A fundamental desire in humans, I believe, is to express ourselves. From constructing boats and buildings out of Lego blocks, to scribbling in our notebooks, from strumming the strings on a guitar or tapping the keys on a piano, to dancing, cooking, programming, we are all making something as self-expression.
For me, one of the ways that I do this is through design.
The year was 1998, I was 16. I took a hit of HTML for the first time. I was awe-struck by how I could make something by manipulating something called “code”, and this code would do whatever I wanted. Hooked, for every web page I visited thereafter, I obsessive-compulsively viewed source, and taught myself how to code, asking: “What happens if I added this? What happens if I removed this?”. I didn’t know it, but I was on my way to spending a lot of time doing that and getting paid for it.
After taking Psych 101 my freshman year in college, I became increasingly interested in the psychology of everything: what we do, how we use things, why we use them, etc. Taking Intro to Computer Science, I was again enamored with the same sense of “oh my god I’m things by writing a few lines of code!” I spent more time in the computer lab making awful programming jokes and remembering to type semicolon than any other punctuation marks that whole year.
A year of studying in France mixed with my multicultural upbringing made a perfect cocktail of curiosity in cultural and social patterns, and how humans communicate. Lucky for me, there was a major that fed this interest. I studied Usability Engineering and Interaction Design (splitting hair with semantics here, but let’s let that go for now) at the University of Washington iSchool.
I currently work as a Designer at Slalom Consulting. I am a board member of the Puget Sound SIGCHI (Special Interest Group in Computer Human Interaction), a group of Design professionals in the … you guessed it, Puget Sound.