So week one has swiftly passed and after getting introduced to the material that is to come, I can honestly feel at ease in knowing that I’ve made the right decision to be here.
Having only moved to Vancouver roughly one week ago, I arrived with the flux baseline of “nervous-excited-scared.” However, that has quickly changed to adapt to, what I can only assume, is closer to the culture here, given the peaceful atmosphere of the outdoors and health-centric lifestyle. The walk through Yaletown alone to the BrainStation location was already a great initial branding experience. The neighborhood felt reminiscent of the meatpacking district in NY, though with a sense of calm replacing the noise and riff raff. Moreover, the BrainStation workspace was certainly a pleasant learning environment, being far more spacious than anything in NY and also maintaining a professional and peaceful aesthetic.
My introduction to UX design began with a creative ice-breaker in getting to know my fellow classmates by sharing our ambitions and motives for taking the course, along with some personal sharing of musical preferences! We dived into learning about human-centered design philosophy and the critical value empathy plays in designing optimal solutions for the user. We concluded with a fun creative activity involving pipe cleaners! Each student was handed 4 pipe cleaners in a variety of colors and were instructed to build something important to us, then to guess what our fellow classmates’ had built. My artistic skills were a little wonky, so I’ll make it easier on you – it’s a brain; a sideview of a lopsided brain, with a spinal cord and thought bubble or … a fractal-shaped neurotransmission path or (really just an extra pipecleaner). The significance lies, for me, in my background in neuroscience, maybe my personal interest in Alzheimer’s disease, but more generally in understanding the psychology that drives behavior and influences pretty much everything from industry trends to personal tendencies.
Moving onto the next day – day one of Intro to Web Development began with similar ice-breakers and then a refresher on html coding. I love how quickly random gibberish on a page can suddenly make sense once the abbreviations are translated into a logical organizational framework. For example, listing items, like those in a recipe are written up with the following basic abbreviated codes: <li>2 apples</li> I am quickly gaining so much respect for the complexity of modern designs, since I had struggled with building a basic table of sports data using html elements… there are worlds of information I am embarrassed to admit that I have yet to discover and know, but the feeling of ignorance changing is amazing. I can describe this strange feeling as similar to when the Grinch’s heart grew 3 sizes too big – though for me, its that other lopsided muscle which I so beautifully designed earlier with pipe cleaners 😉 .