Paige Castle goes back to the basics when she’s working on her designs — and we dig her old school style. The General Assembly graduate likes to draw up her ideas with pen and paper, but she’s not afraid to go high-tech either: for her GA capstone project, she took her newly acquired UX skills and applied them to a travel-themed VR project to design a better in-flight experience for frequent flyers.
Her Psychology background gives her a unique perspective when listening to clients’ needs and paying attention to how UX works. Pick up this hard-working graduate who would like to join a nurturing team and gain a knowledgeable mentor.
What program are you graduating from?
I graduated from General Assembly’s full-time UX program, accumulating over 500 hours in professional UX experience. Over 10 weeks, I learned and practiced all components of UX including, user research, persona development, content creation, wire-framing, prototyping, and usability testing.
What is your previous education?
Prior to General Assembly, I attended LaGrange College and received my B.A. in Psychology.
What startup/tech projects have you worked on?
Prior to GA’s UXDI program, I worked for a startup company called Treehouse Milk. While it wasn’t a tech startup, I did acquire skills that are pertinent to the tech community. I learned how to forge relationships with other small businesses and the importance of community outreach.
My capstone project for GA’s program was with Moxie Interactive. I was on a team with two other people and we were challenged with designing a virtual reality experience that would serve as in-flight entertainment. We included a socialization piece where passengers could communicate with other passengers and share experiences of previous vacations.
What tech/tools are essential to you as a developer?
First and foremost, pen and paper — I believe designs are easiest to create if they are sketched out first. Sketches are also the easiest to share — some people don’t have software or a computer when I want to share my design, so I find it best to lay all of my ideas out on paper initially. I also think ears are an essential tool for they allow me to listen to my users and hear what their needs are. In terms of software tools, I love using Sketch, Axure, Invision, Adobe CC, Keynote, and Principle.
How do you stay informed & on-top of emerging trends?
Because I love listening to people, I try to attend as many panel discussions, presentations, and networking events as I can. Through other people, I learn trends and discover new audiobooks or podcasts to listen to during my downtime. Working with other people on side projects helps me stay current as well.
What are your best technical or creative skills?
While in class, I noticed I picked up new software tools quickly and always looked forward to software workshops. My favorite part of the UX process lies in information architecture because it’s a puzzle to me. I have a strong aptitude for problem-solving and when I learned about IA, I felt like I had found the place to unleash my investigative nature.
What’s next on your list to learn?
In terms of skills, I would really like to delve into coding more. As I’ve dabbled in it, I realize I enjoy it — much like information architecture — it reminds me of puzzles. I hope to also learn more about UI — IA translates well into UI.
Why the interest in the technology field?
My family always told me I should go into the tech field — if they had issues with a program or their phones, they would turn the problem over to me and I wouldn’t stop tinkering until I had the solution. Eventually, I could no longer tune them out. I looked into UX and fell in love with the field. Technology is ever present and will continue to be something we rely on as time passes. I want to be part of that continuum.
Are you interested in working for a startup, mid-sized company, or a corporate giant?
My top priority is the culture — anywhere I can develop meaningful relationships with my teammates or have a mentor is where I will thrive.