UI & Communication Design Student Spotlight: Janis, Jenifer, And Bo
Get to know more about our UI & Communication Design students from the Spring 2017 Cohort: Janis, Jenifer, and Bo. We’re nearing the end of the program and final projects are coming to a close. Janis, Jennifer and Bo share their experiences leading up to this last sprint to the finish line.
What Did You Do Before Coming To RED & What Brought You Here?
Janis: I was studying psychology and public health at UBC and working in many different jobs including as a first responder and freelance designer. I knew I was passionate about public health but couldn’t see myself on the academic or policy side of it. Through one of my professors, I learned about health design. I was immediately was intrigued by the possibility of solving public health issues through practical user-centered design. However, there are limited programs that concentrate on that subject, so I did the next best thing and applied to RED. What inspired me about RED was the fact that we got to learn our skills while giving back to the community through our projects.
Jenifer: I had just graduated from Simon Fraser University with a major in Communication. I was always drawn to the idea of creating memorable and unique brand experiences so when I found out about the program for UI/UX design at RED it sounded like the perfect opportunity to combine my interests in communication, design, and technology.
Bo: I graduated from UBC with a major in Visual Art and minor in Art History May of last year. I enjoy art because it questions and communicates certain issue within our society and life. However, at times I was frustrated because often there would be no solutions to the problems that were presented.
A solution to this epiphany was to switch my career to UI design where results are visual and tangible. I love how I can bring aspects of both design and art in curating a user’s sensation, reaction, and experience to a digital product.
If You Decided On A Career Change, What Motivated You To Move To The Tech Industry?
Bo: The digital world is ever so changing. I am excited by what is currently being offered now and for the future, especially with the increase of technology. It is motivating to know that designs can have a powerful and influential agency within the tech industry.
What Future Opportunities Do You See In The Tech Industry?
Janis: The tech industry is growing at such rapid speeds that the public health sector is constantly trying to catch up. In many ways, public health has yet to embrace technology fully, and that is where I think great user interface design can make an immense difference. From designing e-health interfaces that enable anyone to access to health care to developing specific applications that might alleviate the burden of rare diseases. Access to health care can be significantly improved through the use of practical design.
Jenifer: UI/UX design has so many opportunities moving forward! UI Designers have the unique opportunity to design how a brand looks and feels while focusing on translating a story for the brand. While UX Designers are able to optimize how a product is used and solve problems with a user-centric approach. I believe that increasingly, people are realizing how good design can impact their organization and have started investing more on how they want their brand to stand out through design.
Bo: With the rapid development of technology, I believe at one point all of our products of consumption will transition to all things digital. With digital devices requires interfaces designed for optimal efficiency and instancy. I observe that many opportunities will be available for UI/UX designers to the tech industry as it is significant to provide well-designed products.
How Is RED Helping You Reach Your Career Aspirations?
Janis: It has provided me with an opportunity to grow and refine my skills through its unique environment. Due to the support and encouragement at RED, I can push myself outside of my comfort zone and assumed scope. It allows me to take risks and design solutions that might fail completely. But no matter if they work or fail, I gain experiences that I would previously not have been comfortable with.
Jenifer: Along with learning the different programs, applications, and processes to create the actual designs, RED also has personal and professional development (PPD) workshops that teach students about different topics that make them successful in their career search. Being able to learn everything from freelancing and writing contracts to different networking opportunities and workshops has definitely helped me in my process to reach my career aspirations.
Bo: RED provides a safe environment where risks and explorations are encouraged. Whether I have a technical, professional, or personal question, there is always someone that can be of help or refer me to someone one who will know an answer. My peers and instructors are always supportive and are open to discussing any concerns.
I know RED equips me with both the soft and hard skills of not only specific to a UI designer but to be overall a better learner, thinker, and a designer.
What Are Your Career Goals After RED?
Janis: I look forward to work in the social sector. I hope to combine my passions for public health and design to work for an agency that focuses on social impact or a non-profit that operates in the public health sector. I want to find an environment in which I can continuously grow and strengthen my skills/passions while working on solutions for current social issues.
Jenifer: My goal is to be at either a design agency or at a start-up that has an encouraging environment of always learning new things and thinking outside of the box. In addition, I want to be able to do freelance work and start building an international portfolio and eventually start my own company.
Bo: My career goals after RED is to find a workplace that will allow me to grow as a better individual and designer. I am excited to use what I have learned at RED but also, I am ready to use the experiences I have gained here to learn new skills out in the real world.
What’s Your Favourite Part About RED Or The Highlight Of Your Education At RED So Far?
Janis: The ability to work with community partners and clients. It allows us to engage with our designs from an entirely new perspective. In addition to that, I love the fact that we can create solutions for the community that would otherwise not be feasible or affordable for our clients.
Jenifer: I love that RED has projects with real life clients. It is so exciting to dive into working on real projects only after a couple weeks into the course.
Bo: My favourite thing about RED so far has been the people, specifically my peers. There has never been a dull moment here as contagious laughs accompanied the lessons. My peers have been so supportive, positive and enthusiastic. I am really happy and glad that I have met these people in my life and I will definitely miss them.
What Has RED Taught You About Yourself Or What Surprising Thing Have You Learned About Yourself?
Janis: I learned how much I enjoy the process and research that lead to an impactful design. Before I worked far more subjectively, but through my time in the program, I have been able to find further meaning and understanding in the design process.
Jenifer: Because of all the tools we need to learn in such a short amount of time, I find that sometimes I may get overwhelmed but RED has taught me that because tech tools can change so rapidly, focusing on being adaptable, open-minded, resilient, and willing to learn are the most important qualities.
Bo: While being at RED, what has surprised me the most is my ability to observe what I am capable of. Always after completing projects, I am astonished with myself. RED has pushed me in positive ways where I have accomplished an immense amount of work within the time frame of three months.
In An Alternate Universe You Would Be…
Janis: A border collie with a lot of swiss sass.
Jenifer: A Wizard.
Bo: Sloth. Eat, sleep, sloth, repeat.
Connect! UI & Communication Design Student Spotlight
*All photos taken by Kevin
Operations Coordinator – Part Time Program Alumni
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