I always bang on about how the value of belonging to a community like this lies in the networking and relationships you form with peers that have skills and interests that are similar or complimentary to your own. In order to help you do that, I introduced the Member Spotlight idea a couple of months ago, with the idea of helping you get to know a bit more about each other.
This time we're getting to know the highly entertaining [
I asked him a few questions, and this is what he said:
What first sparked your interest in UX?
I'd studied some of the principles of designing for the user at college, the term UX wasn't around. It was more a product design consideration, design for the 95th percentile sort of idea. About 2 years ago we were taking a Digital Marketing course at work. The idea being to help us all get a better understanding of the business issues coming up, as we were pushing our online side.
UX was mentioned in passing, under I think the SEO part of the course. Like a lot of these courses, you’re just given signposts to information rather than the information itself. So I just Googled 'UX Design' and read a lot of stuff, but it was Matt's Sketch Video which really made everything click for me. So I looked up UXMastery and fired off an email. The real starting point was from Matt's detailed reply, this really help me to get understanding and learning as much as I can.
Matt's video for those who haven't seen it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ovj4hFxko7c
Who is your UX role model and why?
To be honest, I can't say I've met too many UX designers in the flesh, well they may have been in disguise, who knows. I think having done David Travis's excellent online Udemy course, he would have to be up there.
Firstly, he’s been doing this for so long, well before UX was called UX. He has pioneered a lot techniques we now take for granted. And secondly he is totally committed to keeping high standards, he has said he won’t work with companies that don't understand what they do. Also his company is kept deliberately small to prevent the principles of what they do being diluted.
What is the dream project or client that you’d like to design the experience for?
I'd say something thats very unique, NASA would be good. Designing a user interface that is only going to be used by a few astronauts. Imagine the pressure to make sure that the user has all the information they need in front of them.
Also I like to work with small businesses, restaurants, pubs, shops etc. When I look at these type of websites, I see so many small changes that could be made, which would have a huge affect. We used to have a great vinyl record store in Galway, and he couldn't compete with the bigger shops and online selling, despite having a loyal customer base. There are definitely solutions out there to keep these guys going, and I think good UX and a bit of e-commerce, combined with their expert knowledge, would really give them an edge.
If you weren’t in your current job, what job or career would you choose?
I had wanted to be an Art Teacher, but my own Art Teacher didn't agree. So she steered my portfolio towards a Graphic look. So Art College said NO, and Design College said "Hmmmmmmmmmm OK".
Outside of that, to own a small Kayaking tours business during the day, and run a laid back seaside bar by night would do just fine.
When have you been the most satisfied in your life?
Not sure, I'm not generally the unsatisfied type. I shipped my old VW Bug from Australia back to Ireland some years ago, and myself and my dad (mostly my dad) restored it.
Driving it around in on a sunny day is brill.
Satisfaction for me is also any time I learn something new.
If you could choose one superpower, what would it be and why?
I think the speed of Superman, the way he types when he is under a deadline at the Daily Planet is a real skill. And being able to do everything that quick would help, as some days are just not long enough.
Lastly… do you have a site, a blog, a twitter feed or anything else that you’d like to use this opportunity to promote?
Currently building website, when its up, I'll send on the link.
I'm always on twitter.
Thanks for reading....