Ilana Schwartz, BSc., User Experience Consultant
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User experience, or UX is a practice (a series of protocols and activities) concerned with how people interact with products or services.
The goal of UX is to make tasks easier and provide a joyful, stress-free experience for your client. Some people say it's about manipulating how people behave. But I prefer my way of thinking about it.
For me, the act of improving UX takes place in the digital realm, for apps, webapps, and responsive websites. But I could probably use the things I know in other realms.
I like to follow a human-centred design methodology. This is currently known as Design Thinking.
There are lots of things said about standards and UX but in the end, it's about:
Because planning results in better...everything.
I've spent the last 12 years thinking and reading about making digital products easier to use.
From 2000-2007, I was a bona fide unicorn (in a field of unicorns; it was a dandy time), hands-on, writing, visually designing & coding websites, writing hacky PHP, but still blithly following the web accessibility initiative (WCAG), and thinking about the user experience.
Before that, I spent years working in a biochem lab doing research, using weird machines and terrible software.
But it's more than that. UX is an extension of who I am. I like to deconstruct processes and discover where people find difficulty in completing them.
I often have trouble explaining all the practices, processes and the sheer volume work I've done over the years. I know I'm good at this. I know I've years of experience. But it's a difficult thing to talk about. I've had some heartbreaking interviews where I couldn't wait to work on a project but just couldn't explain my competence to the person who had the power to hire me.
And so, here I am, toiling away in obscurity, writing about my problems on a website that will never be read. So it goes.
The work is similar in every vertical but there's always a bit of industry-specific ramp-up. I've worked in many verticals including:
(c) ilana schwartz 2000-2019ish