My name is Leyla Kaplan and I'm a UX designer with visual design and coding experience. You know what; this sounds very similar to the slug on the homepage! Suspicious...
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I’ve tried to hone myself into a designer who not only has a strong background in visuals but an understanding of research and coding. My goal is to not only advocate for the user and design viewpoint but also understand the perspective of my team members to communicate and create with them effectively.
In 2020, I started the University of Washington’s Masters of Computer Interaction + Design program. In that time, I worked on several projects and deepened my understanding of UX design and research. I also took classes in the engineering school for data visualization and web design to maintain my programming knowledge which I'd gained during a 6-month coding bootcamp through UCSD Extension. I attended UW in the middle of a pandemic and it was an intensive 11 month program. I hadn’t met any of my classmates in-person for the first six months and most of us were spread across the globe.
I attended UC Davis for my undergraduate and majored in design. I took a variety of classes—graphics, motion graphics, and web development. It wasn’t till I graduated and I started an internship at Kiran Analytics that I first got exposed to UX design. Though I had come on as a visual designer, I spent a lot of time learning about UX best practices and applying them to three internal software projects.
Though I'd enjoyed creating graphics that were visually appealing and working with clients; with user experience design, I not only got to do all that, but I was also able to think through all the interactions in my design and the effects of my decisions. I also loved collaborating with team members to think through difficult problems.
From then on, I set my sights on becoming a UX designer and decided to apply for HCI graduate programs. Before attending University of Washington, I freelanced as a visual designer. I'm currently doing UX contract work.
Outside of UX, you can catch me running, hiking, reading, and sketching with pen and ink.