Who am I? My name is Will Ryan. I am a UX architect and user researcher. I have a Ph.D. in Informatics from Indiana University where I focused on human-centered design and cognitive science.I love working with technology particularly making it fun, engaging, and easier to learn. My goal is to understand both the technology and the users to ensure these users have meaningful and enjoyable experiences with their technology (whether in software or in hardware—for desktop, web, or mobile).
What do I do? I specialize in information architecture, UX design, and research, but I have a background in developing both the front- and back-end of computer systems. I have spent years researching learning to use interactive technology, social media, entertainment technology and engagement with interactive technology, and information visualization with over 30 academic publications. I have designed, researched, or developed dozens of websites and about one dozen interactive applications in environments such as Flash, HTML & JQuery, ASP/PHP, and even for the desktop.
I am comfortable talking to users, other designers, artists, programmers, or business people. I love getting my hands "dirty" creating system sketches, planning work flows, writing personas, and creating prototypes. I love being a mouth-piece for user-centered philosophy and talking about UX topics. I have also taught on topics such as web and media design, visual design, project management, and strategic communication. I have worked in UX design and development number of different industries including higher education, consumer electronics, finance, heavy-duty trucking, social media, and food and beverage.
Where am I coming from? I recently left a career in academics teaching and researching UX design/research and interactive media. I decided my passion was not in teaching these skills, although I do enjoy mentoring others, but I want to be involved in the user experience design process. I have spent the last half year consulting on interactive design projects.
Where do I want to go? I envision myself leading others in the creation of great interactive software and media one day. I feel my experience in an academic environment has prepared me to lead. I love working with technology and making software that is meaningful for my users and I am excited in engaging in every way possible to achieve this goal. I would like to grow into a leadership position.