Today, I'm starting with translating my page contents from German to English.
I do this to further work on my English skills and to make the content more accessible to non-german-speakers, since I gained more traffic from non-german countries in the past few months and plan on reaching even more people.
In regards to the files & websites of my projects – for example, the pdf-file for the case study about hive or the website of my graduation project "Ernst Luftig" – I plan on leaving them in German. At least for now.
In my second UX & UI design project – and the first one executed entirely in English – I'm rethinking Spotify's Search page to improve and personalise the user experience of the mobile app.
For this, I transformed the current Search page into a page that puts the recommendation and discovery of content & artists first.
The final product is my first ever high-fidelity prototype built with Framer X.
Last week I gave my website a facelift.
My goals were to structure the content more clearly and to further emphasize the stories about my work.
I also changed the structure of some subpages, redesigned the navigation, and created an entirely new "intro"-page.
Check out older versions of my website here: https://web.archive.org/web/20191130135825/https://www.christian-heins.de/.
Providers of electric scooter sharing are currently flooding the German market and are enjoying growing popularity in larger cities. These scooters are mainly used by younger people who want to get to a nearby destination fast while avoiding traffic jams, polluting cars & limited parking spaces.
To better understand why the apps & scooters of some providers are more popular than others, I decided to conduct a UX case study with the example of "Hive".
Hive is already available in Austria, France & Poland and currently expands its fleet of e-scooters in Germany, where they have to compete against Lime and Tier.
Decisive factors include the user-friendliness of the electric scooters and the app, the reliability of the scooters and the stability of the app, which are currently viewed rather critically in the app stores.
Therefore, in this UX case study, I will deal with the leading customer problems, find possible solutions and implement them in a redesign for the app.
I will publish the finished case study and the new design on my portfolio and in some social networks.
This blogpost from Jonathan Shariat, about the influence that design could have on vital decisions, kickstarted my interest in UX & UI design.
Books like "The Design of Everyday Things", "Burn your Portfolio" & "Living with Complexity" helped me to understand the field better and further develop my interest in understanding business and user problems.
Today, I combine my UX & UI design skills with my motivation for helping people, to design products that help users to achieve their goals.
I've been interested in the media and the technology related to it for as long as I can remember.
This is probably mainly due to my grandfather, who worked at IBM and likes to share his passion for computers, cars and cameras with the family. But also, my parents taught me how to use my first cassette player & recorder at a very young age.
A few years later, as a young child, I discovered the video camera of my parents and wanted to film something. So I figured out how to turn it on and press record and accidentally dubbed a cassette in this process.
After this accident, my parents decided to lock the camera away and instead teach my brother and me how to use a computer step by step. This way, we got to know Microsoft Windows at a very young age, landed planes in the flight simulator and learned how to use office programs.
Since I already had great enthusiasm for photography in primary school, my parents gifted me a basic digital camera during that time. This helped me to develop my first, own feeling for composition and lighting.
Since it was an automatic-only camera, it didn't leave many possibilities to change lighting settings or the focus.
This led me to buy my first, own digital film camera at the age of 12, which enabled me to record videos and set a few settings manually. This inspired a few friends and me to recreate scenes from our favourite movies from that time.
When the computer that my brother and I shared broke, we decided to buy in a newer Windows XP computer, with the help of our parents. On the new computer, we were able to deepen our knowledge of Microsoft Word and Excel and get to know a few gaming classics like Minesweeper, The Sims 1 and Rollercoaster Tycoon 2.
During this time, I also saved my own money to buy my first and very own Windows Vista laptop. So a few years later, I got to know the Internet and learnt how to use MSN, Facebook and all the upcoming social networks.
In the same year, I got into the team of the low-budget film project "Der Schatz vom Elsensee" [The Treasure of the Elsensee] of the city of Quickborn. A project that was run by the city youth care in cooperation with Helge Heggblum - founder and managing director of "HH Film e.K.".
Since I was integrated into the team from the start, I had the opportunity to actively contribute to the project by being part of the scriptwriter team, organizing some equipment, props & catering, executing the script and helping at the movie premiere. During production, I got one of the four lead roles in front of the camera, but also helped out a lot behind the scenes, either as a boom operator, illuminator or "grip".
The finished movie, with a runtime of approximately 60 minutes, celebrated its premiere in winter 2009 in the Beluga cinema in Quickborn. It ran there for over two months as part of the regular program.
By participating in this extensive project, my interest in photo and video editing increased a lot, for which my first laptop was no longer sufficient.
So I started saving on a Sony Vaio laptop with a built-in graphics chip. This hardware had the advantages that I could edit large photo files without long loading times, cut film recordings or play some more demanding games. This laptop was also an excellent entry-level computer to get to know GIMP and some Adobe Software.
This was also the laptop that I attended the "Photo and graphic design" course with, in the Rugenbergen Community School in 9th grade.
This had the advantage that I could try out different graphics and photo editing programs for various tasks - including Adobe Photoshop - instead of relying only on GIMP.
Since our teacher was only familiar with GIMP, I quickly learned to solve problems with other programs independently and never had any issues with that.
Yannick - still a good friend of mine - noticed this as well.
He was in the same course with me and taught himself app & web programming in his free time. For a photo platform, similar to Fotolia or Unsplash, which he built to practice his knowledge, he asked me to create some icons and sample photos.
Since I had no idea how to design icons right or what makes a "good" photo on the platform, I learned quite a lot in a relatively short time. Yannick's feedback, as well as online tutorials, were a great help in that time.
For my 18th birthday, my parents surprised me with the then-current MacBook Pro 13".
Thanks to the generous gift, I had the opportunity to get to know OS X and getting creative in iMovie or GarageBand. I was also able to get to know the Adobe software on OS X and further expand my interest in photo and video editing. In addition to this, I also gained initial experience with the app development process for Apple devices.
Since I knew at the time of my high school diploma that I would like to do something in the direction of media design, but could not yet commit myself to a fixed path, I took part in a preparatory year at the vocational school of Pinneberg in various professional fields, to try out the media area and to be able to orientate myself better.
At the end of this year, I decided to start an apprenticeship as a media designer digital and print, since it includes the variety of tasks I had a lot of fun with during my internships.
Additionally, I see a great future in this field – a future I'd like to actively shape by helping people to overcome everyday challenges with good design.
For my apprenticeship, I bought the MacBook Pro 15" with Retina display in early 2015, which is still my current laptop today.
This laptop enabled me to further deepen my experience with OS X, to exploit the full potential of the Adobe Creative Cloud and to learn web languages like HTML5 and CSS3 in code editors like Sublime Text. This is also the machine that I got to know Sketch with, InVision Studio and many other tools that are related to UX & UI Design.