Written by Molly Fox; iXperience '16 (UX Design), Colgate University '16
My first class in User Experience Design at iXperience was like a great blind date. And yes, I did just use great and blind date in the same sentence. I applied to the User Experience Design program from the recommendation of a friend who thought we would be the perfect match. After doing a background check, I was more than intrigued. There is no such thing as a simple explanation of UX Design, it’s a concept shrouded in mystery yet radiating with possibility. Needless to say, I was hooked.
Initially I had thought, as I’d imagine many do, that user experience design is specific to technology, applied when designing a website or an app for instance. However, after my first class I realized it can really be applied to so much more; a brand, a service, or a product. The almighty Don Norman coined the term “user experience” to encompass all aspects of one’s experience with a system, from the manual to the physical interaction.
The course is set up in a way that mimics what the problem-solving process of UX design is like in the real world. From day 1, our class of 15 students wasn’t a class at all… But rather a highly esteemed design firm team contracted by iXperience. We’re learning by actually doing.
In addition to our class project, we were also tasked to each individually come up with a passion project. Given my ongoing love affair with UX it seems only fitting. Using the knowledge bestowed on us from our brilliant instructor Megan, and under the guidance of our talented TA and iX alumnus, Sarah, we’ll be walking away with two portfolio pieces under our belts. This was particularly exciting for me as a recent graduate from Colgate University looking to make her break into the UX design field.
Working through the research, ideation and solution phases of the design process as they apply to our own idea (one that we’re more personally invested in) has been especially rewarding.
At Colgate University, I majored in Environmental Studies and traveled abroad my junior year to Copenhagen, Denmark to study Sustainability in Europe. Developing sustainable solutions to the numerous environmental issues that plague our planet is something I’ve always been passionate about.
In particular, I like to make a big fuss over food waste. I’ll spare you from my tirade but if you’re curious check out these facts – and this is not an issue acute to America but exists in South Africa as well.
My idea is to create an app that lets the user take initiative to cut back their household food waste by keeping an inventory of what is in their fridge and it uses expiration dates to suggest resourceful recipes as well as help with portion control when cooking for one so nothing had to go to waste!
This project is so fulfilling to me because one of my biggest frustrations during my undergrad experience was that I never knew how I could make an impact to address environmental issues. The UX program with iXperience changed that.