hen I was 16, my mother gave me my first ATM card. Using it at the bank for the first time, I wondered how the machine knew every choice that I was going to make, and, made it easy to make them.
This was my introduction to User Interface Design and it became a passion for me
When I was in High School, I took every Computer Science class I could until eventually I was tutoring seniors (and ghost-coding for them). I spent a lot of time trying to make the interface look pretty before it spit out the answer to whatever question the program was asked to solve. But that was about as far as I could go in becoming a User Interface Designer.
Instead, my love of computer graphics led me to pursue Graphic Design and my abilities scored me an actual Graphic Design position.
ventually the Web happened and I was already a skilled Adobe Photoshop user. I taught myself web design and redesigned the company’s website. This brought me to the attention of Auragen Communications, Inc. which hired me to work on their newest account, Wegmans.com.
In 1999, I won the first Rochester Advertising Federation (Addy) for Best Web Site for Wegmans and I received Honorable Mention for the Nalgene Outdoor website. I was soon designing Frontier.com, Frontiernet.net and small sitelets for Eastman Kodak.
Being the first Graphic Designer hired by Auragen, I helped develop the company logo and all business stationery. I also wrote the first graphic style guide, design interview questionnaires and graphic instruction monographs.
n 2001, I became fascinated with Flash, a technology that allowed me to finally create the kinds of web experiences that users expect.
I had been looking for a project that was strictly user interface design and I was lucky enough to work on the Vortek Automated Control (VAC). The VAC was a computer with a touchscreen interface controlling motors that raised and lowered scenery on a stage. The program had to be simple enough for a 12 year old to operate and sophisticated enough to run Cirque du Soleil shows. The year the VAC debuted it won a number of industry awards.
After the VAC project ended, I returned to Web Design and started picking up some User Interface Design projects as well. User Interface Design and Web Development are so close at this point that it hardly makes sense to try to separate them.