My name is Cheikh Isamu Clark, or "Shake" to keep it simple. I've been working as a graphic designer for almost 5 years now, and for some reason it seems my true passions are coming to fruition 31 years into my life. I've embraced this new sense of motivation by the horns. I want to excel at what I do, and enjoy doing it to the fullest. I want to spend each day maximizing my creative efforts. My free time is usually spent drawing, making music, mountain biking, learning the Japanese language, and playing the newest World of Warcraft expansion.
Now how does this bio relate to the world of UX/UI? This is a world I am eager to enter, and a world that was freshly introduced to me in the year 2017, after my first ever trip to Europe. What was most satisfying for me was the ease of travel between different cultures by train (and also short plane rides); from Ghent to Amsterdam, Nürburg to Copenhagen. The simplicity of buying tickets for the commute, first reminded me of my second home, Japan, with it's wonderful railway system, and second, instilled in me a sense of curiosity about WHY my experience was so great. How is a product built to satisfy the needs of not only the locals that use it, but also for the tourist who has never visited the country? In this particular case, these were train ticket kiosks. These kiosks had inspired me like the Van Gogh Museum. HA!
To be honest, I never truly thought about the UX of products like I do now. Could I analyze which products have been thoroughly tested by it's proposed user demographic? How many went straight from conceptualization to development without all that research, iterating and testing in-between? When I got back to the States that September, I randomly saw an ad for this UX/UI Bootcamp at the University of California Irvine on Facebook. I didn't hesitate to click on this ad, and I never ever click ads. "This is my calling", I said to myself.
With my experience in graphic design, I had an idea about how to make the "user" happy. But after attending this bootcamp, taught by the wonderful Chris Becker, my eyes were opened to a whole new way of approaching design. My first ever guerrilla interview for one of our first projects at Whole Foods had me extremely nervous the days prior, because I had never done such a thing. It ended up being profound! The amount of information that can be gathered just by asking a person a few questions is amazing! I will always keep the recording to that interview.
This really got me hooked on design for the USER. All that research that should be going in BEFORE we even get start on designs. It made me realize I've been designing backwards in a way...
My hope is that this portfolio demonstrates my competence with relevant software, thanks to my years of visual design, as well as the knowledge I've gathered during the 6 month UX/UI bootcamp I attended. After graduating in May 2018, I've continued to expand on all that I have learned, and even been able to apply that knowledge to a soon to be published app I helped design with a good friend of mine. If you made it this far, thank you for your time!
- Cheikh Isamu Clark