susi.brister@ac4d.com

Student

Susi Brister

Susi Brister is a professional artist and university educator. Working primarily in photography and installation, her work uses a whimsical approach to discuss themes of human behavior, visual perception, and the slippage between real and imaginary. A native Central Texan, she holds undergraduate degrees from UT in studio art and cultural anthropology and made it through three harsh Montreal winters to obtain an MFA in studio art photography from Concordia University. Susi taught photocommunications and visual studies courses at St. Edward’s University in Austin before accepting an artist residency through UT Dallas in 2016.

While living in Dallas, Susi was exposed to the field of interaction design and recognized the opportunity to leverage her creative thinking skills, background in human studies, and innate desire to inspire and elevate others to a career designing user-centered products and services which contribute to meaningful social change.

When she’s not working or in the studio, you’ll find her somewhere on the road with her partner and their beloved Anatolian shepherd, Artax, exploring the world in their 1984 VW Vanagon camper van.

Recent blog posts

Innovation and The Limits To Imagined Possibilities

In our Theory of Design & Social Entrepreneurship course, we’ve been considering what might limit our imagination and the scope of innovation, with the hope that we can move beyond those limits and seek further possibilities. Understanding Innovation Don Norman and Roberto Verganti discuss the difference between incremental innovation and radical innovation in their article,…

Crafting a Compelling Product Presentation

My capstone teammates, Christina Davis and Catherine Woodiwiss, and I are developing a mentorship service that connects 18-25 year old college students with working professionals and provides them with a digital platform for supporting a sustained, in-person mentorship experience. We’ve spent this week creating a compelling presentation that illustrates the value of our end-to-end mentorship…

Power in Design: A New Framework

We were introduced to Dahlia Lithwick’s muppet theory in our Theory of Interaction Design and Social Entrepreneurship course at AC4D a few weeks ago, as a framework for understanding ourselves and the true nature of others.  The theory is that either you’re essentially a chaos muppet (Animal, Cookie Monster, Grover) or you’re an order muppet…

Creating Product Roadmaps

For our last assignment in our Product Management course, we met with a developer who gave us estimates for the front-end development time to complete hero flows of our mobile banking apps. Using those time estimates, we have spent the past week creating product roadmaps for our banking app. We’ve created two different roadmaps for…

Wireframe Sizing Evaluation

In our Product Management course with Scott Magee, we’ve been revising our banking app wireframes that we designed in our Q3 Designing Digital Interfaces course, in order to learn how a product goes from the wireframe stage to market. An important step in that process is identifying capabilities and controls within the app, then meeting…

Responsibility in Design

  Evaluation of outcome, not product We’ve been discussing a variety of topics in our theory course, Theory of Interaction Design + Social Entrepreneurship, taught by Richard Anderson, related to the value of social impact, the role of design in “saving the world,” the factors that drive the desire to do good, and the role…

A+FCU Banking App + Financial Modeling Capabilities

OVERVIEW In our Designing Digital Interfaces course, we’ve been working on integrating financial modeling tools into a mobile banking application of our own design. I’ve been working with my own redesign of the banking application for A+ Federal Credit Union, a local Austin credit union primarily serving education employees. Within the expected functions of a…

Capstone Project: Concept Definition

CONCEPT DEFINITION This week, my team put our testing on hold and focused instead on concept definition. Reflecting on last week’s testing and feedback, it was clear to us that our concepts were anything but clear. We needed to define for ourselves exactly what our concepts are by setting a declarative point of view, before…

Low Fidelity User Testing, Round 1 of 3

PROJECT OVERVIEW For our capstone project, my team – comprised of Christina Davis, Catherine Woodiwiss, and myself – conducted research into the education and life experiences of young, first generation Americans in Austin. In quarter 3, our synthesized research has led us to develop a range of potential concepts for products and services which address…

A+ FCU Banking App: Redesigned Wireframes

In our Designing Digital Interfaces class, we’re exploring a redesign of a mobile banking app. I’m redesigning the banking app for my Austin-based credit union, A+ Federal Credit Union, that I regularly use and often find frustrating. The bank itself is very small, relative to big banks such as Chase or Wells Fargo, and as…

A+ Federal Credit Union Mobile App: Mapping the current system

In my first attempt to visually map the interactions of a mobile application – in this case, my A+ Federal Credit Union mobile app – I was astounded by the number of interaction possibilities embedded in what otherwise appears to be a simple banking app. Doing multiple iterations of the drawings allowed me to have…

Recycled Reads: Mapping Service Slices

THE MAPPING PROCESS Our design team – Susi Brister, Adam Niederpreum, and Kelsey Greathouse – has been working with Recycled Reads, a used bookstore that’s a branch of the Austin Public Library system. They sell both ex-library materials and donations accepted from the public. In the early stages of our research, we interviewed 24 research…

More Talking, More Doing

LESS TALKING, MORE DOING Less Talking, More Doing has become a de facto school motto here at AC4D. At some point early in our first week, an alumnus mentioned that we would hear this during the year frequently from our teacher Jon Kolko in the course of our group work. Although I have yet to…

Practicing Drawing People

As part of our coursework for Quarter 1, we have a studio drawing class that meets weekly on Saturdays. It’s important for us as designers to learn to visualize ideas and scenarios quickly and accurately. There will come moments where time is limited and we’ll need to present an idea that is immediately comprehensible, and…

Examining Perspectives on the Role of Design Research

In our theory course, Design Society, and the Public Sector, we have been investigating the role of design research through a variety of perspectives presented in the following texts: Designs on Dignity: Perceptions of Technology Among the Homeless – Christopher A. Le Dantec, W. Keith Edwards A Tale of Two Publics: Democratizing Design at the…

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