Laura Helen Winn is a user experience and visual designer based out of Tennessee.
At the beginning of May, I moved to San Francisco from Tennessee to intern at about.me. My goal: to learn from a team of experts and work on a product I already used and loved. I brought a range of skills to the table with the intent to narrow my focus. The question in mind was, “Who am I: UX designer, visual designer, developer?”
Web design, interface design, visual design, pushing pixels – whatever you want to call it, that’s what I do. I’m stoked that I’ve been working with Shawn Collins, lead designer of the product. His attention to detail and honest critiques have helped me become a better designer, hands down.
About.me is built and maintained by an amazing group of developers. So amazing that I realized I’m better off knowing as much about front-end development as I want to without making it my main focus. I know enough HTML and CSS to develop prototypes, and to design interfaces that will be easy to code and easy to use. As a designer, I consider this a major strength. Being able to think through the process of what you’re designing helps you, your team and your users.
User experience design became my main focus this summer, and I worked closely with Ryan Freitas to develop new product features from scratch. I’ve grown attached to the process of gathering copy, building an information architecture, and communicating the features to developers. UX keeps the process of building features clean and helps communicate ideas without the distractions of color, typography and even layout. And, thanks to our support with AOL, we A/B test frequently. It’s nice to have the numbers to influence visual designs and copy.
I’m admittedly smitten with the Bay Area, and feel fortunate that I’ve spent my summer here. I’m heading home to finish school, and look forward to continuing work with the about.me team. We’re planning to release features that we’re all excited about, and know you will be too.