Istarted my career as a developer and moved into quality assurance testing soon after, working for companies such as WebMD, AT&T and Accenture. As a side project my work mates and I decided to launch an inspirational website for women long before the term "blog" even existed, when it was necessary for me to have to hand code all the HTML pages . . . CSS didn't even exist back then. You could say that we were ahead of our time, I mean we even beat Oprah to the punch, and after seven years of publishing online we decided to make our vision bigger and launch a print magazine. Unfortunately, our timing was not the greatest and we were soon hit by a major recession.
Although the magazine folded (as did many others at the time) I realized that I had learned a ton of information that I could share with potential publishers so penned the title "How To Publish Your First Magazine." To my surprise the book made Amazon's Top 50 best sellers list upon release and was awarded 5 out of 5—EXCELLENT—by Writer's Digest for structure, organization, grammar and cover design. Wow! But what made me most proud was that the book was actually being used to teach journalism and publishing at colleges and universities throughout the US and Europe. And I'm happy to say that now, on it’s second edition, that is still the case.
Due to the success of "How To Publish Your First Magazine" I once again decided to share everything I had learned and penned "Online Book Marketing" which this time made Amazon's Top 20 best sellers list and was selected as a Benjamin Franklin Awards finalist in the category of Business and Economics. The award recognizes excellence in both editorial and design and is one of the most respected book awards in the country.
Around that time web 2.0 was heavily upon us and I ended up consulting for not only magazine and book publishers but for small businesses and entrepreneurs who needed to understand the best practices for online marketing and promotion focusing on social media marketing, content strategy development, branding and design. I also advised on how analytics could be used to measure, track and analyze website performance and conversion rates as it related to business goals.
Years later, seeking to further challenge and expand myself professionally I took it back to where it all began and signed up for a three month intensive developer boot camp—the course made me re-realize my love for design so I focused on front-end web development which eventually led me to where I am today.
"I no longer feel like an anomaly."
"But why UI/UX?" you may be asking yourself, well it’s because I’ve finally found something that incorporates ALL of my skills. Like Steve Jobs said "You have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future," and basically . . . I'm connected! UI/UX combines psychology, empathy, problem solving, communications, business, writing, analytics, testing, coding and design—all things I either love to do or study and learn more about.
I particularly enjoy design that is married with functionality in a way that makes it simple, easy, logical, intuitive, effective, clean annnnnnd beautiful no matter what the medium or domain; but as digital experiences are my thing (ok, second to music) then it just has to be UI/UX for me.