First of all, thanks for taking the time to read my story. I’ll do my best to keep it short and relevant to the topic.
I’ve kinda always been interested in user experiences, but I never knew it was something that could get you a job or be something that you could work with. I just thought it was something that could not go past being a hobby.
When I was 17, I was creating these interfaces while I was playing World of Warcraft. In fact, I enjoyed creating these interfaces more than playing the game. It was a very time-consuming hobby, and I did it without any pay or anything. My friends who were playing always thought I was using too much time on my interfaces, but for me, it was just fun to discover how the next interface would be. And to me, every time I made a new version, the next big thing for me was to destroy it and start over. And today, I now realize how the methods and techniques I used to make the interface are the ones we are taught at my education as a Digital Design student @ Aarhus University in Denmark.
Back then, I remember I knew I wanted a future working with this, but I did not know what. I tried to look into it, but the job positions I found was directions such as a developer or some kind of designer working with Adobe, and these were not the aspects I enjoyed when I was making my interface. I did code, and I obviously also cared about the looks of my interface but only to an extent that the interface required. Like, I wouldn’t just code for fun, or play with UI themes. For me, it was more about understanding every element of the interface and questioning myself “Can this be done in a fashion that will promote peoples ability to play the game?” And with this focus in mind, I continuously reflected and re-created what seemed to be every element of the interface.
I didn’t, however, know what it was I enjoyed until I encountered others talking about UX and verbalizing the things I find interest in (thank you Don Norman).
When I try to reflect why I think I feel so confident and comfortable in this domain, I believe it comes back to my character and the way I was raised. Like, I’m very empathetic and I like being tidy (I had strict Turkish parents). When I was a kid I remember I would stare at e.g. my drawer and reflect how I would organize the content of the drawer. It probably seems silly, but really, this is the same thing I do today whenever I want to improve anything. In my head, I separate each element, and then I reorganize it through external factors (e.g. wanting the interface to support pro players). And I’d apply this thinking everywhere I could. All my folders from school when I was a child was almost so perfect that it was scary. And it’s funny because I don’t think people would think that I am organized when they meet me. I am so forgetful, easily distracted, and my mind often wanders on its own so I don’t always recall all details when people tell me something. But if you visit my computer, the place I live or even like my gym locker, you’ll think that I am a perfectionist.
Today, I’ve gotten myself an internship position as a user experience designer at my dream company. Although I’ve only been a design student for a year (I have a bachelor in English, and for my master’s I am enrolled Digital Design), I still was picked out of 70 people who applied for the position which is insane! And I believe this comes back to my character and my attitude more than necessarily my skills.
This was a little of my story. I’m still new to these forums, and I can’t wait to read more about you guys.
(If you want to check out the interface, you can find it on my website: www.caglararaz.com under “iLive user interface”)