User Experience is a class I was really excited about when the semester began. And I think that enthusiasm is what made me realize how much I actually love this kind of stuff. Tailoring design to suit the needs of real people is something I’ve always been intrigued by, and I feel very fortunate to have learned so much about it.
Research was really the main thing covered in this class. The big lesson I took away from it was understanding. Not just regurgitating quantitative information, but applying it on a qualitative and conceptual level. Understanding is the key to creating good work. And that applies to any subject. It’s not just design. It’s life.
I feel like I’ve unlocked some of the secrets of design; like I’ve been given some exclusive tools for being amazing. I’m part of an elite club of designers who take actual people into consideration, and not just “getting the job done.”
User Experience has actually made me re-think my future as a designer. I came into this program with the idea that I’d end up working in for a small, local company, doing glorified desktop publishing for random clients. But now, my standards have changed, and I’m starting to take a real interest in catering to niche markets and subcultures. These unique groups of people need someone to speak for them and to them, and I want to become that someone.
I’ve decided that information architecture is yet another direction I could possibly take in my life (and definitely enjoy!). I love the idea of building usable information out of raw data and content. Sculpting something practical out of something mundane is like magic. The geek in me loves to create order and hierarchy, and I love making it accessible and digestible too.
Between UX and IA, I think I’ve developed quite a design arsenal this semester. I’m getting dangerous.
Typography 4 taught me how to manage a project on my own. This was my first real self-directed class, and I learned more about myself than I did about typography. I think typography was just a medium for that. The experimentation process also taught me about how a project can evolve dramatically over time and become something really refined and engaging. And it taught me to keep pushing things, even when I think I’ve pushed enough. There’s always more to do, and there’s always something better to achieve.
This semester has been the most nurturing, inspiring, and stimulating semester I’ve ever had. I’ve learned more about myself and who I want to be in these three classes than I have in my entire college career.