Student Experience | Why I’m Taking User Experience Design | Brennan Baker

By BrainStation September 21, 2016


Learn more about BrainStation’s User Experience Design course.

Brennan is a freelance interactive designer and co-founder of a Chinatown-based music collective. He has had the privilege of helping various companies, start-ups, and creative individuals communicate their features & benefits on a multitude of platforms. Through graphics, illustrations, social media, emails, coding, creative strategy and direction. Brennan loves what he does, and enjoys the process of design as much as the end product.

What courses are you enrolled for this cohort and what made you decide to take it?

I am enrolled in the User Experience Design course.

How did you hear about the program?

A while back I stumbled into a social media lunch coffee networking meeting in Gastown that was of course hosted by BrainStation. A year later I was doodling and made a line drawing of a brain. That clicked my memory of the Brainstation logo, hit up google in a search for the website, and I went from there.

What made you decide to take the course?

After leaving from my most recent position as a production designer, I was updating and evaluating my own website portfolio. Looking back at what projects I was most proud of, what things I didn’t enjoy, and looking at where my strengths really lay, I took a tally on the number of different positions in the tech industry that are related to my skills, and experience. I came to the conclusion that my strongest and most enjoyable skill sets are with visual design (photoshop, illustrator, typography, branding, photography, etc.) I should pursue to round my skill set; with a better understanding and knowledge of how the “back-end” of user design works.

What are you most excited to learn?

I’m most excited to be learning the various design aspects that contribute to the user. A more in-depth study on personas, company profiles and user testing to really get those details to stand out in my designs. Also to focus on strategies, and illustrating that to the whole development team. Communicating your design choices, and successfully executing them to ensure that all your design aspects come through in the final product.

If you had to pick a favourite tech company doing awesome things – who would they be and why?

Wow, that’s a hard one! Relating back to my love of music, I would have to go with Bandcamp. A music listening, discovery and publishing platform; its a site for artists and listeners to buy and take their music wherever they go. Bandcamp allows any artist whether they be independent or an indie label, publish their music for people to purchase set at their desired price. People who pay/support the album or track can download with their desired format (audiophiles will love access to FLAC, AIFF, WAV formats) and also stream the albums on the accompanied iOS and Android mobile apps. To push the community aspect, owners of the albums can write reviews, select favourite tracks, share and follow other peoples collections, and every purchase even gives you a chance to write a note to the artist. An awesome tool to get in closer to the music you love.

Favourite spot to spend the afternoon in Vancouver?

An early rise for a cycle Whytecliff Park & Deep Cove, a good coffee and lunch at Bird & Beets in Gastown, and then relax on the grassy hill at Crab Park. On rainy days it’s a mix between the gym at Club 16 below the Convention Centre, and my home studio making, mixing, or discovering new music.

How are you planning on applying your newfound skills, personally and/or professionally?

I’m planning on jumping right in the deep end and going for a position as a UX/UI Designer. It’s really about coming out with a new set of tools and developing good design habits. Not only knowing about customer personas, wireframes, etc. but being confident when delivering them, and understanding why they work. I really look forward to getting involved with a great team, and taking my design career to new heights.

Brennan is taking User Experience Design at BrainStation in Vancouver.

Brennan is taking User Experience Design at BrainStation in Vancouver.

User Experience Design
1110 Hamilton Street