I'm a UXer
I've been solving digital problems since 2003.
I was a project manager once. That was tough. I was a back-end developer once. Coding was fun. Or should I say decoding, cause it's problem-solving, really. I did some graphic design. That was cool. Then I was a jack of all trades (aka Marketing Programs Manager). I designed, developed, tested, marketed, and sold. That was a great experience; I got to work with a product end-to-end, but the product itself was boring.
Then I discovered User Experience and I fell in love. It bridges design (cool) and development (fun) and incorporates all my favourite subjects like Sense and Perception, Cognition, Research Methods, Human Factors, Personality, Design & Analysis, and Sociology. What do all of these have in common? Psychology. I really enjoy and appreciate clean design and streamlined development, but it's understanding and analyzing the "who, what, where, when, why and how" part of design that really excites me.
Now that I'm doing what I love and love what I do, I create lovely, intuitive, delightful experiences. I like to challenge constraints, turn up the fun, and tailor solutions to each audience's goals, with the client's needs in check too, of course, cause someone's gotta pay the bill.
I have creative roots
My whole life I've had two things: frizzy brown hair and a passion for creative things. When I was 12 I skipped a grade 8 graduation trip to attend art camp instead. When I was 15 I worked for less than $2/hr at my dream job - Arts & Crafts Teacher at a summer camp. I tried all sorts of arts growing up with some faves being painting, photography, set design, origami, calligraphy, and woodworking. I was naturally good at most artistic things, and terrible at drawing. By the time I graduated high school I still couldn’t draw a decent stick man, but I had something else going for me - I was damn good at math, and especially liked the problem-solving maths like calculus. So when I decided on a university degree to pursue, I married art and math. In 2007, I completed a degree in Information Technology with a Major in Interactive Multimedia and Design, Minor in Psychology, and an Advanced Diploma in Media and Design.
I love to travel
I got my first full-time permanent job doing website design and marketing for a software company. Before starting this 9-5, M-F desk job, I did a six-week tour of Venezuela and Brazil. It was meant to be the trip of a lifetime; a bachelorette party for my freedom. I wondered if it was going to be the last time I would ever travel more than a week or two at a time...
Four employers and seven years after my jaunt in Brazil I traded in my car, my bicycle, my apartment, and my job for a trip around the world. In fact, my car was a write-off, my bicycle was stolen, my apartment lease ended and my employer granted me a leave of absence. Anyway, the stars aligned. So I planned my fairytale trip around the world (and wrote an article on how I did that.)
Throughout 2014 I went to 25 countries and 55 cities across Asia, Europe, Africa, and South America. I took thousands of photos. I met dozens of amazing people. If you ask me what my favourite place was I can't answer. Berlin was the most fulfilling. Vietnam was among the tastiest and friendliest. Bali was the most enchanting. Edinburgh (Scotland), Leiden (Holland) and Luang Prabang (Laos) were the three prettiest cities I've ever seen, Dubai was the most spectacular, and Japan was astounding in the depth and breadth of ingenuity throughout every aspect of the food, art, architecture, and the environment. Overall, I discovered many differences and many more similarities across cultures and the ways people around the world express art, architecture, design, fashion, food, coffee… they’re all arts in the museum of life.