The Design With a Big ‘D’ series digs into the scope and depth of the Dallas-Fort Worth UX/UI industry as the region becomes a hot spot for design talent and companies. To follow the series and get the news on what’s now and next in Dallas-Fort Worth, sign up for Dallas Innovates Every Day.
Preston McCauley, principal AR / VR / UX / XR Design & Developmental Strategist at Clear Sight Designs and instructor with SMU’s CAPE program, discusses the evolution of enhanced reality (ER) in the region and its UX talent pool. McCauley has been working to help UX professionals discover new ways to approach the craft.
We sat down with McCauley to learn more.
Where does our region fit, in terms of developing enhanced experiences?
PM: Dallas-Fort Worth is leading the way in bringing UX designers into the AR / VR evolution. I started teaching “UX Principles for AR / VR”, the first elective designed to help students approach immersive experiences while giving them hands-on time with some of the most bleeding-edge technology, tools, and technology that many believe will shape our future.
Explain the role exposure to enhanced reality plays in expanding its use.
PM: When students build their first VR experience, many have never picked up the technology. It’s that moment when they begin to think of new possibilities and how to apply their UX talents in new ways. Through a series of thought-provoking activities, students learn how to think beyond the screen and envision a world surrounded by their creations.
Students first learn about understanding how to think about moments in relation to the user experience. Next, they are given a crash course on web technologies and new tools to help prototype these multidimensional experiences. Finally, each student will construct a personal VR experience that the entire class can step into and explore. By giving students a VR project, it provides for an intensive hands-on approach and teaches students how to think about abstract concepts, while keeping the design process heavily user-centric.
“It’s not just about creating an experience for you; it’s about understanding how to transport someone to the moment. In doing so, you help people perceive your design in new and exciting ways.”
Where does Dallas fit in, in terms of UX talent?
PM: Dallas has a robust blend of talent and skills. By providing ways for students to explore new possibilities, we can continue to teach and educate the community and create a new design-thinking generation ready to fuel startups and the corporate environment alike. User experience has been continuously growing over the years, and the industry is showing no signs of slowing.
Follow Preston at medium.com/@uidesignguide
A version of this story was first published in Sept. 2018 in a Dallas Regional Chamber brochure: “Design With a Big ‘D'”.
PART 1: DESIGN WITH A BIG D
The DFW Experience
Part one examines DFW as a UX hotspot. Today, four out of 10 Texas user-experience professionals work in Dallas-Fort Worth.
PART 2: DESIGN WITH A BIG D
How the Big Design Conference Came to Be
Part two looks at the beginnings of the conference. Big Design co-founder Brian Sullivan shares its origin story.
PART 3: DESIGN WITH A BIG D
Corporate by Design
Part three shares insights for how design pros help companies such as Walmart, Accenture, Bottle Rocket, Sabre, and more gain competitive advantage.
PART 4: DESIGN WITH A BIG D
Leading by Design
Part four covers a few big thinkers who are leading by design at companies such as Capital One, BBVA, Intuit, and USAA. Whether it’s slaying piles of paper receipts at tax time or making shopping an adventure, these Dallas area thoughtleaders are making their marks in their respective industries. The common thread? Dogged persistence.
PART 5: DESIGN WITH A BIG D
Meet 6 UX/UI Experts Delivering Solutions
UX/UI designers and experts are integral parts of many company operations and span across almost every industry. The Dallas-Fort Worth region has no shortage of thought leaders who are helping create the solutions for some of today’s most popular products. Here are six you need to know.
PART 6: DESIGN WITH A BIG D
Norm Cox, Iconoclast: Creating a Legacy in Design
Tap a menu on your smartphone to pay for your coffee, or edit a Word doc. Either way, you can think of Norm Cox. The North Texan was was on the Xerox team that developed the graphical user interface systems that we still use today.
PART 7: DESIGN WITH A BIG D
XR: The Experience Extended
In the service economy, winners will be companies who can best anticipate customer needs and can provide the best customer experience. Enter Extended Reality. Here are four DFW companies making bets on its future.
PART 8: DESIGN WITH A BIG D
A Look Into the Future:
Industry Leaders Say Universities Provide UX Firepower
From developing autonomous trucks to incorporating science and the arts, universities in Dallas-Fort Worth are churning out UX-perts
PART 9: DESIGN WITH A BIG D
Teaching the Next Evolution of UX Design Thinking
Multi-dimensional UX: Preston McCauley has been working to help UX professionals discover new ways to approach the craft.
PART 10: DESIGN WITH A BIG D
UTD’s Cassini Nazir on the First-Person Experience
It would make sense that the best education in user-experience would involve a first-person experience. It’s about finding needs and figuring out how to fill them.
PART 11: DESIGN WITH A BIG D
By the Numbers: Tech Roots Give DFW the Edge in UX/UI Boom
The user experience sector is exploding in Dallas-Fort Worth. That’s a good pairing with the region’s history as a high-tech hotbed.
PART 12: DESIGN WITH A BIG D
Creative Vault: Your Guide to Resources for Designers and UX/UI Pros in DFW
There are plenty of area associations, events, organizations, and educational institutions to help designers brainstorm, commiserate, learn, and hone their skills. Here’s our resource guide to get you started.
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