Creating opportunities with technology
I have been interested in user experience (UX) design since I was small. I just never knew the name for it.
My first blog posts through this website featured the home I lived in as a child. My mother and father designed and built that house from the ground up. They envisioned a space where everyone from toddlers to seniors could move around freely in every part of the home, from the basement to the attic.
I was in first grade when my parents signed a contract with a construction company to begin work on the new house.
My parents and I lived in a small rental property a couple of blocks away while the new house was under construction. Our rental house had thick yellow carpet on each floor that always seemed to pile and scuff under my feet as I walked on it.
My rental bedroom was at the top of a steep flight of stairs covered in the same yellow carpet. My frequent walks up and down those stairs eventually wore the carpet down to a flatter, ratty texture that didn’t trip me up so much, but the climbs up and down that vertical mountain were never easy.
My parents could even discern my walking trail from the top of the stairs on the second floor to my bedroom directly across the hall. The path where I walked had thinner carpet than everywhere else around it.
One day my parents’ construction team invited my parents to walk through the interior of the new house. At this point the foundations were set and the floors and exterior paths were solid concrete. Wood frames defined the structure and layout of individual rooms on each floor.
My parents decided to take me with them on their survey of the property.
I have vivid memories of that visit. I soon tired of the adult conversation about which room was where and how each one would be wired for electricity, but I loved our concrete floors. I ran laps on them over and over again—first the basement, then the main floor. Once I even ran out the front door. I was halfway down the driveway before my parents caught up with me.
There was no yellow carpet to slow me down, no piling or scuffing to worry about. Even the vertical mountain was gone—the wood stairs at the new house were the conventional height. Nothing was in my way anymore. I was free.
For the first time, I realized how strong I was.
I knew I could take on the world.
And the design changes in the new house—from carpet to concrete, from steep to standard—gave me that sense of power.
They made me wonder what else I was capable of. They opened my mind to new possibilities.
Although I did not know it then, this was the moment that awoke my passion for user experience design. Over time I noticed how people coped with poorly designed products or spaces that did not put the user first. People tolerated them, sometimes at the expense of their health and peace of mind.
When I began working on websites at my first job, I realized those same frustrations apply in a digital space. UX web design incorporates user principles for the digital world so users can enjoy being online.
I will be offering my services as a UX web designer to you soon. At present I am working on several projects.
I favor simple, clean solutions that make life easier for everyone, especially your ideal customer or client, because I know how frustrating it is when something is not designed for you.
I know the feeling of missed opportunity when you must live and work with a poor design choice. I know the feeling of exhilaration when a good design choice works as it should and empowers you.
And I encourage thinking beyond the needs of the moment to consider the needs of the future, so that your design choices can serve you well for as long as possible.
At my parents’ house, the concrete floors where I once ran races have been beautiful hardwood laminate for more than twenty years.
I learned early on that wise designs create opportunities. Through my website design work I create opportunities with technology. The possibilities are endless.