Photo by CNN Illustration

10 days ago I received an email from a cousin of my mother’s detailing a little-known family story. According to this cousin, our Great Grandma Pauline was able to narrowly avoid certain death in the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist factory fire by accidentally missing her stop on the downtown trolley.

Upon first read, this family story filled me with pride. I thought of my Great Grandma who, escaping religious persecution, boarded a boat from Bucharest, Romania bound for America and never looked back. I thought, ‘of course she thrived! This is OUR American story!’.

Five days ago I sat in my…

UXDI @ General Assembly Project 3: Feature Expansion

Kickstarter’s logo

The Client

Kickstarter is an immense global community that serves to bring creative projects to life. In accordance with their mission, Kickstarter exits as a crowdfunding platform that assists musicians, filmmakers, artists and designers with gaining the support necessary to convert their creative aspirations from dreams into realities. Since its launch in 2009, Kickstarter has amassed a tremendous following of loyal creatives who rely upon the site both for personal promotion and for exposure to new projects.

The Problem/Opportunity

Currently, Kickstarter’s crowdfunding model allows “backers” to support different projects by pledging a specific amount of money…

UXDI @ General Assembly Project 2: E-Commerce Design and IA

The Challenge

In order to stay competitive in a market monopolized by large retailers, smaller outfitters have to fight to remain competitive. Paragon Sports, a specialty shop for high-end athletic equipment and clothing, is looking to design a new version of their website in order to streamline their e-commerce experience.

I was given and “inventory” of 100 products and two weeks to design and build a clickable prototype of my new website.

My Approach

After reading about the UK Design Council’s ‘double diamond’ approach to the the design process, I resolved to model my…

UX Design Challenge

Project one for General Assembly’s UXDI program: research, design and construct an interactive rapid prototype of a digital media player.

Initial Inspiration

Comic books — Or rather, comic book fans. Although admittedly I am not a comic book reader, many of those closest to me are. I have shared close quarters with enough comic heads (and their protective-sleeve-clad stacks) to understand the basics: true devotees amass hundreds of issues and go to great lengths to protect their volumes from damage. Enthusiasts also glean intense enjoyment from both reading and collecting comics. …

Subway Cars — Lost in Transit

Pain Point: Ever miss an important announcement because you were too busy rocking out to the Hamilton soundtrack? Yeah, me too. Simply put, the MTA’s current PA system doesn’t jive with today’s ear-bud-clad riders. Announcements go unheard as express trains turns local, and frustation rises. No Bueno.

Proposed Solution: Install a dual strip of LED lights on the cieling that will illuminate 5 seconds prior to an irregular announcement (irregular annoucement is defined as service delay, route change, emergency information etc.). …

In the first few months of my post-grad life, I quickly validated the adage that finding a job is in fact a full time job. Anyone who has ever found themselves in the throws if hunting for a new position or even for a new career, learns very quickly that job searching in the modern world requires full-time dedication to first learning the rules and subsequently to playing the game.

Having your LinkedIn etiquette down pat, your Indeed profile updated and your Meetup schedules full aren’t strategies for success, but rather the minimum requirements for entry in the modern hunt…

Which of the following statements do you agree with?

A) The ideal UX professional is classically a “left brained” individual, proficient in acute analytic thought.

B) The ideal UX professional clearly demonstrates the innovative spirit and aesthetic eye, characteristic of a “right brained” creative.

C) Both: The top UX professionals utilize their entire brain to think on both creative and analytic planes.

D) Neither: Like most career paths, those of UX professionals will soon become obsolete as robots absorb all occupational duties.


If you selected “A” or “B”, you are in good company. Many professionals — designers, engineers and…

Elana Nachshin

Product Designer in NYC

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