Elizabeth Morello has been a UX design mentor at Designlab for well over two years, where she works 1:1 with aspiring designers.
Recently, we had the opportunity to chat with her about her own design journey, and what inspires her to share her own rich expertise with aspiring UX designers.
Elizabeth’s UX Design Story
Elizabeth’s degrees are in Fine Art and Psychology. After graduation, she found herself working in various corporate jobs, but realized she was not doing work that made her happy.
“I was always designing and making things,” she shares, “so a close friend of mine suggested that I go talk to his brother who was an art director at a design firm in San Francisco. I decided to go back to school to pursue a graduate degree in Design. The program had a very experimental, fine arts approach to design. It was far from pragmatic, but I did enjoy the work.”
When Elizabeth first started working as a designer, there were essentially two paths to go in: print and interactive [web]. Although both paths carried their own appeal, Elizabeth quickly saw that there were more opportunities available in web design, since many of the seasoned designers did not want to cross over into the new world of digital design.
“Most of the earlier work that I did was web design. I created user flows, site maps, and wireframes for my sites. Most of them were hand drawn or made in Illustrator. The process was not something that we really shared in our portfolios back then.”
Then, fifteen years ago, Elizabeth worked on her first end to end app. “This was my first project working with educational content and I loved it,” she says. “It was an educational desktop app that was marketed on a DVD! I don’t remember the term UX/UI being used much at this time. I was called a Senior Graphical User Interface Designer or GUI [goo-ey].”
After that experience, Elizabeth started to gravitate toward educational projects and content whenever possible. She worked on various educational apps and for companies like McGraw-Hill and Pearson. At one point, she was also an instructional designer at the Academy of Art University.
With her many years of experience and passion for helping others, Elizabeth quickly stood out among our many amazing UX design mentors at Designlab, and shared a wealth of insight during a recent interview: