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Future of Work Conference: 2 free Visual Arts sessions

Don’t miss either of the two free, upcoming sessions of the Future of Work Conference hosted by UCLAx and presented by members of the Visual Arts department:

Wed. May 19: What’s Your Brand Story? by DCA instructor Shirin RabanClick here for details and to RSVP

Thu. May 20: The Future of Design is Immersive, and Really Fun by Visual Arts program director Scott HutchinsonClick Here for details and to RSVP

These two sessions are open to any Extension Student.

In addition, UCLA Extension certificate students and alumni are welcome to attend the entire conference. See the schedule for the entire series and learn how to enroll here.

Interview with DCA and UX graduate Keita Aoyama

Keita Aoyama

Congratulations to recent graduate Keita Aoyama! He tells us a bit about his experience in both the DCA and UX programs:

Tell us how you got interested in design and user experience and what brought you to our programs.

Prior to coming to The States to study at UCLA Extension, I was a software engineer in Tokyo. I enjoyed writing codes and building products with other people and learned a lot from that experience. The desire to work more closely with the actual users really fueled my interest in design. While working on projects I realized what I really wanted to do was to talk to people and see how products I work on actually improve their lives. At that point I had already heard about UX and product design, and I knew I wanted to pursue my career in that field. I started doing some research to find a program where I can learn both visual design and UX design to help with transitioning my career, and that is how I came across UCLA Extension.

What were your favorite courses and why?

I really enjoyed all the classes I have taken here. Learning with other classmates who are in similar life stages as me was encouraging, and their creativity and passion helped me become a better designer. But if I had to choose, Typography with John Beach and User Experience III: Applied with Adam Fischbach kept me on the edge of my seat.

In Typography class, instructor Beach created a safe environment where students got to experiment with different typographic compositions and styles. This helped me develop an ability to distinguish what works and what does not, as well as establish my own way of approaching design from a typographic perspective. User Experience III: Applied incorporated a full term team project. Throughout the course, instructor Fischbach encouraged us to think about how to approach problems on our own instead of following directions. This sort of strategy cultivated the ability to sense the real-life environment and come up with best solutions in a given situation. Working with other people always comes with pros and cons, and thanks to this experience I was able to learn much more than I would have if I were to work on the project by myself.

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

I would like to work in an environment where I would be able to make an impact on a global scale and work collaboratively with people from different backgrounds and cultures. I believe that great products come from multi-disciplinary teams that consist of different kinds of people with a shared goal and passion. Designing products in that kind of environment has always been my goal since the beginning.

Where do you see yourself professionally in 5 years?

I would like to lead my own design team and make people’s lives better through the power of design. There are a lot of problems as to how we use technology, and I think we designers have contributed to it. With that in mind, I would like to be a designer who can match business objectives and user needs in a sustainable and ethical way. I hope I can design products that make people’s lives better while achieving business goals. Additionally, I would like to contribute to the design community. I learned a lot from designers out there sharing their knowledge and skills and would like to give back to the community by sharing my own experience.

Congratulations, Keita!

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!

Interview with DCA and UX graduate Yuiko Majima

Yuiko Majima

Congratulations to recent graduate Yuiko Majima, who has completed both the DCA and UX programs to best leverage her interests and strengths to position herself in the workplace.

She tells us a bit more about her experience in the programs:

Tell us how you got interested in design and what brought you to the DCA and UX programs.

I think that great design can maximize an experience. It can help make things extremely useful and improve how we go about our day. It can create delightful moments or long-lasting positive impact that completely changes our behaviors. Having lived in Japan and the US, I’ve also been intrigued by how lifestyle and culture can affect the design and how design assimilates to users’ needs and behaviors. The impact that design can make on our lives and businesses’ success interested me in a career in design.

I discovered design in my past role creating strategic partnerships to help corporations go through digital transformation. I experienced how design thinking can help facilitate product innovation which interested me in a career path in UX or Product Design. My goal was to transition careers which brought me to the DCA and UX program. I had little design experience that I wanted to learn from the fundamentals to build a foundation and also learn about the concepts and processes of UX Design.

What were your favorite courses and why?

I enjoyed many of the classes, but my favorites were ones where we designed together with our classmates. The students in the DCA program were very international from places like Brazil, Canada, Chile, and Hong Kong, so collaborating with them was fun. Design II: Collateral Communication was a class where we practiced product design by creating branding and prototypes. Each week we got into groups to brainstorm and critique each other’s work which was a great way to learn and I made many designer friends!

The UX classes taught me methods and processes which I use today working as a designer. User Experience IV: Capstone was a class where we worked on case studies every week. We researched, designed, and presenting to the class. It helped me apply the concepts we had learned into a more practical setting that helped me define my UX process which I use in my current work.

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

I would be thrilled to be considered for any opportunity! I am interested in roles globally where I can make an impact as a Product Designer. One of my motivations is seeing our work materialize and seeing how it affects people. Creating a positive impact with the work we do makes my job fulfilling so I’d like to continue working in places where we can drive impact. I also enjoy collaborative environments since I think great ideas come from a sum of many brains that I appreciate company cultures where teammates of different disciplines can work together throughout the entire process.

Where do you see yourself professionally in 5 years?

I hope I can be leading teams and mentoring designers. I think it’s important as a designer to understand the user’s need but also add business value. I hope I can become a design lead that drives the product strategy as well. I think the learning never stops but it would be great to pass on any of my knowledge to others through mentorship.

Congratulations, Yuiko!

UCLAxOpen Panel Discussion: Portfolio Review

This coming Tuesday, February 9 from 12-1pm the Visual Arts presents: Portfolio Review, a free opportunity for DCA and UX certificate students to 1) learn about what makes a strong portfolio and 2) receive feedback on their portfolios or works-in-progress.

Topics include:
–Our panelists will answer the question: What do they consider to be a great portfolio and why? They will show examples.
–A few pre-selected students will receive feedback on their work. And critiques will be open so other attendees can benefit from hearing feedback on others’ work.

Panelist: John Beach

John Beach brings twenty five years of experience to the graphic design field. His clients in branding, packaging and consumer products, textile design and trend forecasting include Starbucks Coffee Company, Disney Consumer Products, and the Hillstone Restaurant Group (formally the Houston’s Restaurant Group), Smilebox, Inc., RoomsbyYou.com and the Ocean Park Community Center. He has worked in the entertainment industry, in most capacities, from title design for motion graphics, to advertising with the networks and movie studios, to custom printed props for film, television and theater. He has acted as an expert witness in the field of intellectual properties for law firms. He holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the California Institute of the Arts.

He has taught a plethora of courses in the DCA program and was the recipient of our departmental Outstanding Instructor award. This spring, John is teaching Publication Design and Design IV: Capstone.

Panelist: Diana Barraza

Diana Barraza is a seasoned UX/UI/Product designer with over 10 years of experience in technology. Specializing in mobile and enterprise design, Diana currently focuses on building internal products at Flyhomes (an end-to-end real estate startup). Simultaneously, Diana investigates how her work impacts and improves the home buying experience for customers. 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 Exchange. Diana is also proudly Latinx and an LA native. 

She is teaching User Experience II: Iteration in spring quarter.

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. I have spoken at a variety of conferences on design, visual literacy, semiotics, and social media.

If you haven’t already, enroll in our free speaker series today!

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.

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