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Column: Learning the art of good design

Photo by Sarah Irwin

A cluttered layout, inconsistent fonts, hard to read text, confusing menus, unintuitive buttons and more. How many times have you had to reap the frustrating consequences of poor design choices? If only there was someone to fix all of this.

Surprise! That’s what a user experience designer is for. Although the concept of user-centered design has been around ever since people started to design things, the term UX design (or user experience design) is still fairly new. Coined in 1993 by American researcher Donald Norman, UX encompasses all aspects of the end-user’s interaction with the company, its services and its products.

Around my senior year of high school, I knew I wanted to go into a creative field. After being told by those career personality tests that you’re required to take in high school that I should become either an actor or a tattoo artist – even though I’ve never acted a day in my life and have a fear of needles – I decided to do my own research.

While doing some research (spending a few days on Google), I stumbled upon user experience design, the holy grail of the creative field.

Luckily, my older sister had also decided to go into the UX field. She was able to teach me more about what it actually was, how it was different from graphic design and how to apply for the UX program at Bradley.

Looking back at the past three years, I have already learned so much about user experience design, but I still have so much more to learn. That’s yet another great thing about the design industry: there’s always something new to learn and it’s always changing.

One of the most important things I’ve learned so far is how important it is to stay updated on the forever-changing design trends. In order to be able to create user-friendly designs, it is crucial to stay informed on what design trends are “in” as well as what design trends are “out.”

Now, thanks to Google and my lovely sister, I am currently in my senior year as a UX Design major. During my time in school and within my internship at Precision Planting, I have been able to learn from some of the most incredible professors, be a part of wonderful projects and be coached by super talented mentors.

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