Simplicity at its finest.

With design decisions, complexity is easy. Focusing on the most important interactions and making those great is hard work.

This is why I love doing what I do. I get to quiet the noise, cut out the unnecessary, refine the essentials, and help bridge the gap between technology and people.

User Experience Design - why is it needed?

Project teams need to be reminded of who they are really designing for.

Projects often begin with a grand idea - the success of which relies heavily on human interaction - but once the real work starts to take place, the human element quickly gets lost. User Experience Designers help project teams remember the people who will be on the receiving end of the product so that the project doesn't fail before it even launches.

User Experience Design works to ensure the long-term success of any digital design project.

User Experience Design gets out in front of a project and researches the needs of end users to ensure that the right work is being planned for the right people. It connects business goals with the goals of the target audience by bringing the customer to the forefront throughout the design and development process. It then stays involved long after the product launches to ensure that the goals are actually being met.

Needless to say, User Experience Design is crucial to the long-term success of any digital design project.

What skills does it take to be a UX Designer?

Skills to get the job done.

I've found that speaking the language of developers, designers and users is what helps bring people to a common understanding of what really needs to get done.

With over six years of web design experience and over two years solely focused on user experience design, I've developed the skills necessary to represent the needs of users in ways that make sense to multi-disciplined teams.

Prototyping

Building low- and high-fidelity wireframes helps communicate intent before worrying about branding elements.

Coding

I use all the essentials to create clickable, realistic prototypes to show interaction flow.

Visual Design

When colors, typography, and imagery become part of the design process, I create visual comps to convey creative ideas.

Content

Digital interactions are nothing without content. I'm extremely passionate about focusing on introducing the right content in the right context.

My Toolbox

Prototyping

  • Balsamiq
  • Axure
  • Microsoft Visio
  • Mockflow

Front End Coding

  • HTML & CSS
  • SASS & Compass
  • JQuery
  • PHP

Visual Design

  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Adobe Illustrator

Content Management

  • Expression Engine
  • Craft
  • MODX
  • Wordpress

Why I Love What I Do

It's hard to find a career that is both deeply fulfilling and equally challenging. I truly never thought I would be lucky enough to do what I love while making a difference.

I know I'm not directly saving the world or finding ways to provide clean water to other nations, or spending time in medical research to find cures for incurable diseases. However, I do get to indirectly touch lives by connecting businesses with human beings through digital interactions. When I know that I've helped make someone's life better -- however small of a thing it may have been -- I feel like there's nothing else in the world I'd rather be doing.

Understanding how people interact with digital design has been, and continues to be, a journey for me. People aren't always predictable and technology is constantly changing. It keeps me in a constant learning mode and just when I think I know it all, I'm surprised by a whole new set of information.

One of the real challenges comes when I have to communicate what I've learned in ways that will make sense to project teams who have different sets of things to worry about. They deal with technological constraints and enormous amounts of data. They have to evaluate what can be done vs. what should be done. They need to have someone who speaks on behalf of the customer while being willing to let go of things that aren't truly feasible. Communicating with the deeply logical folks who are smarter than I will ever be actually brings me a whole lot of joy and I always feel honored to be working beside them.

About Christy

I'm currently employed full-time as a UX Designer in the Pacific Northwest. I do website and graphic design on the side and some blogging just for fun. I love looking at ridiculously expensive clothes and am addicted to Ritz Crackers and Swiss cheese.

Say hello or get some advice.

I really enjoy giving people usability help on their websites. It's really amazing how following a few basic principles can improve the overall experience and increase the possibility of gaining return visitors. Feel free to reach out to me on LinkedIn if you need help with your project or follow me on Twitter!