design lab home
The Interactive Design Program 2014 Grads are launched! As always, the show was a smashing success (the meatballs were stellar).
From emoticons to GIFs to graphical user interfaces, the inventions that opened the web to everyone.
…is what the opening slide read at the company-wide Townhall meeting, from the head office of Internet security software vendor, OpenDNS in San Francisco, CA. The company’s CEO, David Ulevitch himself, was up on mic, welcoming the company’s two new UX Interns from Capilano University’s Interactive Design program Andrew Marley-Clarke and Stephanie Kalacis; to hearty cheers on both sides of the border! What a welcome it was…and really, one you don’t see the likes of too often anymore.
The Townhall continued after the crowd subsided and proceeded onto much more pressing matters of business…until concluding with us having to stand up in front of the group in a hazing ritual of sorts to announce 3 fun facts about ourselves. I shared that I almost had my own reality show, that I am working on a mobile app to help train laparoscopic surgeons, and that my apartment is the backdrop to the CTV news’ anchor desk…so if there were any protests or causes people wanted to support, to let me know! It was a fun icebreaker to what is shaping up to be a great opportunity with a real ‘Grade A’ company. What a great way to start an Internship.
OpenDNS protects Internet users at the Domain Name System (DNS) level by safe-guarding against malicious, phishing, or botnet attacks, while also predicting security vulnerabilities. The company started in 2006 and was founded by David Ulevitch. It’s Umbrella product secures 2% of global Internet traffic for consumers, protecting home Internet usage with parental controls, and business users, protecting all devices within a network, regardless of whether the user is connected to work through a wireless network or working remotely from a coffee shop. Location doesn’t matter; once a security policy is applied on the device, that device is protected as long as it is connected to the Internet.
Transition from Interactive Design to OpenDNS
In true Interactive Design fashion, we have hit the ground running working on multiple projects within our internship with OpenDNS, in a challenging, fast-paced, and supportive environment. Working with their Web/UX team in San Francisco, we are helping revamp the content strategy, and information architecture of the company site, contributing to the redesign of their customer user experience, and conducting tasks to help improve SEO analytics between pages. Being able to apply what we learned in the program immediately in this professional context, gaining insight into the roles of a Web/UX team and designers, and being able to (more…)
Latitude Geographics is a software company based in Victoria, B.C., focused on the design and development of Geocortex software. They believe that geographic information over the web can empower people to make better decisions that affect their lives, society, and the world around us.
“You seem to be really grokking the software.”
This was the phrase that sent me into a tail-spin of shame and confusion on the morning of the second day of my practicum. Already? I was barely out of the first meeting with my product team and I had been exposed– they could smell my fear. I was done for.
Lobster-faced, I walked back to my desk, my mind swirling with irrelevant come-backs and fantasies of time machines. What did that even mean? What a horrible, obtuse word! Did I break something? I haven’t even touched a repository yet.
As my guardian angel will often do, Google reached out and pulled me from the depths. Grok: “to understand intuitively or by empathy; to establish rapport with” and “to empathise or communicate sympathetically (with); also, to experience enjoyment”. Well then. My back straightened up in my chair. Grok on, my new best friends! Grok on.
The Transition to the Latitude Geographics Workplace
This was the beginning of an ongoing ride of compliments, courtesies, encouragements, best wishes, smiles, handshakes and fist-bumps. The people at Latitude Geographics really know how to treat a guy. In February I interviewed with a few different companies, hoping to convince someone to give me the opportunity to join in on their work and get a taste of the industry. Speaking with Latitude, I immediately noticed how they were different. They sounded genuinely interested in me (this old thing?) and my combination of character and experience. It didn’t take long to decide that an over(Salish)seas internship would be worth the travel.
Don’t get me wrong, I still do fear/revere this small army of software engineers and back-end developers, whom I generally regard as virtuosic and cognitively superior. However, they make it difficult to not enjoy them around the office, be it with their company-sanctioned inner-harbour rooftop-patio ping-pong brackets, their rotating Phillips tap or their willingness to have a wry laugh at my expense. It’s too bad the sales team is on the bottom floor because those guys are hilarious.
“Between a Grok and a Hard Place”
Just a few days in, I’m feeling spoiled to have been invited in to a company that aligns so well with my values and personality. I’ve learned that this will be an important consideration for me when I’m interviewing with (more…)
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