Designing for User Experience and Augmented Reality
Graphic design students got a first-hand account of what life is like as a professional who closely works with designers. During her week-long series of class presentations, Dr. Anna Prisacari shared her story of what it is like working in the fast paced environment of technology and how design is integrated into the process of product development.
Interested in user experience (UX) and augmented reality (AR), Prisacari obtained her M.S. and Ph.D. in Human Computer Interaction at Iowa State University and worked at the Virtual Reality Applications Center. While at the center, she learned how to study, measure, apply, and teach UX. Today, Prisacari is vice president of user experience and marketing for Praxik, where she uses her background to ensure that what’s developed is what users need, understand, and enjoy.
What is the most exciting thing about working in these fields?
“The most exciting part of being in UX and AR is the fact that technology is changing very fast. Today we know more about AR than what we knew a year ago and every month we see more products that incorporate AR. According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, about 40 million people in the U.S. were expected to use AR at least once a month in 2017. This number is expected to rise to 54 million in 2019. So, being in AR field today is very exciting!”
What do you hope students took away from your presentations?
“Not many students are exposed to UX and AR. Everyone hears these buzzwords, but what do they mean? I hope that after my presentations students gained a better understanding of UX and AR, how these fields are studied empirically, and what one might expect for UX and AR in the near future.”
Why do you think it’s important for students to get exposure to practicing professionals?
“UX is my passion and I love sharing my success and failure stories with students. I think it’s important to hear how other people build their work by blending research and design skills. These real-world examples can tell an important story: what students learn today in class will be useful to them tomorrow.”
What advice that you would give to recent design graduates?
“I see many students working on their resumes and portfolios only when they are only a few months or weeks away from graduation. Get in the habit of updating your documents every six months, starting in your freshman year. It’s ok to have a blank or incomplete resume in your first or second year in college. Gradually working on your resume will help you identify what you have and what you are still missing. Think of your resume as a roadmap for your career. Where are you today, where you’d like to be when you graduate, and how to get from point A to point B. When you know what you are still missing, then you’ll know what to look for in internships. Also, seek advice and mentorship from experts in your field. They know more information about what is happening inside their field and may give you more specific feedback on how to become an attractive job candidate or can help you to connect with their colleagues. Lastly, never underestimate the power of networking! There is a difference between recognizing the name of a company and knowing a few people who work there.”