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UCLAxOpen Free Course: Create a Simple Still Life with Charcoal and Eraser

Join us Monday, June 14 at 12pm for Create a Simple Still Life with Charcoal and Eraser, a free short workshop taught by studio arts instructor Stephanie Pryor.

Come prepared with:

A piece of charcoal (Alphacolor or any other compressed charcoal)

Sketch pad or drawing paper

A kneaded eraser

Several light-colored still-life objects (such a a bowl, cup or piece of fruit)

A light source such as a desk lap

Nitrile gloves

Stephanie Pryor is an artist who has exhibited extensively in solo and group shows in Los Angeles, New York, and Europe.

UCLAxOpen Free Course: Choosing and Using a Digital Camera

Join us Tuesday, June 14 at 12pm for Choosing and Using a Digital Camera, a free short course taught by photography instructor Dr. Craig Havens.

This course covers digital camera features including camera bodies, sensors and lenses, as well as brands, quality and price comparisons. Get recommendations for a variety of different needs. The 90-minute course ends with a Q&A session.

Craig Havens (US/DE) is a visual artist working in the lens-based media of photography, video, installation and projection. He lives and works in Los Angeles and Berlin. His practice is concerned with expanding the function of photographic and moving images beyond the role of documentary monuments through the use of counter monumental strategies derived from post-war German public sculptural practice. 

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.

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