“You can only be truly accomplished at something you love.”
Maya Angelou’s words resonate strongly with me and I hope she was right because as my co-workers will attest, I love UX/UI and it is a major part of my life in 2020. But it wasn’t always…at least not in a way that I realized.
If you met me a decade ago, you would have found me in the middle of a venue hours before a wedding, scrambling through printed documents with schedules for the wedding party, photographers, DJ, makeup and hair artists, and my team.
Running a wedding planning business is no joke and I learned that lesson by my second event. In the years that followed, my mother (who is also my co-founder) and I put countless blood sweat, and tears into organizing the perfect “dream weddings” for happy couples and their families.
Later I worked in various sectors of retail including: clothing, jewelry, bath/beauty, and arts and crafts. In my view, everyone should be required to get at least two years of retail or serving experience because it is truly a role no one understands unless you’ve lived it…and once you live it, you understand customer experience (CX) in a way you never did before.
After additional stepping stones as a writer/filmmaker (which are still passions of mine), I ultimately found my way to Ziplyne. Initially, I did not see myself as someone who had a lot to contribute to product, marketing or UX/UI but my teammates insisted otherwise…and I’m so glad they did.
Well not only did I not yet see myself as contributing to UX/UI, I’m not sure I even knew what they stood for (“User Experience” and “User Interface), yet I had already been applying these two elements throughout.
In wedding planning, understanding the bride and groom’s vision is essential for executing their optimal, once-in-a-lifetime experience. Before guests enter a reception space, a wedding planner has ideally put on their UX/UI hat and ensured that the aesthetic and design elements of the venue are synchronized with the decorator, caterers, and DJ to ensure a unified vision.
In retail, I spent a lot of time overseeing various transformations around the holidays and then ensuring that, come January, the store was back to the original interface the customer saw and had come to expect. And post-production of my short film was one of the most detail-oriented projects I ever undertook as I pieced the story together frame-by-frame knowing that any error in continuity would be squarely on me.
This is what User Experience (UX) and User Interface (UI) is all about. Understanding what the user wants to feel while going through a certain process that they expect seamlessly and without feeling frustrated.
My love for tech has grown exponentially through the last decade (with special gratitude to Ziplyne CEO Rome Chopra who I’m proud to call my friend and mentor) and with that growth came new, special opportunities to apply all my favorite skillsets of organizing, perfecting elements through spacing and flow and directing the teams at Ziplyne.
Oh and one more thing: It would have been so easy for me to just say to myself, “I don’t know if I can do this.” In fact, I did say it to myself…MANY times! But thanks to pushes from both myself and others I continued to challenge myself and now I can say “Damn….I did this!”