I should probably introduce myself since this is my first blog post (ever). My name is Amy Johnson and I’m a Chicago-based, pretzel-eating, penguin-loving, Digital Product Designer. I graduated with a BFA from Murray State University back in 2011 and paved my way from classical Graphic Design into the world of UI and UX. When I’m not designing complex web layouts and mobile apps, I’m indulging my more illustrative tendencies and taking on odd jobs here and there and attending design talks and conferences in my area. In my free time, I’m a competitive Magic: The Gathering player with my husband.
Maybe it was all the conferences I was going to at the time. Maybe it was the UI/UX design that was emerging the the Chicago job market. Maybe I wanted to speak at Murray State because I felt like I had something to prove because of my alternate career path. My very first speaking engagement was everything it should have been. It came about because I wanted it to happen. I had something to say.
Murray State welcomed me back to speak to the Graphic Design students. At first I thought this might be an great opportunity to vomit all the real world advice I had tucked away over the past 5 years onto these students. After typing up a speech highlighting my comprehensive digital journey, filled with puns here and there, I immediately trashed it. Who would want to listen to me rattle on about my personal experiences for 3 hours? I mean come on, really? I barely lasted through 1 hour talks before my attention went elsewhere in school. What I really wanted to do was connect. The purpose of me doing this thing was to make a difference and open at least a few people’s eyes to the world of user experience. I wanted to be direct, informative, approachable and hopefully delightful.
So I picked a theme (Harry Potter, of course), made some slides, and revised like crazy right up until the talk itself. I practiced and tried to harness my inner Roman Mars.
I’m so glad I had the opportunity to bring a little bit of the UI/UX world to the students of Murray State. It really is where the world is heading right now. It’s a medium that surrounds every product (print and web). Hopefully I made an impact.