I have always been immersed in systems. We all have. They just always seem to bother me more than most.
Waiting in long lines at the DMV, attempting to cancel a cable subscription, or encountering a session timeout at the end of a long form – these experiences constantly come with feelings of overwhelming helplessness and anger. What struck me, was how the designers of said systems always seemed to take the path of least resistance, which of course directly translates to the most resistance in our lives as customers. All of us feeling unheard, undervalued and annoyed, and nobody doing anything about it? Except, of course, I learned later, they were.
While studying sound engineering, a major component of my work was getting a signal from point A to point B. You would think this not too difficult a task. In the beginning, what derailed me so often was that the clues to where my path was being routed was on the back of my equipment. Hidden from view, having to be remembered. It wasn’t always the best experience, and because at the time I didn’t know any better, I often blamed myself when things didn’t work. I hardly think you have to have practiced sound engineering to experience difficulties with getting from point A to point B. We’ve all been there. While I was trying to figure out how to understand system paths in the mixing desks, sound modules and other fanciful pieces of equipment I was involved with, a whole new industry was being created: user experience.
Fueled by a desire to be a part of the solution, I have found my career. I work in a profession that allows me to make a difference. I work as a user experience designer, someone whose sole job is to think of others and create with them in mind. To me, it’s a chance to be a humanitarian of sorts. When I’ve created something that I know is going to make someone’s life easier, I feel justified. And If I’ve done my job well, they won’t even notice I’ve been there
Tagged under: who we are