Lunch with Consuelo Valdes
On Wednesday, November 18, invited speaker Consuelo Valdes gave a talk on her experience with design and user experience research and on the importance of soft skills. 21 members attended: 5 undergraduate students and 16 graduate students.
Consuelo Valdes is a user experience designer currently working in cyber-security. After graduating Wellesley College in 2011 with a B.A. in Media Arts & Sciences, she became a research fellow at the Wellesley College Human-Computer Interaction lab. Since transitioning to industry in 2013, Consuelo has worked as a UX designer in healthcare security and cyber-security. Throughout her professional career, Consuelo has designed and built tabletop interfaces, mobile apps, holographic interfaces, and automagical interfaces.
Research Talk: HCI/UX: Museum to Malware
Human-computer interaction (HCI) and user experience (UX) lie at the intersection of psychology, design, and computer science. Consuelo Valdes has worked as a UX designer on multiple projects during her time in the industry, some of them are described below.
- ARTeMuse: a museum guide app engaging students with works of art. Novice museum visitors are often unfamiliar with art concepts and lack the skills for interpreting works of art. The app provides advice on what to look for in a particular piece and how to engage with it, which makes the experience more enjoyable and less intimidating. Using ARTeMuse increased the average time a student interacts with a work of art from 30 seconds to 3 minutes.
- Green Touch: project created to ease collaborative data collection and analisys by biology students. The project consists of three parts: mobile interface for easy data collection and recording, web application allowing data storage in the cloud, and table-sized multi-touch surface interface for data visualisation and analisys.
- Imprivata OneSign: healthcare security application allowing healthcare providers to log into workstations and applications in a fast and secure manner. Doctors have to log in up to 70 times a day which is time consuming and often frustrating. OneSign provides a system that allowes quicker access to information they need.
Currently, Consuelo Valdes works at CloudLock on cyber-security.
Personal Talk: On the Importance of Soft Skills
While soft skills are crucial for a successful career, they are often undervalued. Consuelo Valdes discusses soft skills that everyone needs.
- Stay positive: it might not be always easy, but it is important to maintain a positive outlook in professional situations.
- Check your ego: focus on your own work and don’t pay attention to what other people are thinking.
- Be friendly.
- Be a team player: take initiative and help members of your team when needed.