We Have Reached the End.

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At the beginning of my graduate degree, I was not sure what I would focus on. I dabbled in various topics throughout, honing in on film-style classes. There were some classes that were out of my comfort zone, though, this being one of them.

This is it, folks. The end. We made it. I am one step closer to earning my Master’s in Interactive Media.

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A Journey Map to Getting Pointe Shoes

pair of brown ballerina shoes

Photo by: Nihal Demirci

When you are a young dancer, you dream of being able to be like the older girls that twirl and leap on the tips of their toes. How do they do that? As you grow and become a stronger ballerina, you begin to realize that there is a certain shoe made for dancing on your toes: a pointe shoe. This ballet shoe is built industrially, yet painfully. There is a box of wood at the bottom of the shoe at the toes. This enables the dancer to lift their body onto the smallest parts of their feet as if nothing hurts or is out of the ordinary. So, what’s the pointe? If you want to be a professional, you have to endure the pain that is becoming a prima ballerina.

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Are We Going to Have a Problem?

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Through the creative process, it is critical that we define the problem, the goal of the project, and the solution to all of the above. As designers, it is our job to define a problem statement to figure out how well your proposed solution solves it, if it solves it at all. Not only do we have to keep an eye on how our creation looks and feels to the user it is going to be seen or used by, we also have to figure out how useful it is. This is why problem statements are the hardest, but one of the most crucial aspects of designing for the user.

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Persona-lly, I Like Being a Designer & a User!

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As designers, we must become in-tune with our users. We need to view the world through their eyes, and make sure we understand what they want, why they want it, and how they look for it. To do this, we need to collect information from the people around us that would use our website, service, or product. This may seem tricky, but to handle all of this collected information, it is easiest to create personas.

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Empathy Mapping: Undercover Boss Style

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As many of you may know, but some of you may not, Undercover Boss is a television show that allows bosses or higher-ups in companies to evaluate how their businesses are doing and how their employees are feeling about working there. These authority figures go, well, undercover, as trainees at a company’s store, factory, or restaurant to feel everyone’s emotions out on a personal basis. This allows the boss-figure to get to the root of the issue(s) without the employees knowing who they are really talking to. If they knew they were talking to their boss, would they say half of the things that are bothering them about working there? Probably not.

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Empathy’s Importance in Designing for the User

person holding eyeglasses

Photo by: Josh Calabrese

In order to see an experience through another person’s eyes, and to recognize why people do what they do or why they do it, it is best to gather information using empathy. As designers who create for what the people need and want, we must take into account that empathy is our gateway to better insights about the user that may surprise us. How do we use empathy to help us, though? Through empathy mapping.

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User Experience Importance in Makeup Websites

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Over the years, we as humans have developed specific traits when it comes to surfing our way through the internet. We scroll to read more, scroll away, or scroll to get to the next interesting topic. We like skimming instead of deep reading, and we like scanning videos for the juicy bits. We interact with picture carousels, but only a little bit. We need fewer choices when it comes to products, articles, and pictures because too many of one thing overwhelms us.

Humans are funny creatures, and we are definitely picky when it comes to making up our minds about whether or not we will scroll past or keep reading content.

All of these traits play into how designers develop content and websites for their users. This brings me to UX and UI. User experience and user interface are extremely important to designers, but just what do they mean exactly?

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