How I got my start
Design is everywhere and it affects our daily experience whether we are actively or passively using or experiencing those designs. Design is art and science. It is both emotional and subconscious.
This site is my experience with design and how I have used design to help shape experiences for others and make a living while doing it. This is my portfolio of work, a platform to show my raw skills and a place to share my thoughts surrounding the space of the user experience, and the fundamentals that encompass that.
I have been at this journey for a few years since I started professionally in 1996/97 when the Internet first made debut for the masses. I was there studying Visual Communications with a focus in Graphic Design when they placed the first Mac II’s in front of us. They were like small coffee makers with like 9 inch black and white screens. Our first program was Adobe’s flagship application Illustrator 1.0. We also had n application called Digital Darkroom that soon after become Adobe’s Photoshop 1.0.
While in college in the late 80’s and early 90’s we were using pencils, markers, tape, Exacto-knives, paints, all types of paper, T-squares, and rulers. Then, the computer lab was opened and we started using those Macs. It was pretty cool. We could print type on the laser printer, cut it out, and paste it up. No longer did we have to use the lino-typer machine. It was awesome. Yet, despite the Mac, we didn’t give up on our traditional art supplies. Graphic Design was still a very hands-on craft. Tangible. Fun. You had to be able to draw and paint and use markers to tell your story. It took great talent and technical skill. I miss those days.
I shifted gears at that point and went to get my BA in Motion Picture and Video Production from Montana State University where I transferred over 100 art credits and a pretty good GPA. While at the university in about 1994 I took a class on the introduction to the internet, the world wide web, and HTML. It was a very introductory level lecture-based class with about 300 other students. It went pretty quickly. I probably got a B level grade. I don’t’ really remember more than that besides that we covered lots of information and I had no idea of how big the internet and the web were going to be. Nor at the time did care. I was in film school. I was going to be a movie director or a screenwriter.
I graduated there in 1995. It was then that the internet was becoming mainstream and commercial. And I looked at the internet and the world wide web at that time a couple of years later right after graduation and realized that the internet and the web were going to be big. Really big. I knew deep down that it was going to be bigger than the telephone, the radio, or the television. In hindsight, it turns out I was right. And so at that time, I got my first Mac in early 1996. It was expensive. It was a Power Mac 400. I also got Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop and began to practice. And so it was. In no time at all, I was working as a Web Designer in downtown Seattle in 1997. I never looked back.
There is more to this story and I may revisit various pages or chapters of it anecdotally as I weave my way around some of the various aspects and topics of the fundamentals of the user experience, both the work itself and working in the industry. But for now, that is how I got my start.
Thank you for stopping by and taking a look. I appreciate your visit.
User Experience Designer