From general to specific?

I revised to v2.0 on my portfolio (more notes about that shortly) but found it vaguely unsatisfying by the end. Partly this is a matter of design irritants (incompatible font choices argh), but mostly it’s a feeling that I’m offering something too generic.


I’m trying to be something for everyone, because I’m not sure where to find the next UX job. But the net result isn’t flexibility, it’s blandness.

What I want to do is become a UX expert for places that need to serve everyone – government organizations, city and town sites, legal aid sites, etc. The main obstacles there are my lack of experience and their lack of funds. (Plus whether/how they’d implement any changes I suggest.)

So how do I make this the core of my site? How do I make it clear from the start that I want to be a UX researcher for the nonprofit world / the government site? To make it possible to do low-cost UX research with donors, members, constituents, citizens, audience members?

Being just another UX person, even a well-trained one with an academic background and advanced degree, isn’t very memorable. But becoming a UX researcher who focuses on nonprofits? On citizen/constituent experiences? That’s what I wanted to be eventually… so why not start there?

I need to think hard about what steps I’d need to take. People to meet with, resources I’d need to have, how I’d need to present myself.

There’s also the issue of how to make this possible if I end up with a non-UX position elsewhere. If I get a job that pays the bills, then I can devote time to really specializing in the UX I want to do – UX of service, of government, of nonprofits. Of ensuring that a site can aid its users and ease them through a process, especially stressful ones like accessing unemployment or finding help/assistance of some kind.


In the meantime, to-do list on the portfolio is:

  • Reorganize each individual UX project page – currently they’re in “infodump” stage
    • Fix links within them, especially those that linked to the old blog
  • Write up my reasoning for each step of the revision
  • Add this info to the Portfolio Site project page
  • Determine two-three more projects I’d like to take on – hypothetical ones, like a usability review of a nonprofit site or gov’t site
  • Decide: does this portfolio need a manifesto?

What is this?

Readers and Texts is an informal blog where I talk about my experiences moving into UX from academia / market research / religious studies. Originally it existed on my SquareSpace portfolio, but I decided to separate out the informal tone from the more polished portfolio work.

Topics may include:

  • Discussions of my UX projects
  • Accounts of how I designed, revised, tested, etc. a project
  • Thoughts about my process
  • Meta-commentary on how I got here from religious studies – the links between “readers and texts” in the title

If you’d like to know more about my work, visit my portfolio.

If you’d like to read my blog about religion in speculative fiction, visit Prose Gods.

If you’d like to contact me, here’s my resume and a contact form.