USA 🇺🇸

Nicole Chalmers

Memorisley Student

Hello there! I’m Nicole, a Baltimore-based multidisciplinary designer obsessed with building brands! I love dogs, listening to nerdy podcasts, and bouldering with my pals 🎧🐶
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Where are you from and/or where are you based as a Memorisely student?

I’m from Sykesville, Maryland originally, an amazing and adorable small town that was named “Best Town in America” just a few years ago! Now I’m residing in Towson, Maryland, which is just outside of Baltimore (a more well-known part of Maryland). It cracks me up when people only know where Baltimore is because many of us Marylanders describe where we live and how far away we are from the city (I’m about 16 minutes).

My hometown, Sykesville, MD.

My current home, Baltimore!

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

Funny enough, I didn’t start my career as a designer; I started as a Spanish-Education major. My love of design stemmed from my lifelong love of illustration (I’ve been drawing since I could pick up a pencil). Once I learned more about the design track at my University, I made the switch and haven’t looked back. My background has always been in print design, branding, and advertising. Still, since working in the real estate tech world, I have started directing my attention to UX/UI and digital design as a whole (and I am much happier because of it).

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

I chose to enrol in the August UX/UI Bootcamp. For over a year now, I have been working in the real estate tech space. I have spent a lot of my time working with the amazing product designers on my team and wanted to gain that experience to enhance my skills as a designer and better assist the product team from the marketing side. I have also gained a love of building websites (especially through Webflow 💕), so having more knowledge of UX/UI will help me to create better web experiences!

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

My day will be a mix of education and work. My mornings will start super early (class starts at 7 for me), so good breakfast, morning chores, and some time with my pup beforehand to wake up. I’ll also be using that time to do any classwork prep that I may need.

From 7-10, I will have class each day and will take some time after that to digest all of the day’s information and to prepare for my workday (I always start with a checklist). On days when I don’t have class, I try and take a Skillshare course to keep up with or learn a new skill.

I knock out my easiest tasks and work until about noon, which is lunchtime for me! Afterwards, I dive back into work and start working on the more time-consuming tasks, as well as attending any upcoming meetings (my company is on the west coast, so all of my meetings are in the afternoon).

I end my day by making a list of what tasks need to be completed the next day, following up with my team to ensure that there is nothing they need before I sign off. Then I work on a bit of freelance work (or personal projects, depending on what I’ve taken on that month), make dinner with my husband, and decompress for the evening!

Every Friday and sometimes Monday, I take a few hours to go bouldering before starting my day. A good workout session gets my brain moving and my creative juices flowing.

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What is your current workspace setup?

My space may seem cluttered at a glance, but it’s filled with imagery and little things that inspire me. The walls are covered with art made by friends or that I’ve collected from various conventions; I have a few knick-knacks that make me giggle or bring back some good memories, and I have a shelf filled with lush green plants to ensure I’m surrounded by nature even though I’m inside. By the window, I have my hermit crabs which provide a bit of afternoon entertainment when they become active.

My desk has a space for my laptop (I use a 2022 Macbook pro with the fancy M1 Max chip), two monitors to spread out my workspace, and some room for my iPad Pro where I do a lot of my sketching and illustration (and sometimes 3D thanks to Nomad)! My last and most important tool is my sketchbook, it’s always on my person if an idea pops into my head and is the first essential step to all of my design work. Working in a traditional medium helps me process things a bit better.

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

Webflow has been the most incredible product that I’ve learned about recently. I love designing websites, but I lack a more intensive coding knowledge to do anything actually cool with these sites. Webflow allows me to create fully functional, interactive sites using just the tools they provide. They give you the option to add your own code as well, so if there is a specific extra feature I would like to include, I can still do so! As long as you have a basic understanding of HTML and CSS, you can use their product no problem. And learning from them is an even better experience thanks to Webflow University! They provide incredibly detailed (and hilarious) tutorials on how to create a site from start to finish.

What tunes do you listen to while designing?

My music tastes are a bit all over the place, but this is my primary playlist that I’m listening to right now! You’ll find anything from N’SYNC to The Foo Fighters. I’m always adding songs as I find things that spark a bit of joy, so check it out if you’re looking for a bit of everything!

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

  1. Do the research Research CAN be boring, but it is just so important in this line of work. Whether you’re a UX/UI designer or an illustrator, doing the research will allow you to produce a more thoughtful product.
  2. Learn accessibility early Accessibility is SO important when it comes to UX/UI or any digital design medium, and is usually overlooked by teams who believe that you have to sacrifice accessibility for style. There is a way to make your product look good while also being accessible to all, so take the time to make sure you are thinking of everyone in your design process!
  3. There is no such thing as perfect As designers, we all like to beat ourselves up when we feel as if our product isn’t pixel perfect. Making mistakes is critical to the design process, we need to know what doesn’t work so that we can make a better product in the end! So as Miss Frizzle says “take chances, make mistakes, and get messy”!

Thanks for reading my story!

USA 🇺🇸

Nicole Chalmers

Memorisley Student

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