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Interview with User Experience Graduate EunMi Kim

Tell us about how you got interested in user experience design and what brought you to the UX Certificate.

As a graphic designer, I have always been interested in technology and interface design. One day, my marketing manager asked me to redesign the company website and mobile app layouts. For this project, my final design did not come out the way that would be the best for the consumers because I focused too much on designing visual elements rather than functions of the website.

After reading about the UX design certificate of UCLA Extension, I know that it would help me find answers to why my previous design was not suitable for the consumer experience. (And it did!) The curriculum explained well what I would study from each UX course, and I was very excited to learn from professional instructors with many experiences.

What was your favorite course, and why?

My favorite course was UX II: Iteration. In UX II, I had the chance to build practical experiences of how UX actually solves problems from the user’s perspective. At the beginning of this course, it was very challenging to figure out how to approach the solutions, but I was able to find the answers by working together with other students as a group.

How are you using your certificate experience in your current professional life?

As a professional graphic designer, now I care more about the user’s needs from the products and services that I create as much as visual aspects of my design.

What advice would you have for anyone interested in getting started in UX?

The core of UX design is not a matter of style, but how it works, and it’s something we can always improve more. If you are often annoyed by things that were not designed in the best way they could be, this UX course might be right for you.

Interview with User Experience Graduate Leo Peng

Tell us about how you got interested in user experience design and what brought you to the UX Certificate.

I was interested in UX design after listening to a lecture in a digital media class in college and after I created digital designs for an internship. I chose UCLA Extension’s UX Certificate program after reading about the positive experiences students had with the program and the job placement stories. What appealed to me was the opportunity to learn from industry professionals over the span of a year, to develop professional relationships, and to choose from a curated curriculum that’s constantly adapting to the needs of the industry.

What was your favorite course, and which was most helpful to your professional development?

My favorite course was User Experience IV: Capstone because the instructor and the class environment made me excited about the industry and reignited the fun I had in looking at the user experience of technology giants through a critical lens. The most helpful course was User Experience II: Iteration because it taught me not only the principles needed to get a job, but the in-depth knowledge of various tools I still use at my job every day.

How are you using your certificate experience in your current professional life?

The most important skill I took away from the certificate was working in a team environment with other designers. I was not able to experience this in my Bachelor’s program… And I work with other designers every day!

What advice would you have for anyone interested in getting started in UX?

If you’re interested in transitioning your career, think about whether or not you’re passionate about technology and design. In UX, you are constantly juggling your desire to be innovative in both of those.

Interview with Photography Graduate Yuki Yoshimatsu

Visit yyoshimatsu.com to see more of Yuki’s work

Tell us about how you got interested in photography and what brought you to the Photography Certificate.

I used to study filmmaking and worked in the industry for a while. During that time I would also snap a few photos on set. The more I took photos and the more I would look at other people’s work, I got more interested in it. It became a hobby that I wanted to expand my knowledge on and work on my craft. I decided that in order to do so, I should learn from the basics and work my way through. I believed UCLA Extension would be a great place for me to learn because they offered different styles of photography from Event Photography, Portraiture, Architecture Photography, Studio Photography, Street Photography and so much more. It was a great opportunity for me to study these different styles, but also to learn about myself and my style of photography. It made me appreciate the art and understand that some forms of photography are not my strong suit while others I excel at.

Photo by Yuki Yoshimatsu

What’s something about photography that beginning students might not realize?

At the very beginning you may take a few good photos that you will be proud of, but the more you work on your craft and the more you learn, the better you will become. Be patient. Keep practicing. Take lots of photos and explore different styles of photography. You may believe you’re a fashion photographer, but in reality you may actually be an excellent street photographer, and your interest and passion may shift. Also, befriend photographers who take different style of photographs from you. You will learn so much from observing how they work and how they take photos.

Photo by Yuki Yoshimatsu
Photo by Yuki Yoshimatsu

What was your favorite course and why?

It’s very difficult to pinpoint which one was my favourite because all of the classes I took were amazing and I learned so much from them. All the professors I worked with were extremely patient and talented. Their style of photography is very different from mine, but they would give extremely great advice on how I can improve my craft. I guess if I have to choose, I’d say Photography II with Natasha Rudenko was one of my favourites. She’s such a passionate teacher and pushed all of us to do our very best. She pushed us so hard that some of my classmates and I joked how it caused us to have a mental breakdown while creating our final project; it was totally worth it though! She pushed me out of my comfort zone and I saw an immense improvement on the way I took photographs and how I viewed them. In addition to that, I truly enjoyed Street Photography with Weng-San Sit because she sparked my love for street photography. She would take us to a few field trips and had us explore the city of LA to take as many photos as possible. It was a lot of fun exploring the city with my classmates, but it was extremely interesting to see how we all viewed it so differently even when we were shooting the same exact location.

Photo by Yuki Yoshimatsu
Photo by Yuki Yoshimatsu

If the phone rang right now and somebody offered you your dream job, who are they and what’s the job?

My filmmaking love is going to collide with this answer. The person calling me will be the genius Mr. Roger Deakins. The job he will offer me is to be the behind the scenes photographer for his films that he will be the cinematographer for. I would love to work with him and have him as my mentor. His way of lighting and framing has always left me in awe. I’d love to be able to capture those amazing moments of him in action whilst picking his brain on how to work in the film industry. I believe my eye from street photography and my knowledge in the film industry would benefit capturing amazing moments.

Photo by Yuki Yoshimatsu
Photo by Yuki Yoshimatsu
Photo by Yuki Yoshimatsu

Where do you see yourself professionally in 5 years?

In 5 years I see myself still immersed in both film and photography. I see myself working in the film industry whilst also working in photography. Perhaps as a BTS photographer while also working on personal projects such as street photography. I hope in 5 years my personal project will grow to the point that I am able to open an exhibition or sell my work on my website.

Photo by Yuki Yoshimatsu
Photo by Yuki Yoshimatsu
Photo by Yuki Yoshimatsu
Photo by Yuki Yoshimatsu

Distinguished Instructor Series: 2020’s Biggest Tech Takeaways from the Perspective of UX with Diana Barraza

We’ll present the final talk in our series on Tuesday, August 18 at 12pm.

Room to Grow: 2020’s Biggest Tech Takeaways from the Perspective of UX

2020 has shown us that the tech world has much to think about. Join Diana Barraza, UCLA Extension Instructor and Head of User Experience at Mesh Communities as they walk through some of the challenges tech must react to during these unprecedented times. From accountability of social platforms to truly protect their most marginalized users to how junior designers can best weather the storm, Diana will present a blueprint for a better tech outlook.

Diana Barraza is a UX and visual designer with over 10 years of experience in technology. Specializing in mobile and enterprise design, Diana currently ideates how to best connect likeminded people as Head of User Experience at Mesh Communities. Previously with Heal–an in-home, doctor on-demand provider–Diana’s work contributed to Heal being named App of the Day in the App Store. With an academic background rooted in the social sciences and arts, Diana is eager to share her knowledge and experiences as an educator at UCLA Extension. Diana is also proudly Latinx and an LA native.

Distinguished Instructor Series: Stroke of Chance with Mayee Futterman

On Tuesday, August 4 at 12pm we will present the next installment in our Distinguished Instructor Series

STROKE OF CHANCE: Wisdom of the Brush in the New Normal

In Chinese Brush Painting, the first stroke is a “happening.” The rest are a series of adjustments building upon previous ones.  In life, as in art, our foundation and mastery prepare us to take full advantage when the “happening” occurs. The global pandemic put our foundations to the test. Are we poised to take on the new normal? Brush master Mayee Futterman shares lessons from her lifetime practice with the brush: how the teachings, tools, skills, methodology, and mindset prepare one to embrace uncertainty and go beyond with resilience, agility, imagination, and spontaneity. The one hour live-on-line seminar and hands-on demonstration will focus on these themes:

  • Four Treasures: dynamic interaction and integration
  • Four Gentlemen: ABCs and virtues
  • Four Movements: composition and experience
  • Four I’s for the New Normal
Mayee Futterman

Mayee Futterman specializes in Chinese Brush Painting. It is the foundation of all oriental brush arts and has strongly influenced Western painting. The dynamic, unpredictable, and sensorial interaction of brush, ink, water, and rice paper through the artist’s hand is indeed a transformative and enlightening experience. Mayee’s teaching is strongly founded on classical Chinese brush painting skills, techniques, philosophy, and subject matter; while bringing a contemporary approach, influences from her multi-cultural experience, and a rigor and aesthetic sensibility from her architecture and urban design background.

A large selection of Mayee’s work is in the collection of California Hospital Medical Center and permanently exhibited at the Los Angeles Center for Women’s Health. Her award winning work is also in private collections in the US, Canada, Middle East, Singapore, and Philippines. Mayee studied and trained under professor and master brush artist, Dr. Ning Yeh at UCLA, Coastline College, and Cerritos College. They have co-authored five instructional art books. Mayee has a Master of Architecture II from UCLA and a Bachelor of Science in Architecture, Cum Laude from the University of the Philippines. To view Mayee’s work, visit www.mayeefutterman.com and www.saatchiart.com/mayeefutterman . Follow her on Instagram @mayeefutterman.

Distinguished Instructor Series: Art History with Dahn Hiuni

On Tuesday July 21 at 12pm we will present the next talk in our Distinguished Instructor Series.

Virtual Tour of LA Museums

Have you been missing the gardens of The Getty, or the paintings at the Broad? Join us for an hour-long, informal and interactive virtual tour of Los Angeles’s premiere museums. Participants visit The Getty Museum, The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Norton Simon Museum and The Broad, all online, enjoying highlights of these world-class collections. Veteran museum educator Dahn Hiuni (The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, Art Gallery of Ontario) welcomes you, encouraging dialogue and exchange about the art that inspires you.

Dahn Hiuni

Dahn Hiuni is a Los Angeles-based multidisciplinary artist. His work spans the fields of visual art, performance art, theater, and graphic design. Mr. Hiuni’s work has been presented at such New York venues as The Fringe Festival/Soho Playhouse, P.S. 122, Franklin Furnace, Mixed Greens, Artists Space, Metro Pictures, and Cooper Union. Other exhibition and performance venues include the Cleveland Performance Art Festival, the Delaware Center for Contemporary Art, the Art Gallery of Ontario and the Lancaster Museum of Art. His solo performance TWENTIETH CENTURY ART is part of the permanent collection of the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. A recipient of numerous awards and major grants, Mr. Hiuni’s work has appeared in the New York Times, the Huffington Post and Playbill.

As professor, Dr. Hiuni has taught at Pratt Institute, School of Visual Arts, FIT, Hofstra, Bucknell, SUNY, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Museum of Modern Art, The Provincetown Art Association and Museum, and at the National Theatre School of Canada. He holds an MFA in studio art and an interdisciplinary PhD (Art History/Art Education/Performance Studies), both from Penn State. He is adjunct professor of art at SUNY Empire State College.

Distinguished Instructor Series – Craig Havens, Photography

On Tuesday, July 14 at 12pm, we are pleased to present our first talk in the Distinguished Instructor Series, weekly free presentations from core academic areas in the Visual Arts.

Benütze Foto als Waffe! (Use Photography As A Weapon!)
Reimagining Monumental Structures Through Countermonumental Strategies

Presented by Craig Havens, PhD, Photographer and Artist

Craig Havens. Butte de Leon & Dirtpile. Waterloo Battlefield, Braine-l’Alleud, Belgium.
Pigment Print on Paper. Edition of 2 / AP 1, 110 x 148 centimeters.
Courtesy of 50°49’19.50”N 4°21’25.53”E galerie de l’erg, Brussels.

The ability of Photography to memorialize a moment in time with crystal clarity was the reason for its enjoying such success in becoming the dominant visual medium from the 20th Century through today. At the same time, this singular focus on capturing monumental perspectives is precisely what has constricted the practice and possibilities of photography.

This struggle to not allow a memory to fade is the problematic underpinning of why monumental structures consistently fail. In trying to last forever they make their temporality even more apparent and their ability to preserve themselves even more futile.

Join us to explore how Photography and other visual art forms can be seen not only from a binary position of Monument or Anti-Monument, but through the multiple facets of a Countermonumental perspective.

UCLAx Instructor Craig Havens, Ph.D (www.craighavens.com) is a visual artist based in Los Angeles and Berlin working in the mediums of photography, moving images, performance, sculpture and site-specific installation. Works have been exhibited internationally at venues such as the Weserburg-Museum für moderne Kunst in Bremen/Germany, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Antwerp/Belgium, the Armory Biennial in Los Angeles/California, the Nanjing International Biennale in Nanjing/China, the Heritage Arts Space in Hanoi/Vietnam, the Goethe Institute in Johannesburg/South Africa, the Brugge Triennale in Brugge/Belgium and Galerie Andreas Schmidt in Berlin/Germany.

Interview with UX Graduate Nathdanai Somprasong

Tell us about how you got interested in user experience design and what brought you to the UX Certificate. 

I am always interested in design, especially digital product design. However, I found that creative work is usually subjective, meaning that it always partly depends on each person’s experience and perspective and it is not easy to achieve the best design solution.

After reading about the UX design certificate of UCLA Extension, I know right away that this is what I was looking for and I wanted to learn in more detail to develop and enhance my design capability. I gained not only visual problem-solving skills but also research and analytical skills to validate my work.

What’s something about UX design that beginning students might not realize? 

I notice that most people usually focus on qualitative data such as user interviews or user testing and overlook the importance of quantitative data. Both types of data could complement each other and lead to a more preferable design solution.

Knowing the limitation of the technology is also important. It is very beneficial to know some basic coding skills to know what is feasible and to be able to communicate with the web development team.

What was your favorite course and why? 

I enjoyed studying many courses here, however, User Experience II: Iteration is my favorite course. I had a chance to learn about service design which is challenging and enjoyable. I learned to look beyond the computer or mobile screens and was able to pay more attention to the end-to-end experience for a business.

Students also had a chance to work together as a team which was a valuable experience because people from different countries and different backgrounds can exchange views and experience with each other. 

If the phone rang right now and somebody offered you your dream job, who are they, and what’s the job?

A company that provides digital product design service such as an application or website design which focuses mainly on creating the best experience for their users both visually and usability and work closely with the clients and their users for the best design outcomes.

Where do you see yourself professionally in 5 years? 

My goal in 5 years is to be a well known senior UX designer in an agency or a tech company. I also have a strong passion for teaching, so I also would like to teach design or other subjects as much as I can and hopefully have my own academic institution one day.

Sick by instructor Dahn Hiuni read on Zoom this Sunday, 4pm

Congratulations to instructor Dahn Hiuni, whose play Sick will be read on Sunday, 6/21 at 4pm as part of One City One Pride West Hollywood Arts Festival. Reservations may be made up to 24 hours before the event at events@laplaywrights.org.

It’s 1972. Aversion therapy survivor Ron Gold’s growing resolve to remove homosexuality from the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders puts him on a collision course with the psychiatric establishment.

With humor and poignancy, early 70s music, and the ghost of Freud himself, SICK recounts a pivotal moment in gay history and affirms the power of the individual in the struggle for human rights.

WITH

Cullen Arbaugh, Carrie Lynn Certa, Frank Crim, Bill Dyer,

Peter Levine, David Pevsner, Lew Temple & Nathan Tylutki 

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