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UCLAxOpen Free Course: Inclusive Design

On Saturday, April 3 from 12 – 1:30pm PST, the Visual Arts presents Inclusive Design: Designing for All, led by User Experience instructor Michelle Matthews.

This workshop will introduce topics of designing for accessibility and inclusion. Participants will learn about how differently abled users navigate mobile apps and the internet using various assistive technologies and how designers can optimize their design process to ensure their work is usable by all. Additionally, this workshop will cover how we ensure our design process is inclusive of various types of people, cultures and viewpoints through human-centered design methodologies. This workshop will include both lecture and interactive collaborative learning.

Michelle Matthews

UX and product design leader with 10 years of experience designing mobile and responsive experiences. She is currently Head of Product Design at Hatch, designing solutions to improve sleep for families. Previously she led design for the health subsidiary of Headspace, one of the world’s leading mindfulness apps. She has also served as the Head of User Experience at Soothe (on-demand home massages), introducing the company to the practice of design research and user-centered design. Before that she was notably the UX Lead at Heal (on-demand doctor home visits) and for the award-winning fitness app, Studio Tone It Up. She has also spent many years working at award-winning agencies, designing experiences for clients such as Lexus, Gerber and Purina. She uses her behavior change and motivational therapy skills acquired as a therapist and social worker to design truly human-centered, intuitive experiences with empathy.

Join our online hackathon!

This quarter, User Experience IV students created a free, public, online hackathon to try and improve vaccine registration. 

Community Jam: Rethinking the Vaccine Registration Experience  
Fri, Mar 26, 2021, 4pm  – Sun, Mar 28, 2021, 6:00 PM PDT

Check out and register for this free event on Eventbrite:

About this Event

Let’s apply user experience (UX) principles to improve the Covid-19 vaccine registration process and get everyone vaccinated!

The United States is on track to reach 200M vaccinations by May 1st, 2021. However, in order to reach herd immunity, we need to ensure that everyone signs up to get vaccinated when it’s their turn.

This Community Jam is open to everyone who wants to facilitate immunity in their communities.

Who are we?

Volunteers in Los Angeles, mainly UX designers with backgrounds in public health, business, sociology, design, programming and computer science.

Our Goal

To create design solutions to address bottlenecks in vaccine registration.

For more information, please visit our website at https://uxjam2021.github.io/

You can also reach us at communityjam2021@gmail.com

We’ve set up a Slack workspace for the event. Once you’ve registered, you will get an invitation.

Icebreaker events will be hosted virtually before the event to facilitate team forming. Details will be shared on Slack.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Welcome New Photography Instructor Baz Here

We’re happy to welcome new instructor Baz Here to our photography program. Baz will be teaching Photography I this coming spring. Let’s get to know Baz with a few questions below…

How did you get started in photography, and what drew you to this art form? 

I started taking photographs when I was about eight years old after my grandmother gave me her old Nikon. I continued exploring photography through the courses my high school offered and just never stopped taking pictures. Oddly, I never considered myself a photographer as music was my primary endeavor. It wasn’t until my twenties when my journey with photography shifted. I needed promotional photography taken for my music career and started hiring different photographers—I never got the photos that I imagined in my head. I decided to start taking my own portraits. Through that process, my obsession with achieving my own perfect aesthetic led me to further my education and obtain my MFA in Photography.

Baz Here

What are you focusing on in your current practice?

I am interested in the sound current and its effect on visual aesthetics. The amalgamation is somewhat nascent in my practice, as in the past the two artforms seemed somewhat separate for me. I am fascinated by how sounds can alter meaning in a photograph. My most recent work has been mostly an exploration of religious iconography (and Christianity in general) and the psychological weight it can impose on a young queer person. But of course, as a white male artist, considering my privilege is impossible to not weave into all that I do at this point. I’m on my path making art, loving teaching art, and trying to be aware as possible of the spaces I occupy.

Baz Here

You’ll be teaching Photography I – what can students expect in your class? Can you show us a sample assignment?

I love the basics. One of my favorite parts of teaching the basics is that I get to relearn them all of the time. In my class, we will, of course, learn all the basics of photography—exposure, composition, lighting, post-production, and editing—but we will also begin to explore what it means to photograph something and the difference between “taking” and “making” photographs.

As far as sample assignments go, we will do all of the exercises one would expect in a Photo I class—learning how to use the camera in manual mode, and understanding how to compose an image—but perhaps my favorite assignments are introductions to portrait patterns (e.g., Rembrandt, butterfly…) and exploring light and shadow—using shadows of interesting objects to create abstract compositions.

Baz Here

What do you hope students take away from your class as they continue on with their photography education?

Whether my students journey into portraiture, fashion, landscape, food photography, etc., I hope the students will be inspired to think about all of the aspects of photography making—the technical, the aesthetic, the psychological, and of course, the incredible joy of clicking that shutter. I hope we can have a dialogue that will encourage motivation to improve but also the reliance on failure to find success.

Baz Here

What advice would you give to someone who is interested in photography but not sure how to get started?

Well, my advice would be quite simple. Just start making photographs!

Baz Here
Baz Here

Portfolio Rapid-Review Sign-up

Fill out my online form.

UCLAxOpen Panel Discussion: UX Now and In the Future

On Tuesday, January 26 from 12-1pm the Visual Arts presents: UX Now and in the Future. A free panel discussion on current UX themes, and the future of the industry.

Topics include:

Behavior Design

  • What is it and how can you use it?
  • Enabling habit formation
  • Application to business settings
  • Design Ethics – responsibility when creating addictive systems

The Future of UX Design: Non-Visual UI, AR, VR and VUI 

  • What is their current state?
  • Where are they going?
  • How to crack the code of design prompts that are non-visual

Moderator: Scott Hutchinson

Scott Hutchinson is the Program Director of the Visual Arts at UCLA Extension. Currently he is organizing TEDxUCLA.

More about Scott: I work for the design, studio, photography and art history programs at UCLA Extension, in addition to consulting and teaching in the area of commercial design. My training is as a designer, with a BA and MFA from UCLA’s Design Media Arts program, and I specialize in identity work for a variety of non-profits, mainly in branding, identity systems, social media and web development. Board activity includes National AIGA Design Educators Committee, AIGA Los Angeles Education advisor, United Designs, UCLA Volunteer Center, and sustainability committees on campus, UCLA Extension, and the Green Observers Foundation. Speaker at a variety of conferences on design, visual literacy, semiotics, and social media.

Panelist: Thomas Dillmann

User experience architect with 15 years practical application in user experience and information architecture. His focus is on creating useful products and enjoyable site experiences. He has held positions as head of experience planning and lead information architect at interactive agencies and new technology ventures such as MRM Worldwide, UnitedFuture, and Threshold Interactive. Thomas has provided substantial user experience architecture for clients such as Harbor Freight Tools, SDCVB, HollandAmerica, Alpine, State of Washington, SAP, Autodesk, Microsoft, GM, Red Lion, Sony, MPAA, FOX, NBC, ABC, and Playboy. Thomas has participated in several early start ventures focused in on-demand video over IP for Hilton, LodgeNet, RespondTV and FasTV. Thomas holds a BA from UCSB and a MBA from Pepperdine University.

Panelist: Michelle Matthews

UX and product design leader with 10 years of experience designing mobile and responsive experiences. She is currently Head of Product Design at Hatch, designing solutions to improve sleep for families. Previously she led design for the health subsidiary of Headspace, one of the world’s leading mindfulness apps. She has also served as the Head of User Experience at Soothe (on-demand home massages), introducing the company to the practice of design research and user-centered design. Before that she was notably the UX Lead at Heal (on-demand doctor home visits) and for the award-winning fitness app, Studio Tone It Up. She has also spent many years working at award-winning agencies, designing experiences for clients such as Lexus, Gerber and Purina. She uses her behavior change and motivational therapy skills acquired as a therapist and social worker to design truly human-centered, intuitive experiences with empathy.

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.

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