Our April Kanguru UX Mentorship Meetup was a blast with a really powerful presentation from David Nett to send us away with great advice. During our group introductions, there were a couple folks that stood out to me:
- We heard from Hope, who said she loves UX Design because, “I am really fond of humans.” Us too, Hope. Us too.
- This also marked the second Meetup we had with someone from the science field, as we had Michael who is a chemist, but wants to get into UX.
After the intros were done, David took over with his presentation titled: A Blissfully Brief History in UX
. As the presentation progressed, he kept dropping these beautiful nuggets of wisdom that we covered as we live Tweeted the event. This one should resonate with someone from any discipline or industry:
David had quite a journey starting from his days at Via World Network in 1996, where he helped create the first airline booking system. Hard stop; think about that for a second. How awesome would it have been to be a part of that team? Later, David went onto work at Stamps.com, Break Media, and most recently Edmunds. At his current post, David is the User Experience Architect for Edmunds.com. Along his 20-year journey, he was fortunate enough to have many mentors aide him in his success. Since he knew he wasn’t going to have time to tell us about all of them, he cut the list down to four in his presentation (he quipped that the list started at around 25 people).
David kept going over this concept that the user should come first, and that we need to put ourselves in the user’s shoes. This was at the core of his UX philosophy: we always need to look at things from the lens of the user’s perspective. As he put it beautifully –
David included this amazing take-away for the crowd. He stated this mantra: “User Experience: It’s not just a job, it’s a lifestyle.”
Once David wrapped up, we had an engaged, round-table forum. People from the audience were trying to figure out what a good UX portfolio looks like and, during the exchange, a couple folks agreed to review each other’s portfolio. There was a lot of varied experience in the audience, but everyone tried to help each other tackle issues they did not understand. We stayed so late that our gracious hosts at the Apple Store closed down the retail store but let us finish networking anyway! At one point, there was a circle of four people—all with their phones out—exchanging contact information; this was my favorite moment of an evening full of inspiration.