Hi, I’m Erica. A designer. Here’s my story.
I have a long and storied career in all things digital dating from 1999, when I joined a dotcom as a lil “html monkey”. I guess we call them front end devs nowadays? After seeing the innerworkings of building websites, I soon discovered that although I was proficient in front end, my passion was, is and will always be — design.
Despite devoting my early developmental years in school to being an award winning design editor in yearbook (from middle school to college) — I wonder why it never dawned on me that I could turn those skills into a career. And well? Here I am. A lifelong passionate designer with a thirst for emerging tech.
If you’re a designer too, and have been for as long, you might recall the early 2000s as a time when digital designers were the redheaded stepchildren of the design world. The designers who were producing tangible things like print ads, packaging, tv commercials, print collateral, etc were lauded. The craft of producing beautiful, meticulous, flawless collateral that could be seen and heard and touched had arrived — that discipline was developed and admired and carried a certain amount of prestige. I desperately wanted to NOT be pigeonholed as a digital designer, yet try though I might — the skills I brought in the realm of developing interactive experiences were desired and utilized — and in high demand.
I hated it. And I did it anyways, because bills.
Here I am nearly 20 years later, eternally grateful that I’ve stuck with it and maintained a healthy appetite and acumen for emerging tech. This shit is EXCITING, isn’t it? We are creating the future.
Straddling the line between GenX and Millennials, I came of age as a designer in a time where folks never spent more than 3ish years working with or for a single entity. The vision of working with a company for 20 or 30 years, retiring and getting a gold watch had evaporated. And yet — this resume with lots of entries was still a weird gray area in interviews that haunted me.
“Why haven’t you been anywhere longer than 3ish years? Hello, are you capable of being a stable employee?”
I’ve worked in house at mammoth enterprise corporations, gaming companies, product dev startups, ad agencies, digital agencies, tech giants… and after pledging to never work for anyone else — only for myself — I’ve landed at an incredible design-thinking, innovation focused consultancy called MU/DAI design.
I’m finally at home. And though I’m technically working FOR someone else… I’m still very much working for myself.
The journey that I’ve stuck with despite what I *thought* I wanted, has been WORTH IT. Why? How?
The faith and freedom that MU/DAI have given me is empowering. The exposure to premier clientele is unparalleled. The challenges are the most challenging I’ve experienced in my career. And the impact I have the opportunity to create is inspiring, motivating fuel.
Hi, I’m Erica. I’m an Experience Director at MU/DAI. And I’m changing the game for clients on a daily basis.
In my articles you will read about my learns, experiments and outcomes on a variety of topics — from design theory, to team building (which will be my first series of posts), to tactical ideas and approaches in a variety of contexts — I’m looking forward to this being a platform for me to publish, get feedback, explore ideas and learn from you.
My ask? Be an active participant in our collective growth. Collaborating on ideas is a cornerstone of my approach. So let’s collaborate, shall we?