Intro to User Experience | Reflective Learning: Week 1 | Tiffany Zink
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Intro to User Experience | Reflective Learning: Week 1

There were a lot of concepts that stuck with me this week. Honestly, my mind was racing the entire time I read through the required readings, discussion posts, feedback from other classmates, and the presentation. Too many concepts to share in this post, but I will focus on one major realization that came to mind; a solution to a problem I have had for a long time. I have struggled with how I can bridge the gap between my passion and need for involvement in the glass industry and the technological design careers I have aligned myself with, over the last several years. This week, I figured out the possibility of initiating organizational change and how to bring user-centered design thinking to the glass industry.

This realization, happened when I was reading about J.J. Gibson and his phrase “Information Pickup” (Norman, 2013, pg. 12). Don Norman’s explanation of Gibson’s perspective on how our sensory apparatus determines our direct perceptions in an intuitive manner, was fascinating to me. For whatever reason, this reminded me of glassblowing and how you must intuitively learn the physics and properties of heat and glass for every technique and product you make. The only contradiction to this relationship of Gibson’s “Information Pickup” and glassblowing, (which relates more to Don Norman’s perspective), is that much of the intuition you use in creating glass objects is learned behavior through trial and error. At this point, I started piecing the puzzle of how UX principles could be applied to this industry and benefit a variety of users.

I remembered what Paul Sherman said in the presentation, about how we (students of the UX program) will not only be advocates for the user, but also advocates for organizational change. In addition to reading The UX Kit (Sherman, 2015), I can envision this new dream, of merging my passions for UX and glass. I plan on taking the thesis path at the end of Kent’s UXD program, and have been brainstorming possible topics since I was accepted. Initially, I thought about exposure therapy, but after this week, I brainstormed four other possibilities, involving technology concepts that would benefit users in the glass market. This major realization and possible thesis topics I brainstormed, solidified my decisions that I am on the right path. I am excited for the weeks to come and the amount of information I will be able to absorb and apply, over the course of the program.

Norman, D.A. (2013). The design of everyday things: Revised and expanded edition. New York: Basic Books.

Garrett, J. (2004). The elements of user experience: User-centered design for the web. (Chapter 2). San Francisco: New Riders Publishing. http://www.jjg.net/elements/pdf/elements_ch02.pdf

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