Mia Pokriefka enrolled in User Experience Design in January 2014 at General Assembly’s Los Angeles campus. Before long, she was able to combine her passion for serving and empowering people with her newly-learned UX skills into a site called Elm. Together with her best friend, Elissa, and a former classmate, Amanda, Mia is building her own company. Elm teaches everyone the skills you need for life based on other people’s shared experiences. Continue reading →
More and more engineering-focused companies are trying to become design-centric. But wanting a design culture isn’t the same as creating one. It isn’t as simple as saying, “Just use design thinking.”
Companies of all sizes are realizing that software is fundamental to business and design-thinking is the tool that leads to better software. In a time when design strategy and user experience are one in the same, companies are working to become more design-centric.
The move towards design-centric cultures is not always an easy or a straight path. While there is definitely risk involved in making a priority shift, design is emerging at the forefront of many business models.
“The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” -Alice Walker
SOLA/HACK was a design hackathon I organized, hosted by General Assembly’s downtown L.A. campus. Participants included current students and alumni from General Assembly and USC. The objective of the hackathon was to apply design thinking and UX design principles to issues specific to the South L.A. community, with an eye toward how appropriate uses of technology could be used to help address social, economic, and environmental problems. While technology can be a powerful tool for change (think of the crucial role of cell phones during the Arab Spring uprising), it was stressed that there is not an easy techno-fix to every social problem. So participants were encouraged to look beyond just apps or websites and employ systems-based thinking on their solutions.
Since graduating from GA DC’s first UXDI course last year summer, Nina has honed her skills with freelance gigs, one of them at a big political consulting firm. When Nina wasn’t freelancing or leading a Code for America chapter, she made time for Visual Design this spring. Since her second GA graduation, she’s been exploring the nonprofit space by working with the Asia Foundation. After her work in Cambodia, Nina is considering other ways she can share the value of good UX in DC and beyond.
Faz (top row second from the left) with his UXDI students at General Assembly.
After several years designing for nonprofits and companies, Faz decided to make a go of freelancing full-time. After almost three years of choosing his own projects and clients, Faz committed to teaching the first UXDI course at General Assembly DC. He’s taught almost every UXDI cohort since.
Big data is just what it sounds like; data so big that it’s not easily processed through conventional methods. However, once this large data set is eventually distilled down, user experience can play a huge role in making sense of the reports and leading the charge for user-centered solutions.
User experience (UX) is the bridge between big data analytics and the end user. The richness of big data being collected by all types of companies has unleashed a treasure trove of information for user experience designers. UX designers can create more robust solutions for users by analyzing these enormous data sets.
Every day, more CEOs and business leaders are realizing the importance of a product’s design and user experience. UX is no longer an ambiguous acronym or secondary business concern, but a key piece of a product’s success. With so many useful apps and products on the market, companies can no longer risk having a poor user experience or uninspiring design. Users demand great experiences, and it’s user experience designers who help products meet these high expectations.
User experience designers are positioned for success in today’s job market. They get to work in a growing and intellectually stimulating field, playing a key part in shaping a product’s success across a variety of industries — from finance to education to to e-commerce and more. Read below to explore why UX design may just be the perfect career for you.
Mobile screens keep getting bigger, but our thumbs stay the same size. This is an unfortunate situation, and it isn’t going away. Designers have their hands full (pun intended) making sure thumbs feel comfortable and productive on this ever-expanding glass surface.
Steve Hoober conducted a defining study in 2013 on how users really hold their smartphones in which he and his team observed over 1300 people using mobile devices out in the real world. He found that 75% of users interact with their phones using their thumb, opposed to fingers alone. He also found that 49% of the people observed manipulate their phone with just one hand.
So what does this mean? Knowing that people prefer to use their thumb and that half of people use their phones one-handed will inform how user interface elements should be designed and laid out on the screen. With the ever-increasing phone size, our thumbs are getting much more of a workout than we ever intended. However, fear not! Designers are working hard to ease the burden on thumbs through innovative UX and UI patterns.
GA Co-founder and CEO Jake Schwartz receiving donation at CGI America.
General Assembly’s mission has always been to help people everywhere pursue the work that they love. To expand that mission, we founded Opportunity Fund, a philanthropic fellowship program that provides hands-on education, mentorship, and career opportunities to underrepresented groups across the globe. Continue reading →
User experience is an industry that is constantly evolving. Whether you’re a new practitioner or a seasoned veteran it’s important stay up-to-date on the latest conversations and ideas happening in the industry. So how do you stay updated and relevant? Here’s a clue: you’re doing it right now. Reading blogs is a quick and easy way to remain current. Below you’ll find some of my all-time favorite user experience design blogs; including established industry leaders as well as niche blogs discussing innovative topics.