What I do
A principal UX and visual designer.
Why I do it
I'm a problem solver. User experience design is a vast landscape of processes, tools and techniques for learning and understanding problems so that you can fix them. It's an art, and a science, it's nerdy and elegant. My ninth grade science teacher changed my life as a kid with these simple words "observation is a science."
The kid that loved science but never loved the math that went along with it, that as an artist would observe for days before drawing something, the lightbulb clicked right there. UX is at its core an observational science and that's why I do it.
Who I am
I'm an avid learner. An endlessly curious kid that grew up on an island with ferry boats as his only connection to the outside world for some time. Having not been born there, I knew of the crazy malls that my peers craved on the weekends and rather enjoyed the quiet empty streets of the winter.
I have an unhealthy obsession with clouds. Not the digital, "build it in the cloud" web hosting clouds although those are cool too. The high in the sky, not a care in the world, ever changing by outside influences and endlessly complex real clouds.
I'm a gamer, which to say that nowadays is like saying I like to breathe air. On the flip side ranting about how I was a gamer before it was cool makes me sound more like a hipster than I care to be. Instead of the cranky old gamer that thinks everyone is spoiled today and hates reviews that mention that the graphics 'just don't look as good as they could.'
How I do it
I know and dabble in more tools than I care to admit, but a few of them deserve shoutouts:
- Photoshop - sure some people hate it, sure its bloated in places, but I've used it ever since I was a wee little one which means that I have over 25 years of using it. I'm sorry but it's like a family member at this point.
- InvisionApp - can you make a more streamlined tool to do a job with the right feature set and continue to improve it... yeah I didn't think so. It's hands down the best hot-spotting prototype tool I've ever used.
- Todoist - Everyone has a personal challenge, for years mine was finding the right task app that fit me, that worked the way I worked. I've tried dozens, hundreds maybe. Todoist was love at first sight. Its a simple HTML5 wrapped app which means out of the gate it was able to be injected into any environment you worked in. Better yet it used natural language processing to say "Call Matt tomorrow" and it would turn the task into "Call Matt" with a due date of tomorrow. Or "Repeat this every third Sunday" The thing is brilliant.
- Sketch - it's hip, it's clean, I love it at moments and hate it in others. Like any tool it has its pros and cons and I just need more time with it. I'd be more inclined to put time into it if it was Mac/PC but that doesnt seem likely and would have to be a full rewrite.
- Surface Book - I'm a PC guy, I'm a Mac guy, I'm a whatever does the job kinda guy. I've had a Mac for years after being a PC guy for most of my life. If Apple made a stylus based portable computing device that I could sketch on maybe I never would have fallen in love with the Surface lineup. As an artist its amazing, I can't say enough how much Microsoft has done with these devices and how they've changed my workflow. More on that later.
- Honorable mentions that deserve credit - Astute Graphics Illustrator plugins, Evernote, Mischief, Vue, PhotoMechanic, Webflow, Slack and on and on...