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UX Writer—loves cats, video games, and In-n-Out Burger

The Wet-Dry World level is unlike any other level in Super Mario 64. Everything from the image in the sky, to the soundtrack playing in the background leaves you with an eerie feeling.

I first heard people talking about this negative emotional aura on YouTube, and I realized that I felt the same why while playing this level. I immediately became interested in how and why this feeling came to be.

After doing some digging on YouTube and Reddit, I learned that I wasn’t the only one to have this weird, negative feeling while playing Wet-Dry World.

What is Wet-Dry World?

Once you enter…


Photo by freestocks on Unsplash

Ever since watching The Social Dilemma on Netflix, I’ve been thinking more about how often I check my phone. The Social Dilemma is a documentary about the ethics of tech and design. It explains how certain apps are designed to make money off of the people engaging with them by showing them targeted ads.

In the documentary, notifications would get sent out based on specific interests of a person, and cause them to drop whatever they’re doing to check their phones. …


Photo by Ben Dutton on Unsplash

I lived in Seattle for a total of 3 years. During that time, there were some things I loved about living there, and some things I didn’t love so much.

I recently moved out of Seattle and back to California, where I grew up. Before I made the decision to move back, I put together a list of pros and cons about living in Seattle. It helped me out with my decision and I wanted to share it with you too, in case you’re thinking of moving to Seattle.

Here are some things to keep in mind before you make…


Photo by Mia Baker on Unsplash

There’s a lot you can do to improve your skills as a designer, but most of the time, it comes with a high cost and a big time commitment.

These 4 steps that I’m about to share with you are easy ways you can insert yourself into the UX community, meet new people, and gain new skills.

Best of all, most of these steps won’t cost you anything and you can do them all at your own pace if you want to. I followed these steps during my last year of grad school, and the following year when I was…


Photo by Hybrid on Unsplash

It can be disheartening to spend so much time preparing for a job interview for that awesome UX position only to get rejected.

Working on your resume, portfolio presentation, and questions for an interview takes a lot more work than one might think. Especially when you throw in a take home assignment or a day long interview loop. When you work that hard for something and you find out you aren’t going to get the job, it can hurt.

Since graduating, I’ve gone through countless rejections from every stage of the job hunting process. For UX jobs, there are usually…


A girl sitting on the ground with her laptop next to a voice activated speaker. A google assistant logo is in the corner.
A girl sitting on the ground with her laptop next to a voice activated speaker. A google assistant logo is in the corner.
Illustration from unDraw by Katerina Limpitsouni, Google Assistant logo from Wikimedia Commons

I got interested in creating voice apps a few years ago when I was working on a portfolio project for fun. I made a voice app for Google Assistant that would order boba for me because I love boba. It was tough and challenging, but I had a lot of fun working on it and seeing the final product work was rewarding.

I’m someone with very little programming knowledge and working on my first voice app was pretty challenging, but I was ready for more.

As I went to create my next project on the Actions Console site, I found…


Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

When I was starting out in the field of UX, I had very little “real world” experience. It was the one piece of feedback I kept hearing from recruiters after countless interviews. “We’re looking for someone with more ‘real world’ experience.” As a new grad, that was tough to hear over and over again.

I wanted to have something concrete to talk about during my interviews that wasn’t a class project. It was about 6 months into my post-grad job hunt and I felt like I needed something to act as a stepping stone until I could get a full…


A dusty pink background with a black lock and a space to enter a password and a submit button underneath.
A dusty pink background with a black lock and a space to enter a password and a submit button underneath.
Image created by author using Adobe Xd

Being on the job hunt meant I needed to update my portfolio again. I had a new project to add, but it was under an NDA and I couldn’t say too much about it. Since I’ve never had to figure out how to display an NDA project on my portfolio before, I didn’t know where to start.

While I was still employed, I asked my manager how to talk about my projects on my portfolio since they were under an NDA. She gave me some good tips but I still wanted to do some research on my own as well.


How low buy helped me save money to achieve my financial goals.

Photo by Becca McHaffie on Unsplash

What is a low buy journey?

A low buy journey (or challenge, as some people like to call it) is a way of limiting the number of things you buy to only buy what you need. It’s a great way to help limit your spending and move towards a more minimalistic lifestyle.

Why I started a low buy journey


Screenshot of Animal Crossing New Horizons taken by author

The game design in Animal Crossing New Horizons is really thoughtful and beautiful throughout the entire game. The visuals, sounds, and unique personalities of the villagers are all what make Animal Crossing so special.

A theme I’ve noticed from this game is how positive it is, no matter what’s happening. The messaging is always helpful, encouraging, and leaves the users feeling pretty great. During my many hours of gameplay, I’ve come across a few UX writing lessons that I’d like to share with you.

Don’t make your users feel bad for their decisions

When you donate something new to the museum in the game, Blathers will ask you if…

Melody

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