I’ve been somewhat busy recently. You see, last week Charlotte gave birth to my second child. Both mum and bub are well. It’s day two at home (after being in the hospital for four nights) and I’ve managed to request an hour for myself to collect my thoughts.
On the back of my last Design Challenge, I realised I didn’t really have the full picture to do design challenges properly. For one thing, I lacked the basic understanding of common UI patterns so came up clueless when it was time to actually create my design. A simple Google search yielded plenty of results, ui-patterns.com being one of them. I just have to commit them to memory so that I can draw upon them the next time I do a design challenge.
The other thing was that I didn’t have a core understanding of Interaction Design (IxD). I have access to an IxD course on Lynda.com through work so I’ve been getting my learn on between changing nappies and bottle feeds. To test myself, I’m going to define Interaction Design on the spot here, just to see if I “get” what it’s really about:
Interaction Design is the practice of understanding how people interact with digital interfaces and its improvement.-Johnson Kee.
I reckon that’s it in a nutshell. Anyway, I’ve done that Lynda course and now have a foundational level of understanding. I’ll have to come back to it and revisit some parts but all in due time.
20 days until I start my part-time UX design course with Academy Xi. It will be Tuesdays and Thursdays 6:15 til 8:45 after work for 10 weeks. I’ll be at home right up until the start of the course, so this gives me some time to think of the approach I want to take to make the most of this course.
As I mentioned in my first Design Challenge post, I currently work at Oracle as a client services consultant for a SaaS product. My goal is to move into a UX Design role within Oracle. To me, what makes the most sense is focusing on this product that I’ve been servicing and giving it a UX make over. I’ve fielded 1000’s of calls from its users and have an acute understanding of areas causing frustrations.
So that’s the UX Design part of the equation sorted. For large companies like Oracle, you’re bound to have red tape, bureaucracy and hoops to jump through. Instead of seeing this as an impediment, I choose to see it as an opportunity to practice getting buy in. Getting people to see the value of UX Design is an ongoing battle as the value of delighting users permeates into the collective corporate consciousness (especially in Australia).
My boss is the sales manager for the Australia region and has some clout as to features that get developed. For the purposes of this project, I intend to treat him as the Product Manager. I’ll report on the strategy and approaches I’ll use to try and get him to buy into my design recommendations. I’ll spend a part of these 20 days getting a head start on my project so I can hit the ground running. To do that, I’ll have a look at the curriculum of the course itself and see if I can do a few weeks of stuff in advance. That will probably a whole post in of itself.
I might try and squeeze in another design challenge before I get going in earnest. That was the other thing I realised with my first few design challenges: it didn’t make much sense doing them quickly if I couldn’t do them slowly first. Doing it slowly would give me an appreciation of the holistic process. So we’ll see how that goes.