Archive for the 'life' Category

New job!

Wednesday, June 18th, 2008

I seem to have nothing but updates to post lately. That’s what happens when you get out of school and relax for a month. I have had plenty of things to blog about other than updates, but when I have free to time to write, somehow it seems more enjoyable to spend it outside, in the sun, roasting marshmallows, rather than sitting in front of my computer blogging…

Anyway, I suppose this update is a pretty big one. I got a job! I recently accepted an offer with Nokia as an Interaction Designer in their new design office in San Francisco. I am really excited to be joining the group and the company and can’t wait to see what sorts of work, challenges, and excitement will come in being part of a brand new office.

I will be starting at Nokia in mid-September. To all my friends: please come visit me now that I’ll be out of Pittsburgh! ;)

(P.S. If anyone is interested, I was interviewed by Jeff Howard regarding my Master’s thesis project. Read it here.)

Two weeks too late, but…

Saturday, May 31st, 2008

I’ve graduated! Two years of projects, classes, clients, tiredness, fun, and general smartness have resulted in another giant piece of paper:

I’ll be working a little bit this summer with UPMC doing some entrepreneurial design. But so far all I’ve been doing is relaxing, relaxing, and… more relaxing (and submitting a paper to Design and Emotion). I can’t really complain. This new vacation period has been pretty awesome.

Now, off to relax a bit more. ;)


Tuesday, January 29th, 2008

My portfolio is uploaded and ready to be shown to the world. It’s not 100% complete yet, but enough is there to allow you to poke around.

It was my first real and continued attempt at building anything in html/css, so it was quite the adventure; I’ve learned a lot, and hopefully with more practice and iterations, my portfolio will end up looking exactly the way I want it to. I’m pretty happy with what I’ve got so far though, so be sure to check it out and let me know what you think!

Hello, 2008

Saturday, January 5th, 2008

I started 2008 in sunny, happy, and freezing Orlando. Our family has somewhat of a tradition, traveling to Disney World every couple of years since I was born.

Let me first make one thing clear: Disney World is not just for kids. It’s a shame that most people think this way because while yes, the Magic Kingdom theme park mostly contains rides for small children, it is not the only theme park there. I guess it doesn’t help that most of the happy travelers flocking to Disney are families with children under the age of five.

Anyway. I didn’t vacation at Disney as the regular Carrie this time. Nope. Blame CMU on this one, but I vacationed as Carrie The Designer this time around. Whereas before I marveled at the rides, the endless amounts of Disney merchandise, and the three-hour waits for rides, this time I looked at everything from a different perspective: I marveled at what had to have gone behind the scenes to design the rides, the meaning and value of Disney merchandise to kids and adults alike, and the management and innovation that goes behind the design of ride queues.

It’s amazing what Disney does. Bypassing the more childish Magic Kingdom and thinking about my favourite Disney theme park, the EPCOT center, I like to think of Mr. Walt Disney as one of my personal design heroes. I mean, EPCOT stands for “Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow”. How much more modern and design-y can you get? And he proposed this park over 20 years ago. Even though Walt Disney had initially imagined EPCOT as an actual community, it’s nice that The Walt Disney Company made it into a theme park, while still maintaining Walt’s visions. Now, the park contains different attractions that highlight some of the current and future innovations in different areas. It’s almost like a giant playground to introduce the public to what we do everyday.

Of course, Disney isn’t all fun and magic. The restaurant where we had dinner at Epcot was backed up over an hour. Customers were yelling and the lobby was packed full of people who should have been seated hours ago. There seems to be some sort of disconnect between Disney and its restaurants; Disney owns all the restaurants on its sites, but manages all the reservations without knowing how the restaurants operate.

In the end, the great things about Disney make you forget about all their mistakes. Their ingenious distractions while waiting to get into attractions and rides, their Fastpass system for shortening wait times, the way they create the Disney atmosphere using everything imaginable (but never overdoing it)… a lot of companies could use some service design tips from Disney (and it’s nice to see that some have).

Thanks to good ol’ Walt for providing me with my first design eye-opener of the year ;)

Farewell, 2007

Sunday, December 30th, 2007

As the earth makes yet another revolution around the sun (is it just me who finds it funny that humans celebrate the oddest of things?), I’ve been thinking a lot about this past year. But instead of recapping the ups and downs of 2007, and the billions of changes I’d like to see myself make in the new year, I think I’d just like to thank those of you who continuously keep me sane, those of you who continuously make me go insane, and wish everyone happiness for 2008. It’s been my New Year’s resolution of sorts for many years now, slowly learning how to find the bits of true happiness lying around. Even though I don’t really believe in New Year’s resolutions (why wait until New Year’s to make a change?), I will make 2008 a good, happy year, regardless of what happens.

Wishing everyone a new year of happiness all around!