Week 12: Reflection week

  1. Summarising the final stages

Looking back over 12 weeks of research, design, testing, and documenting my final UX artefact is a great feeling. I started the module with a lot of focus and pre-existing interest in the subject matter; that being the charity sector and the online giving space.

1.1 Personal criticism

I felt odd at stages of this modules journey, as the module progressed and the more I learnt in the last 12 weeks, the less I understood; as Paul Weller sings in his song ‘Changing Man’ – “And the more I see, the more I know, The more I know, the less I understand.”

I think this was a positive overall; having had years of experience in building digital products and compared to designing from scratch, now within my Master’s degree, I have to focus on the research and logic behind every facet of a users experience via the artefact design & build; this course isn’t allowing me to cut any corners or to build at speed without feedback or reflection.

A personal reflection would be that I now hone an ability to be genuine when documenting my frustrations and design activity professionally; as Ginnie Bolton states, “We willingly give energy, time and commitment to personal and professional development in a focussed spirit of enquiry. This giving enables us to receive inspiration and experience from others and form our own enhanced self-understanding.”

2. Future planning

As I reflect on my journey in studying UX design and consider the changing landscape of the job market and the advent of new technologies like AI and machine learning, my future aspirations in this field have become even more focused and driven. I am keenly aware of the increasing need to ensure that user journeys are built with accessibility in mind, even as we embrace the artificial supercomputing levels that will soon become a reality. Designing with empathy and pushing the boundaries of innovation are at the core of my aspirations as a UX designer, and I am determined to contribute to creating new, meaningful experiences for the world.

2.1 My main aims for the future

Emphasizing Accessibility at All Levels: As technology advances rapidly, we mustn’t overlook the importance of accessibility in user journeys. I aspire to be a catalyst for change, advocating for inclusive design practices and ensuring that users of all abilities can engage with digital experiences. Whether it is leveraging AI and machine learning to create personalized accessibility solutions or championing accessibility guidelines in design processes, I aim to make a positive impact on the field by promoting empathy-driven and inclusive design principles.

Harnessing the Potential of AI and Machine Learning: The UX design landscape is evolving exponentially with the emergence of AI and machine learning technologies. As a UX designer, I am excited to explore the possibilities presented by these technologies and leverage them to enhance user experiences. By understanding how AI can augment and optimize user interactions, I aspire to design intuitive interfaces that seamlessly integrate artificial intelligence while maintaining a human-centred approach. I aim to harness the power of AI and machine learning to create innovative, personalized experiences that anticipate and fulfil user needs.

Active Involvement at a Team Level: Upon graduating, or even before, I am eager to contribute to the field of UX design at a team level. I aspire to collaborate with diverse and talented professionals, pooling our expertise to create exceptional user experiences. Working closely with developers, researchers, and stakeholders, I aim to foster open communication and collaboration, where user-centred design principles are valued and integrated from the initial concept to the final product. By actively participating in cross-functional teams, I can contribute my skills and knowledge while continuously learning and growing as a designer.

Designing New Experiences for the World: One of my greatest aspirations as a UX designer is to be at the forefront of developing new experiences that positively impact people’s lives. I want to push boundaries, challenge the status quo, and redefine what is possible. I will continuously seek opportunities to innovate and create remarkable experiences that captivate and delight users by staying up-to-date with the latest design trends, emerging technologies, and user behaviours. Whether designing intuitive interfaces for emerging technologies or creating immersive digital experiences, I desire to make a difference in the world through design.

Conclusion

During the 12 weeks of studying this module, my CRJ blog posts have documented a transformation journey. Each week, I delved into different design aspects, including understanding the design process, conducting user research, creating wireframes and information architecture, and refining visual designs. These experiences have played a significant role in my growth as a designer. I have developed a deeper understanding of user-centred design principles, honed my technical skills, and adopted a more strategic problem-solving approach. This 12-week study has provided me with a solid foundation for my future endeavours in design.

Looking ahead, my focus in UX design is driven by the transformative power of empathy, accessibility, and cutting-edge technologies. I am committed to championing inclusive design practices, ensuring user journeys are built with accessibility in mind, even as advancements like AI and machine learning reshape the landscape. By harnessing the potential of these technologies, I aim to create exceptional user experiences that anticipate and fulfil user needs. Collaboration within a team setting is crucial to my aspirations, as I believe in the power of collective expertise and open communication to drive innovation and create remarkable digital interactions.

As I embark on this future path, I am enthusiastic about the possibilities. I am eager to push the boundaries of design, continuously learn and grow, and contribute to creating new and meaningful experiences for the world. My 12-week study and personal aspirations have shaped my vision for the future of UX design, fueling my determination to make a positive impact and shape the evolving design industry.

References

Weller, P. (1995). Changing Man [Recorded by Paul Weller]. On Stanley Road [Album]. Go! Discs.

Bolton, G. (2014). Reflective Practice: Writing and Professional Development (4th ed.). Sage Publications Ltd.

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