Hi there, and welcome to UX Mastery!
My name is Matthew Magain, and I’m a freelance user experience designer. I’m also the author of this blog, along with the multi-talented Luke Chambers. You can read more about both of us, if you’re super curious.
If “user experience designer” sounds like a fancy-shmancy title that doesn’t really mean anything, well, I’m really glad you’re here. Go ahead and read this introductory post titled What is UX Design?. It even contains a short, fun video that I created just for you. Go on, do it now. I’ll wait.
Back already? Great! With that out the way, let’s talk about why I’m here. And why you’re here!
I wasn’t always a UX designer. Throughout my career I’ve referred to myself as a web designer, a technology consultant, a project manager, and a software engineer. I even worked as an English teacher for a few years.
The wonderful thing about user experience design is that having a checkered past can be a real advantage. In fact, the best user experience designers that I know are master generalists—jacks and jills of all trades and masters of none. Their diverse professional experiences are perfectly suited to a field that is itself wildly diverse.
When I first heard the term user experience, I wanted to learn more. Unfortunately it was really difficult to know where to start. I spent a small fortune on a ton of books and I pored over a gazillion blogs, but it wasn’t enough. I knew that the traditional waterfall model of software development was flawed, but I didn’t know what “best practice” approach I should be following, or how and when to apply many of the techniques I’d read about. Many of the well-regarded online magazines seemed to be targeted at an academic, more advanced audience, which left me, a newcomer to the field, feeling frustrated and confused. There was no one place to go to understand the entire process of how to design a large website or complex desktop application so that it was usable by people—not just functional and pretty.
I wanted the web sites and mobile apps and desktop software that I was designing to be intuitive and a joy to use, as well as being gorgeous to look at. I teamed up with Luke to launch this site, and our goal is to grow it into a resource that fills this gap—we want UX Mastery to become the resource we wish we had access to years ago: a comprehensive guide to learning the science of user experience design. Over time, we’ll be publishing posts that cover the entire UX spectrum, and we’ll be breaking down all of the techniques that have worked for us.
Of course, UX is a very broad term, and neither of us pretends to be an expert in all of the disciplines and techniques that make up the UX umbrella. That’s why we’ll also be interviewing some of the most accomplished and respected user experience designers out there and asking them to share their sage advice and insights. We hope you’ll join us as we both strive to improve our own skills for designing products that people love using. There are some exciting, inspiring, talented interviews lined up that I can’t wait to share with you. It’s going to be great.
If your curiosity is piqued, there are a few steps you can take right now to be sure you don’t miss out on all the fun:
- Sign up to our email list over there in the sidebar (we won’t give your email address to anyone, period)
- Add us to your feed reader (if you don’t know what a feed reader is, don’t worry about it!), or
- Bookmark us in your browser
We’re pretty excited about this new venture, and we promise to make it worth your while.