Image of my performance in "Failure: A Love Story."

Production still from my performance in “Failure: a Love Story.” Coeurage Ensemble, Los Angeles. (2017)

One Collaborative Design Process Into Another

For years I have been a performer, theatrical sound designer, director, and educator. These experiences have provided me with invaluable tools that have enriched my journey in the world of UX design. Even before I knew what UX design was, I had been unknowingly preparing for it my whole life.

My career began in acting. I started in the Chicago theater scene before moving to California for my MFA. There, I co-founded a theater company, did some film and TV, and fell in love with audio design and show direction. I rapidly made a name for myself in these areas, earning recognition from awards organizations and press alike. Stage & Cinema even called me "the best director of his age in Los Angeles." In 2019, I became the Co-Artistic Director of my theater company, and everything seemed to be falling into place. As it did for so many of us, COVID changed everything.

My fascination with emerging technology, particularly spatial head-mounted devices like Virtual and Augmented Reality, led me to work with a stealth startup composed of engineering alumni from Google Spotlight Stories. We collaborated on tools for creating live performance scenarios in XR, and I became enthralled with researching and devising interaction methods tailored to different disciplines. Before I knew it, I had become deeply engrossed in the UX design process.

I soon recognized the parallels between my career and UX design: both involve research (dramaturgy), sketches (blocking rehearsals), low and high fidelity wireframes (run-throughs and tech), and prototypes (dress rehearsals). At their core, both fields share a commitment to helping users and building on their input, as well as an understanding of flow and the impact of aesthetics on user experience. With this realization, I immersed myself in a UX intensive course and have been passionately working in the field ever since.