Areas of Interest (Robotics, Software Architecture, Green Energy, Web 2.0, etc.):
Usability, user centered design, user research, User experience
I grew up in Honolulu and moved to the mainland for school. I am passionate about the user experience and the importance it has in the development or redesign of a product, website or application. I currently reside in Washington and work for a user centered design agency. I graduated from the University of Washington in 2010 with a masters in Human Centered Design and Engineering. I am interested in meeting people who do UX and hear about their experiences in Hawaii.
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The world of UX is fairly new and growing in demand as more and more people realize the importance of user experience....so you're entering at a really good time! When in college I took a couple of multimedia classes which was about as cutting edge as UX now, and was frustrated by the fact that the teachers didn't know much. The people who did were out there working in the field.
I've learned a lot from reading blogs, research papers, and articles from the top companies in the industry (useit.com, 37signals, sitepoint, uie.com, goodexperience.com, etc). I've always learned the most about UX from doing usability testing. Its quite humbleing to watch someone painfully struggle with something you think will be a snap. The more you observe people using interfaces, the better feel you get for creating usable UI's in the future.
There's a usability analyst certification at humanfactors.com which is pretty tough (think bar exam), but I learned a lot and its good on the resume. You can just study for the test or they have some classes you can take. In hind sight I wish I would have taken the classes.
Thanks Daniel for your reply. It is very encouraging to hear that there are companies in Hawaii that do UI work. I will definitely join the UX group and GUI meetup. Maybe when I'm visiting I can attend a meetup. I'm really excited to learn about UX. Thanks again!
Welcome Dawn! Thank you for your note. There are actually a lot of local companies doing interesting UI work including Ikayzo (my company), Sprout, iLovePhotos, Referentia, Digital Mediums and Oceanit. We have a user experience group you may want to join and a GUI Meetup that gets together once a month.
Ikayzo, Sprout and Digital Mediums are doing a lot of work with Adobe Flex. Other hot UI technologies include WPF and Silverlight on the Microsoft side and JavaFX on the Java side.