I'm intrigued by the intersection of design, tech, and educational spaces.
I'm interested in crafting accessible, inclusive experiences that humanize technology.
I hope to use design to lower barriers.
But I didn’t start out as a designer.
I was once a simple, problem-solving scribbler (honestly, I still am, but this is not a professional title)
It all started with an existential crisis in Kindergarten
A long, long time ago, there was a wide-eyed and innocent five-year-old who asked her art teacher for a simple eraser. Instead of handing over an eraser, her art teacher said -
"There are no mistakes, Sarah."
With such vague advice (is this even advice?), what could young Sarah do but return back to her desk and stare blankly into the distance. If there are no mistakes, then what was this not-so-circular circle she'd drawn? Could it be . . . something else?
And then she gasped.
It could be anything she wanted it to be, young Sarah realized.
Mistakes are what you make of them.
Fast forward to ten minutes later, that circle was a beautiful fish.
This was the first of many unforgettable lessons art would teach me.
There are no mistakes. Everything has a purpose, just not always the purpose you intended for it.
2011 - 2017
Epiphany after epiphany
In middle school, I learned that there are rules - standards to follow, conventions to practice. They must be adhered to before they can be broken, so they can slowly and systematically be explored and broken.
Another thing I learned from these rules - constraints breed creativity.
I had to stare at this 5 days a week for 3 years
(exaggerated for emphasis)
High school came, and I was taught the value of constructive criticism and iterating on a single idea no matter. It's interesting how the perspective of another is often the key to furthering your own vision. I learned a bunch of other mind-boggling art stuff too, and made some fancy art of my own
along the away.
Senior year of high school, I decided art wasn't something I wanted to do professionally. It was too fun, too close to my heart. I couldn't make it my job.
Cue another existential crisis.
To find my next path, I put art on the back-burner and decided to try an array of new things.
2017 - Present
I'm totally a designer.
I entered college as a confused pre-med. I didn't really want to be a doctor or researcher, but I didn't really know what else to do. The sole reason I applied to Santa Clara University as a Neuroscience major was because of my fascination with the human mind. All I knew was that I was going to spend the rest of my life learning about people and helping them.
Little did I know that it was through my side-interest in computer science that would I find the multi-faceted realm of user experience.
On May 7, 2018, I attended an ACM-W career panel.
One of these panelists was a UX/UI Designer at Cityspan Technologies, the other a product designer at Endless Computers.
I'd never heard of either job title, but anything with the word 'designer' sounds cool to me. I do like thinking about how people experience things. I do like designing.
After listening to each of their "day in a life" overviews, I fell in love. How couldn't I? UX and product design combine everything that excites me in life and gives it a purpose.
It suffices to say that I've found out that my career doesn't have to be limited to a single subject or even three subjects for that matter. I transferred to the engineering school and began taking courses towards my brand new Web Design and Engineering major. On the side, I searched far and wide for the best design resources the Internet has to offer. My focus of interest within product design continues to evolve. These days, I'm trying to build skills and learn more about about a weak point of mine - designing for accessibility and inclusivity.
Becoming a product designer is the goal, for now. I'm confident that I will be one in a couple years. I have my eye on design leadership. That will take a decade or two maybe but I'll get there as well.
Thanks for taking the time to get to know me a bit! Hope to chat with you soon.