Glad to be a new member of this community. Hope I can be an active part for a long time to come.
My work life.
I am a 50 year old Xerox employee of thirty years. I started out as a technician working on the small desktop copiers and over the course of twenty six years worked my way up to the room filling, high speed networked production printing and scanning equipment. Four years ago I became what Xerox calls an Office Systems Analyst. My current position’s duties include pre-sale support and implementation of network printers and workflow solutions. My job is to get the printers online and configured to work on the customer’s network to allow them to print, scan, fax and copy. They also need to sometimes integrate with Xerox or our third party partner’s workflow solutions which can include accounting solutions, device and/or document management systems to name a few. Security and now printing from mobile devices are big parts of it as well. I also need to help provide training to the end users and to assist in helping them make the transition to the new solution.
The pre-sale part is another aspect of the job. I join the sales reps when they meet with clients to discuss their current environment and how Xerox can assist in streamlining their document workflow. Sometimes a total rework of their system is in order and sometimes we need to utilize their current infrastructure and document repositories i.e. Microsoft Sharepoint to minimize disruption and maintain continuity. A lot of work goes into researching the customer in the area of what market they are in such as finance, legal, education etc. because each market has its own set of requirements. We then dig deep into the specific customer environment examining things such as number of printers including locally attached desktops, current computer environment i.e.PC versus Mac or a combination of both, software versions of OS’s on work stations and servers and so on.
My life life.
I am married twenty five years and have a seventeen year old daughter. My daughter is the reason I got interested in web design and coding. Since I am a FIRM believer in “never stop learning”, I have immersed myself in learning all I can about design. It started when she started her blog on Tumblr. I started one as well to follow along but Tumblr seems to be for the younger crowd. Maybe it’s just me feeling old but that’s how I saw it. I opted for a Wordpress.com blog instead. (Oppositeendoftheuniverse.wordpress.com is mine but I don’t post anywhere near as often as I should.) When I looked at my daughter’s blog, I said that it looked really cool. Her response was, “Yeah. I saw this theme but it wasn’t quite right. So I tweaked it.” Just like that. No training. No classes. Just “tweaked” the HTML to make it look the way she wanted it. Kids can be smug little brats like that. J She does admit to struggling “a little” with CSS though.
I am probably taking too many courses but that is a quirk of mine. When doing something I see something else that is connected to it and I add that in. I am glad about the UX piece though. The user experience course was one of the later courses I started but saw immediately the benefits of UX that can be applied in EVERYTHING we do. I use the basic principles in my job at Xerox because in the end the better the end user experience, the more likely the client will stick with you when contract renewal time approaches. I use it when I help design the solution. I use it when I implement the solution. I use it when I train the users. Let’s face it. A bad user experience and they WILL go elsewhere! Not everything is in my control though. I do have to use the devices, equipment and solutions that are available to me but I can mix and match to make that UX the best it can be for each client.
Telling my story.
When asked to post my story, I said I would but it would take a while to post (sorry it’s taking a while to read as well) and that I would explain later. I realized two things when I sent that message. First, I realized the explanation I would have given is a BIG part of my story. Time for me in my day is very limited. I work in NYC but live about eighty miles north of the city. I have a two hour commute each way and wind up sleeping on the bus as often as I can when I’m not reading or doing the online courses. I’m starting to use CodeAnywhere either on my laptop or iPad to get my coding time in on the bus.
My beautiful wife, whom I love dearly, has several auto-immune disorders so I do much of the cooking, cleaning, laundry and basic chores and errands while managing the finances and taking care of the two cars, house and property. I’m lucky if I get 30 minutes a day to myself. Not very conducive to bettering myself in any way but I make do. No pity. I wouldn’t change anything in my life because of how much I love my wife and daughter.
The second thing I realized when I sent that message is that I shouldn’t tweet, text, email or probably even talk within one hour of waking up because I am still on auto-pilot and not thinking straight.
That’s my story of UX and how I think it’s important in everyday life and work. I seem to have at least partially been doing it all along. I just didn’t have a name for it. Now I do with thanks to places such as UXmastery and its people. UX in web design is one piece of the user experience experience. It’s a piece I hope to get deeper into very soon.
Thanks for sticking with me to the end. Cheers!