Jan 25, 2012

Aloha, UX: Maria Giudice Leads User Experience Intensive at the University of Hawaii at Manoa


Maria Giudice believes strongly in making sacrifices for education. That’s why every November since 2007 she’s dragged herself to Honolulu to lead a three-day user experience (UX) intensive at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

Intended to help attendees learn what makes a website successful for both clients and users, the intensive covers a different key concept during each of the three days. Day One looks at the purpose, people, and processes behind project management. Day Two leads students through the basics of interaction design. And Day Three covers the underlying strategies of brand, content, and visual design.

“The program is really a crash course in human-centered design,” said Maria. “It gives students a playbook for applying strategic thinking and workflows into their own projects and businesses.”

Maria’s user experience intensive is offered through Pacific New Media (PNM), an organization within the University of Hawaii’s Outreach College that “presents popular classes and workshops taught by an exceptional group of nationally recognized professionals.” Intended to help students develop both personally and professionally, PNM classes are open to Hawaii residents 18 and older.

“We always look forward to Maria’s sessions here,” said Susan Horowitz, PNM’s program coordinator. “She brings a lot of solid information and positive energy. Her influence can be seen in the community here.”

One example of Maria’s impact is Ryan Brant, a former program attendee who returned this time as a guest lecturer after using the intensive as the framework for his new business, A/DM. A/DM is Hawaii’s only full-service brand and media agency, and has already done work for the likes of Bad Robot (the production company behind Lost) and Hawaii State Art Museum.

"Maria Giudice was a central figure, and key component to a personal paradigm shift within my career as a designer and technologist. Prior to meeting Maria, I was considering many design theories and principles, trying to evaluate 'best practices' as well as my individual application of these. Her ability to clearly relate the goals and processes behind quality people-centered design helped to solidify a deeper understanding within me regarding design thinking and the overall user experience. The time spent in her lecture was pivotal to my growth and comprehension of ideas which support a solid foundation in user experience, client interaction, and processes utilized within my own design studio. I look forward to the opportunity of crossing paths with Maria in the future, and wish her the best of luck in all of her endeavours."

“It was great to have Ryan come back and speak this year,” said Maria. “I love having the chance to teach and help people think in new ways about their businesses and passions.”

She added: “And going to Hawaii’s not so bad, either.”

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Kevin O'Malley's picture

This is very cool -- but what a shame that Maria has to go to Hawaii every year to do this. Pacific New Media is doing some nice work Is it going to be webcast?

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