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Hello, I'm

Darin
Barnes

Building on an architectural and graphic design background, I am a UX Designer interested in simple digital experiences that encourage users to engage with their physical world.

What made you switch?

This is the question that I invariably get when I tell people that I've gone from Architecture, to Graphic Design, to User Experience Design (and for an added bonus, I'll sometimes add in the fact that I started off in Nursing). It's always been a slightly difficult question to answer, but a simplified response is that it was never a single thing that made me switch, but rather a series of experiences that helped me discover why (and how) I wanted to design.

Throughout architecture school, I was always interested in the narrative aspect of architectural spaces. How could the experience of Person A differ from (or be the same as) Person B, and how could their experiences overlap? As I continued on into the professional world, I still remained very interested in the experiential aspect of architecture; however, my desire to develop architectural details began to fade, despite my strong appreciation for them.

Realizing that I still had a strong interest in visually communicating spaces and designs, I decided to shift my professional focus to architectural graphic design. I loved all aspects of this new role: creating presentation boards and books, developing architectural diagrams and establishing new marketing packages. Though this was absolutely the best career move I could have made, I still missed one aspect from my architectural background: designing an experience.

User Experience Design was the next logical step in my career path. It was the perfect blend of designing and communicating (digital) spaces, with the added ability to quickly adapt designs based on user feedback. It also allowed me to view my architectural background with a new lens, leading me to explore how digital experiences can engage users beyond their screens.

What have you been up to?

Since January 2017, I have been developing digital experiences at Bloc, an online bootcamp. The following are select projects that I developed while working one-on-one with a mentor.

U by Uniqlo - Concept Design

Responding to user frustrations with the digital retail experience, U by Uniqlo is a concept design for a retail companion app to enhance the Fitting Room and Check Out Experience for users at their local Uniqlo.

Sitemap

Sitemap engages users with local architecture through a location-based architectural map and integrated camera.Users can explore and document buildings and reach out to the Sitemap community for more information through photo-based detail requests.

Elevate your Coffee

A concept design for a new responsive site for the Chemex coffeemaker: a glass, manual pour-over style of coffeemaker. The site focuses on the two primary benefits of the Chemex; the high quality taste and simple brewing process that has remained unchanged since 1941.