Discovering the field of User Experience Design has been the answer to some bigger questions in my life. Initially, I began my career in interior architecture solving spatial problems of the three dimensional kind.  However, it lacked the quick results I loved to see in the digital space. Buildings could take years to manifest, but I could express my ideas in hours using some basic html and css. The same process one applied to build a house actually aligned very closely to web design too (hint, a ton of sketching). Many of the same questions needed to be resolved: How can I make this site intuitive to navigate? Make it simple for users to find what they need? Make this an enjoyable experience to visit?

October through December last year, I had the incredible opportunity to attend The Starter League’s User Experience Design course at 1871 (Chicago’s digital startup hub).  Taught by the talented Carolyn Chandler, we identified a problem for a defined user group then applied a methodical UX driven approach to solve it.  We worked through heuristic reviews, research methods, user personas, site maps, wireframes, style tiles and usability testing.

This week, I presented to my colleagues at Stone Ward what I had learned along with some of my favorite UX tools. If you’re curious what we covered, or would like a refresh you can review my presentation online.