Cindy Clark, UX/UI Design Graduate
How did you hear about the Multimedia, Design & Development program?
Through an online Google search. I was looking for multimedia programs, specifically User Experience (UX) design. I got into UX through wearables. I have a background in fine jewelry, so I was very interested in the wearable market. I met three UX designers that told me they needed to learn my side of the process. By the third one, I said no I have to learn your job.
What courses did you take?
UX Design, HTML & CSS, Photoshop 1 through 3, Illustrator and many others. But the last class I took was Premiere Pro, a video editing software. Everything is switching to video. You see it on Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram, and a lot of people are telling stories more now with video than with text. So I took that class so I could understand how to tell a story with video.
What were some of the highlights of the course or courses?
The two Information Design classes and the Interaction Design class. I had a different teacher for each class, and each brought a unique perspective. In Ben's Information Design I class I learned how to look at and work on many websites, while in Tony's Information Design II we concentrated on one website redesign from top to bottom.
For Anne's Interaction Design class, we had a selection of design briefs. I chose to do a project, which was a wearable product, and prototyping it out. I felt the other two classes helped me build a foundation to take this class.
What teaching moments in the classroom were especially helpful?
Denise Richards is an excellent teacher. She teaches Photoshop and a few of the other Adobe products. Her critiques are very fair and she knows her stuff in each of the programs. She can dive in deep to really understand new processes. For example, Adobe is now doing 3D in Photoshop. For our last Photoshop class she asked us what we wanted to learn. On the list we provided was 3D. She learned it and was able to teach it to us, which again is very new.
What are your career goals?
To become a UX designer. When I first came into the program, I was very focused on working on wearables. Now I'm actually more open to different types of UX design. When I learned about all the opportunities out there or the types of fields you can go into, I saw that the sky's the limit and I want to keep that open for myself.
I also recently read about and went to a lecture on Zero User Interface (UI). Zero UI is basically a smart device that doesn't have a screen. Think of an advanced version of Google Nest (smart thermostats and alarms) where you don't wear anything or use your phone to control it.
How did the College of Extended Learning help you reach your goals?
I like that the classes are available nights and on the weekend. That allowed me to have a full-time job while going to school. I also like that you pay per class, per semester. It wasn't a large upfront cost, and I didn't have to take a loan out. And having the unique perspectives of the teachers helped me in my studies.
Could you say a few words about your current job?
I work for a local jeweler in San Francisco. When I worked in New York it was more manufacturing and behind the scenes. This is more dealing with customers. It's good for UX because you are always looking to understand the user's needs. I've also helped my bosses by introducing them to Google My Business, setting up an email marketing account, and doing monthly newsletters so we can interact with our clients more.
What else can you share about the College of Extended Learning?
I think it's a great place to go. It's well located and classes are offered on nights and weekends, which is great for working adults. You can sign up for an individual class or for the whole program.