Week #4 – Workflows

This week’s assignment was fairly familiar and somewhat easy since we do workflows at work a lot.  I was glad that I was familiar with annotating a simple workflow and including system details, user information, and other details helpful designing, improving, and automating the process.

We were given details about the process that title inspectors do to collect documents and determine “free and clear” title status which is passed on to the insurance underwriter to create insurance policies for those free and clear.  Here is what I came up with.


the workflow

Image (2)

a screen

A shout out to my business process analysts who helped me know everything about workflows and annotations. Thanks PAs.

There is a lot of reading — a lot of interesting information about motivations about how users think, principals, and design to psychology information.  All really interesting, for us nerdy techy people.

There are some good presentation videos by our instructors that provide other information. This week we learned about bad workflows and design the flow of a task and considerations if users are familiar already (need less instruction) etc.

Here are a my new UXD Pinterest pins for this week:

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/23432860541334450/ 14 facts.. This one is a great reminder. We should read it before every new project/assignment. Yes, it’s true—Users are not always in the mood to read. I had to force myself to read them all just now. 😉

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/172262754466909246/  10 steps to personas. This one will be useful when we start getting more into these.  Unfortunately the link doesn’t go to the right web page, but the image is still chalk full of goodies.

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/13510867614037605/ Food/wine pairing. Ok, this wasn’t really about UXD but the design and simplicity stood out to me. It’s visually appealing and simple to understand.  Plus, you can learn about wine and food pairing—who doesn’t like that? 😉

MY FAVORITE: Uses creative design to make a simple to understand and interesting visual about food and wine pairing. Who wouldn’t like this, right! 


https://www.pinterest.com/pin/65583738302088161/ Design tips in an easy to understand format. Love this stuff since I’m a visual learner. Plus I’m not an artist or designer, in that artistic sense (more of a creative generalist) so sometimes these details are not in the top of mind for me. I need the help and reminders, in these cases.

Are you following my journey? Is it interesting? How am I doing, in your opinion? I’ve got a A as of week 4. Yeah! And I’m having a blast doing it too. Thanks for following along with me on my journey. Use the comments below to root for me and tell me your thoughts.



Week #3 – Getting Good

This week had a fun design assignment. We got a little scenario about a company that monitors other company’s credit and were presented with one screen in the process of monitoring and were asked to redesign it based on a few factors. But we could ONLY sketch it on paper — not use any computer tools to do it. Here is how mine came out. What do you think?




I changed the radio buttons to check boxes and added information about the chosen company to be monitored.  It was pretty cool. My assignment hasn’t been graded yet, but hopefully I did ok.

The text books are insightful and luckily seem like common sense about how people think and what motivates them in relation to good design.  All very interesting!  Take a look at my UXD Pintrest board (another weekly assignment) and let me know what you think. Can you think of any “bad” designs that could use improvement? Here is a common one that got a pretty good redesign. It helps you understand what this program is all about (understanding people’s issues using things and coming up with good designs based on that input). I think there are plenty of opportunities out there…

Until next week,


Week 2 – UXD Graduate Program

I’m learning so much and it is only week #2.

I’ve also got my hands on some fun technology too. I’ve got this blog and also a special Pintrest board (https://www.pinterest.com/Laducst/uxd-stuff/) just for UXD stuff. Wow, who would have thought school would be so fun? I did! That’s why I signed up. I’m loving it!

I’ve been reading several cool books, that only geeks like me would like:

  1. Goodwin, K. (2009). Designing for the Digital Age: How to Create Human-Centered Products and Services. Wiley.
  2. Norman, D. (2002). The Design of Everyday Things. Doubleday (softcover edition).
  3. Wilson, C. (Editor) (2009). User Experience Re-Mastered: Your Guide to Getting the Right Design. Morgan Kaufmann.
  4. Johnson, J. (2014). Designing with the mind in mind, second edition: Simple guide to understanding user interface design guidelines. Waltham, MA: MorganKaufmann.

It’s pretty cool also. My daughter is signing up for Running Start (high school offers free college courses) and we’ve were at the orientation tonight at the community college. They were telling here all about Canvas, which is like our Blackboard program that the teachers use to post the class info, collect assignments, etc. I had just showed her my class so hopefully she is ahead now.  Pretty cool that we are both doing work together. That was one of my reasons for doing the program now (be a good example and study with my kids).  Cool!

What have I been learning? Well some pretty cool concepts around UXD. Like:

The elements of UXD


Or understanding perception, cognition, and motivation with things like:

Norman’s 7 principals: 
This resonated with me when it talked about understanding the user’s goal. Not their sub-goals, which might easily be confused but their end goals. And design to that to be successful in the user’s mind. For example, if a user searches a site for travel info, and you return the travel process and not the “book travel” call to action (CTA), you may not have addressed their true goal of what they are trying to do.

And finally, I also learned this week that I am: I/D (inspiring and dominant). Which is a DISC assessment and means I am described as friendly, quick-witted, outgoing, and driven. I am more outgoing than reserved, and enjoy interacting with people of all kinds in and in all sorts of situations. I like to get things done by working through others. Yep, the assessment was very accurate! Sound like me?

That’s the latest. Follow my journey here on my blog. Chime in on the comments. I’d love to hear that you are following along with me on my journey.


First Day of School

Monday, May 15, 2017, my first day of graduate school.  Wow! I finally signed up and am now taking an online two year master’s degree in User Experience Design at Kent State. Why, you might ask? Several reasons like:

  1.  Interested in getting “official” about user experience. I do it at work, but am self-taught.  Frameworks, tools, and education will formalize what I do and prepare me with even better methods for successfully contributing to user experience and design projects.  This program will add many tools in my tool belt, and give me some practice in a protected environment.
  2. Adding passion to my days.  While I have a great day job, it isn’t in my exact field of passion–IT.  And even IT wasn’t an exact fit for me since IT while I was there didn’t really have UXD yet.  So, while I tended to gravitate to working on UXD, I didn’t realize that was what I was doing, nor did IT. IT often said, “she isn’t technical enough.” This program will give me topics and learning that I’m truly passionate about–the end user’s experience (though I have a pet peeve about the word “user).
  3. Accomplish goals and set an example.  Going back to school, learning, and professionally and personally improving myself is great for me and also others around me.  In addition to me feeling accomplished, I hope that my peers, coworkers, staff, friends, family, and kids will see it as positive and maybe even inspire them to grow and develop themselves too. Or at least, support others who choose to.

These are just a few reasons why I’m excited to be in a master’s program, specifically UXD.  What do you think? Stay tuned into this blog to follow my journey and encourage me along the way.

SARA (no “h”, short like me)