jennifer.figueroa@ac4d.com

Student

Jen Figueroa

Professional things about me, in no particular order: I have a nearly 20-year career as a graphic designer/art director. I used to dog- and house-sit as a side hustle. I was a chalkboard artist at Whole Foods Market for 3 years and eventually moved up to Regional Art Director. I worked at an Apple store as a side hustle. I won several Addy awards the very first year of my career. During college, I was a camp counselor every summer. I’ve rebranded a gym.

Other things about me, in no particular order: I have 2 dogs, a greyhound and an Italian greyhound. I love to read. I love to eat. I’m a high-fuctioning introvert. Other than college, I’ve lived in Texas my whole life. I love having a jigsaw puzzle in progress on my dining room table. My favorite hobby is planning my next vacation. I recently started a watercolor painting practice to counterbalance the pixel-perfection of graphic design.

I’m excited about starting at AC4D for a myriad of reasons but these are the main ones: For a long time I’ve wanted my work to have more meaning than just being pretty. One of my biggest frustrations in past jobs is when the “why” makes no sense. I want the “why” of why I’m designing things to make sense again. And with my background in print design I’ll not only be learning new ways of thinking, but new design software. It’s been too long since I’ve been at the bottom of a steep learning curve and I’m very much looking forward to learning, stumbling, recovering, growing.

Recent blog posts

Team Impostorism Update

Last week Laura, Vicky and I narrowed our three design concepts down to two. Here are the three we’ve been working on this quarter: DESTRUCTION BOX: Self-care, self-reflection, and stress relief, all tied up in one monthly box. Instead of nurturing, pampering, or creation, subscribers are encouraged to express anger, rage, and destruction by symbolically destroying…

Let the People Have Numbers!

the ask Our assignment over the past couple of weeks was to add financial modeling to our banking apps. I literally use You Need a Budget every day and still thought, “What’s financial modeling?” (It’s an abstract representation of a real world financial situation.) my approach I added a few functionalities to my Capital One…

Break.

It’s been a minute (since Q1) since I wrote a reflection post. And at the time I was full of nerves and had quit drinking coffee because it was making me too anxious. Q2 was much better because I realized I was in charge of my own success. And failure. So I made sure to fail…

User Testing Wireframes

After getting critiques on our wireframes last Monday, we made edits to our wireframes and did some think-aloud testing with users. This was my first time doing user testing so I wasn’t sure what to expect. It was my very first test with my very first user and she couldn’t get past the first button!…

Wireframing the Capital One App

Our assignment this week is to create wireframe flows based on the banking app concept models we’d made for Assignment 1. It’s at this point that I understood how lacking my original concept map was. (The grade I received on it was also a good indicator.) If someone were to try and build an app…

Here/Not Here

Last Sunday I was trying to brainstorm on my 5 business ideas that I needed to make Lean Canvases for. I had 2 ideas so far and wanted to brainstorm with fellow students. But I was at home. Was anyone at school? How could I know? And I thought, if only there was a Marauder’s…

Concept Map of Capital One Mobile App

The assignment was to choose a banking app (why am I actively using 3 banks?!) and create a concept map of the current design and a concept map of how it could be improved. I chose the Capital One app over my other banking apps because recently I’d logged into the website and couldn’t find…

Jen, Laura & Vicky’s Capstone Project Kickoff

Last week we learned the topic for our capstone project that will carry us through the rest of the year: College Persistence and Completion. We met as a group for the first time a few days before our first class and brainstormed on topics that interested us and questions we had surrounding the project. During…

Theory: Being a Designer

Throughout this Theory class I’ve been asked again and again to show my perspective. Regurgitating the info we’ve learned isn’t enough. And a lot of what we’ve read in this last section resonated with me more than the other readings. (I’ve heard the same from other students, I imagine this is by design.) And I’ve…

Week Seven (Seven?!) Reflections

Two days after my last Reflections blog post we got an email from Ruby saying that they were no longer mandatory but if they help then of course we should keep blogging. And I thought, “I like them, I’m going to keep doing them.” And then three weeks went by. After I felt like I…

Design & Poverty: The Harry Potter Lens

Sometimes when I want to understand something deeper I apply a Harry Potter lens to it. I’m a Meyers-Briggs ISTP, which Harry Potter character is that? Oh, it’s Harry. That makes sense: I’m in my own head a lot, I’m not trying to be the center of attention but when it comes down to it,…

Week 4 Reflections

Apparently we’re halfway through Q1? Scott mentioned that in our Theory/102 class on Thursday. We had another assignment and presentation due in that class this week. We had to take all 8 authors we’d read and place them on an axis of designing for/designing with and then create another axis of our own choosing and…

103 Assignment 3: Life Drawing

I have a hangup about figure drawing. I was an art major in college and I had a 3.98 GPA in my major- I got As in all my classes except figure drawing, where I got a C. So I went into this last studio session with more than a bit of trepidation. But Pat…

The Role of Design Research: 8 Authors, 2 Questions

Over the past 2 weeks we’ve read a variety of articles that touch on theories, frameworks and practices of design research. We were asked to consider if they were designing with or designing for. I interpreted that as designing with or for the end user. As a designer I was most curious about where each author…

Making the Grade

In one of my earlier blog posts during orientation I wrote that I was worried about failing. We were told constantly that we’d fail in the beginning for the simple reason that we don’t know what we’re doing. After all, if we did, why would we be going through this program? I’ve been graded on…

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