17 March 2017

A Lot of Firsts

Believe me when I say that it took a lot of first steps and second guessing to get this post, and its site, up as a little universe of pixels before you. I’ll be honest; I’ve been mulling over getting a UX portfolio created for quite some time now.

If you visited this domain over the past year, you probably saw nothing more than either a simple page with my logo and a vague quote on it or the default gibberish of a boilerplate Jekyll template. If this portfolio weren’t a final product and requirement of my Digital Design course in the HCI program at DePaul, this site mostly still wouldn’t exist, and you wouldn’t be reading this post right now.

I don’t know why UX portfolios are so seemingly challenging or intimidating for individuals trying to break into the field of UX. For me, creating this site and portfolio has felt like confronting an existential crisis head-on for the past few months. Maybe it shouldn’t feel this way, or maybe it’s just a part of the process for everyone. Regardless of the circumstances, I have arrived at a pretty solid foundation, and I want to keep building and growing on it.

Despite all the fear, angst, self-doubt, and sensation of feeling overwhelmed with the task of creating this site, the process has forced me to look inward. Inward on what I want out of my career. Inward on what I have to offer to the world. Inward on what I have accomplished, and more importantly failed at, to get where I am today.

Creating this portfolio challenged me to look at myself from a lot of different angles. The process forced me to get out of my bubble of comfort, complacency, and procrastination. It also forced me to revalidate what I am looking for in a career, and what drives me personally, so that I can eventually solidify something more than a career - a calling.

Other than sitting down and seriously asking myself a lot of tough, introspective questions for the first time, this site was exploratory from a technical standpoint as well. Before this site, I never worked with Jekyll, Sass, or do-it-yourself CSS tools and frameworks like Thoughtbot’s Bourbon and Neat. I couldn’t bring myself to using a template from Squarespace or Adobe portfolio. I had to tinker, and I’m glad I did.