Jessica Moore is designing AfterCollege’s mobile app, which will help users get results that appeal specifically to them. Having just graduated from the University of Rochester in New York, her first role outside of “student” as interaction design intern is allowing her to see if she wants to pursue a career in interactive design. We stole her attention away from her app development (not an easy thing to do) to ask her a few questions about her experience being an intern at AfterCollege. Here’s what she had to say.
Interview by Kellen McKillop
Where did you go to school?
I went to the University of Rochester in the college of arts and sciences.
What did you major in?
I double majored in Brain and Cognitive Science (BCS) and Linguistics.
How did you hear about this internship?
I heard about it through a family friend.
What are you most excited about doing during your internship?
Learning how to design things and incorporating human interaction in order to make them as easy to use as possible.
Is this your first internship?
What were your thoughts coming into this as a new experience?
I was nervous at first but I’m really liking it!
What do you hope to get out of this internship?
I hope to figure out if interactive design is something I want to continue doing, and also, to learn how to do it. This internship is teaching me how to use my major (BCS) to create a mobile app that is the most effective at its function.
What sort of projects are you working on?
I am working on designing a mobile app for AfterCollege. It will allow the user to view jobs one at a time, and give feedback on what they like/dislike about the job, in order to figure out the user’s preferences and show them more jobs that they might like.
What is a typical day like as an AfterCollege intern in your department?
I start on my train ride here, by reading a book that Teresa [VP of Product] gave me, The Design of Everyday Things by Donald A. Norman. Then, on the walk to the office, I try to take the concepts I have just read about and figure out how to best apply them to the app I’m working on. Once I get into the office, I immediately start to write down the ideas so I don’t lose them.
After that, I start working on creating a document that will pretty much justify all of my design choices based on the other UI (User Interface: point of user and computer program interaction) of popular apps.
The past couple of days have mostly been researching other popular apps that have similar functions to the app I will be creating, and taking screenshots to use in the document. Now is the fun/easier part where I just write down all of my ideas about the different types of layouts and designs of the apps’ UI. Then, after I’ve defended all of the aspects of the design, I will start to create it, then test out a couple different versions to figure out what works and what doesn’t.
What is something you didn’t expect, but that pleasantly surprised you?
I really like the opportunity for self motivation, and as someone who was a major procrastinator in college, it is so pleasantly surprising that I just sit and do work all day and totally love it.
Is there any advice that you would give another college student or recent grad about entering into an internship in your field?
It’s totally awesome, and even though it isn’t like the academic research that you see every day in the classroom/lecture hall, it still has just enough scientific method to make it familiar and super fun.
At her first internship, Jessica has really had the opportunity to put her double major to work. Instead of making coffee, she is drinking it, and using the caffeine to push away past procrastination habits and to boost her brainstorming and active app developing. Keep your eyes peeled for the forthcoming AfterCollege mobile app.
Homework time! Interested in design? Pick up a copy of The Design of Everyday Things or research similar titles. Not an app designer? Ask a professor or someone in your field to recommend a book that can help introduce you to new concepts.
P.S. We’d love to hear your book suggestions! Leave a comment with titles and authors that have helped you navigate the world of design. Not in the design field? Tweet us book titles that have inspired you in your field! @AfterCollege