So, let's start with the name.
Once upon a time a young man went through medical school. If you want to hear his story, you'll have to go somewhere else, because I went through flight school. After that, I was exposed to the 3D industry and fell in love. I went for a BS in 3D animation and design, and loved every minute of it. At the time, my main 3D go to was 3DS Max. So, I ended up with the "Maxflyer" handle a few years back and have hung onto it.
Over the years, even when I've been in aviation positions I've always ended up doing some type of graphics based work for the company. web design, simulator UI design, etc. Eventually, I decided to leave aviation professionally and stick with the UI and 3D design since it was really where my heart was.
About four years ago I started working for the Department of Defense. When i arrived, it was pretty easy to see that something was missing. I would create designs for the developers, they would not have the expertise to do it, and we'd have all kinds of problems. I thought, "There has to be something missing. Is it me? Am I really that bad at design?" Well, maybe, but I also ran into something called "UX" while searching through various techniques. I was VERY intrigued. I knew right away that this could help us. So I started studying...a lot. Some things would work, some wouldn't. I started to view UX the same way Bruce Lee would styles and opponents. I learned that it wasn't about one technique, but finding the right technique for you and your users. I began to get them increasingly involved. But still had no "official" program.
After two years, I finally felt like I had enough understanding to approach leadership with a way forward. It came on the heels of a failed project that had 450% scope creep....so that helped. We are now on our first project with the new UX plan in place. Although we are only able to get certain elements going at the point, I understand that every journey starts with one step.
This community has been such a great resource for information and support. I've never left here feeling "less" even though so many have so much more experience. Thanks to all of you for everything. Ashlea and Hawk, a special thanks since I know I've shown up in your email certainly more than I should have.