Hey, I'm Sean!

Thanks for visiting my website! Let me tell you a little bit about myself, but also feel free to skip to the TL:DR.


TL;DR

How I got into user experience design

My journey into UX was inspired by my experience working in the restaurant industry. A common pain point among bartenders and wait staff is the feeling that their point of sale app isn’t as efficient as they need it to be, and while waiting or bartending, time is money, so it’s a frustrating feeling when you believe the tool you’re using is affecting your bottom line. So who designs these things?


Headshot of Sean

How I got into user experience design

My journey into UX was inspired by my experience working in the restaurant industry. A common pain point among bartenders and wait staff is the feeling that their point of sale app isn’t as efficient as they need it to be, and while waiting or bartending, time is money, so it’s a frustrating feeling when you believe the tool you’re using is affecting your bottom line. So who designs these things?


Are they people with restaurant experience themselves? If not, how does someone who doesn’t have subject matter experience design an intuitive, accessible, and enjoyable tool for people who are experts in it? My curiosity led me to read Don Norman’s celebrated book The Design of Everyday Things and I’ve been following the gospel of human-centered design ever since.


Where I chose to learn about it

I was lucky enough to find UX design early in my undergrad program at the University of Maryland, so I’ve been able to enroll in pretty much every design class the school has to offer. Courses such as Advanced Interaction Design, User-centered Design, Visual Design Studio, and Prototyping and Development Studio have given me the tools I need to perform through the entire design process, from strategy to research, to UI, and beyond - and since it’s the iSchool, I’m no stranger to coding languages!


What I’m interested in

As a UI/UX designer, I’ve focused most of my learning and practice on creating web and product experiences, but I also have a strong interest in using my skills in game design. A course at the University of Maryland called “Games as Emergent Experiences” opened my eyes to the exciting overlap between the frameworks, philosophies, and goals of game, and UX, design. Game designers and game academics like James Paul Gee, Robin Hunicke, and Kurt Squire have been a huge inspiration to my ongoing learning as a UI/UX designer, and with a body of work being expanding so quickly in both fields, it’s exciting to be in the middle absorbing the best from both!


How I keep up

I’m currently honing my skills in game UI design with practice projects. I’m also involved with a community of game designers and game-enthused UXer’s through DIA Design Guild LLC, where I apprentice. The community is an arm of DIA, and a place where apprentices and mentors can get together to learn about, and practice, making games. I’m in the process of learning Unity to expand my skill set and to help me create my first game!


TL;DR

I want to people feel like masters of their machines! Let’s talk about how we can do that!

Drop me a line at seanrobinsimmons@gmail.com