USA 🇺🇸

Matt Barrios

Memorisely Alumni

Hello! I’m Matt, a former church minister turned at-home dad! I’m a freelance copywriter learning to apply UX research to content creation!🚀
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Where are you from and/or where are you based as a Memorisely student?

San Francisco, CA, USA- We don’t live in the Full House, unfortunately.

What inspired you to pursue UX/UI and become a designer?

After a lot of fanboying in the bleachers as I watched my designer friends, it’s time for me to join the game! 

Back before I knew it, I got my first taste of UX research in 2012-14. As an adjunct professor teaching Critical Thinking & Writing, I used the textbook FieldWorking. It provides accessible methods for doing ethnographic field research and reporting.

Being a participant-observer remains foundational for how I have approached research. And little did I know, ethnography is also part of the UX research toolkit!

I’m especially grateful for Jenn Yoo at Inventional. My design research Jedi master. She led us through a reading group of Convivial Toolbox. That book sparked my interest in generative design research!

Which Bootcamp did you choose to enroll in, and why?

My love for research and writing made the UX research Bootcamp a perfect fit. Additionally, I felt Memorisely custom-made remote-first boot camps for me. And for my 8-month-old’s nap schedule. 🔎👶🏼

What will a typical day look like for you as a student?

My daughter sets the rhythms these days so I sneak into work and study as she sleeps. Don’t wake the baby!

I wake up with her between 5:30-6:30, play with stuffed animals, and wait for her morning catnap to sneak in a Wordle.

Her late-morning nap will be primetime for a quick exercise and focus work. I’ll get to be alongside my Bootcamp-mates for class during my baby’s afternoon nap.

To complete the theme of sleeping, I’m an avid bedtime reader — great for getting through our Bootcamp textbooks. I added a highlighter to my bedside table. 🤓

Piano is my prized possession and where my mind goes to roam.

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What is your current workspace setup?

I’ll be at the kitchen table where the sun hits exactly right in the morning. A painting my sister gifted me remains a fixture of my zoom background.

Baby’s on the table. You might hear her loud grunts of excitement on calls!

Thank God for the normalization of remote work for families.

What (digital or physical) product recently blew your socks off?

I love the Hemingway App! It’s a text editing software that puts readability first. As a former writing prof, I gained good habits of editing for clarity and conciseness. But I also learned some bad habits of using excessive academic jargon to look smart.

This app helps me focus on usability. (For example, this post is at a 5th-grade reading level — no long sentences and a 2-min read. Thanks, Hemingway App!)

What tunes do you listen to while designing?

I’m a musician — piano and bass. For that reason, music is SUPER distracting for me. I can’t not pay attention to it! So I work in silence! Ha! 🙅🏽‍♂️🎹

But I also LOVE music more than just about anything. So here’s a playlist that’s like a mood board of inspiration for a band I wanted to start called Subtle Honey.

We wrote three great songs before my bandmate moved to suburban Maryland of all places!

Share three pieces of advice for fellow and/or future students?

  1. Follow your feet. I learned this from years of performing improv weekly at a theatre here in SF. Follow the nudge to move, to enter the scene. You’ll figure it out along the way. 👣
  2. Hope is a highlighter. It’s not always easy to maintain positive anticipation for what’s next. But by remaining hopeful, I’ve learned I see opportunities I otherwise would have missed. Have the audacity to hope, and your way forward will glow. For me, it was this Bootcamp! 🤞🏽
  3. Diversify, diversify. Variety is the best. I have never regretted learning a new thing off my beaten path (Wikipedia addict). Take in a lot and invest in a lot — even if just in small ways. The focus becomes clear, and then you’ll have a variety of tools amassed to get whatever job is done. 🧰Let's put a face to your name!

Thanks for reading my story!

USA 🇺🇸

Matt Barrios

Memorisely Alumni

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