields: art, design, education, computing science, psychology, writing, business, and more.
1991: My first week as a receptionist at a medium-sized company, and someone handed me a stack of carbon forms and pointed at a typewriter, and told me how to type a purchase order. I knew in my heart that there was a better way.
Luckily for me, I had a mentor, the Manager of information services. She handed me a box labelled FileMaker Pro (yes, back in the day when software came in boxes) and gave me the freedom to create a better way. I learned about user interfaces, data validation, logic, databases, and although I didn’t have a word for it then, user experience.
Since that week with the typewriter, I’ve never looked back.
I went into information services, where I did all the things, from crimping ethernet cables to hiring IT guys to building relational databases.
And then the world wide web happened. And the world never looked back.
The journey to UX got pretty wild. Like many others, I enjoyed the .com boom, when to know things like sql, php and css, was to be indispensable. Then, like many others, I suffered through the bursting of bubbles and financial recessions that followed, when to know how to design and build websites was still pretty handy, but no longer a guarantee of employment. But I knew that I was on the right path, so I stayed on it through the ups and downs. Technology is changing the world, and I knew it was a privilege to be a part of it.
And now I'm in UX. I wear several hats but I don't crimp ethernet cables any more.
Education? A BA in Communications. And a diploma in visual art.
Me as a bullet list?
- I’ve designed a lot of things, programmed a few, and diagrammed a lot of experiences.
- I have a long-standing affection for print, but my feet are firmly in the digital.
- I believe in the creative process. Come up with a great idea, and then sketch a hundred more.
- I’m an evangelist for user story mapping (thank you Jeff Patton). It changed the way I work.
- I truly believe that we need to answer the Why before the What and the How (thank you Abby Covert).
PS. Some people know me by my pet project, www.tricksyknitter.com . So if you’re wondering, Hey haven’t I seen you on Ravelry, yes, that’s me!