Germanie Louis ’21

Udemy-User Experience Design Fundamentals, UX & Web Design Master Course:

This summer I made the decision to spend my free time taking professional development courses to add new hard and technical skills onto my résumé. I am what Williams students describe as a ‘strictly Div 2er’ which means that I usually stick to the social sciences and that I avoid anything related to math and science. But this summer I wanted to step out of my comfort zone and approach the realm of web and app design which incorporates several different disciplines. UX (User Experience) and UI (User Interface) Design encourages the use of soft skills such as problem solving, critical thinking and organization, as well as the use of hard skills such as programming, statistical analysis, and mobile development. I mostly took these courses to get a firm foundation for coding, digital design, and maneuvering Adobe suite apps, but they also reinforced many of the soft skills that I already had.

The first course that I took was User Experience Design Fundamentals taught by Joe Natoli, a veteran in the UX/UI design world. It served to cover all the basic theoretical aspects of user experience design: strategy, scope, structure, skeleton and surface. It gave a detailed walkthrough from the very beginning stages of project development to the final stages. The second course I took was UX & Web Design Master Course: Strategy, Design, Development which was also taught by Joe Natoli. This course focused mainly on the practical aspects of user experience design in terms of web design. Expanding on the first course, this class provided multiple examples and exercises to practice implementing those theoretical aspects learned previously. I created e-commerce sites, personal blogs, and other kinds of web pages using code and web page builder systems. The third and final course was Design Essentials – Adobe XD UI UX Design. This one was basically an instruction manual to Adobe XD and it showed how to use the specific mechanics of the program to implement the fundamentals and practical uses of UX design discussed by Natoli’s courses. These courses built upon each other to create a sturdy foundation for someone like me who is just getting into UX and UI design.

This semester I am doing research on the experiences of Black women in East Asia to increase visibility of foreigners in that part of the world and validate their experiences by sharing them. I can see myself working abroad in offices in Japan or Korea in a position that combines my passion for community building with the goals of my research and my language skills. I would like to use UX/UI design to help develop and improve resources for people and families that relocate or settle in East Asia, not only to improve their experience, but also to help others understand their foreign counterparts better. Through this course, I was able to see myself actualizing these ideas that I once thought I had no chance of approaching.