I’ve had two career laments: My mastery of newspaper design and design philosophy was lost to a dying print industry, and, I always thought I would be a good web designer if it weren’t for my lack of coding skills. Time, it seems, aligned my desires and now I’m ready to dive headfirst into product design and the UX/UI industry.

This is a living portfolio. The following examples are from my very first self-assigned UI and product designs. I will update these constantly as I progress. I am confident I could hit the ground running in this industry.

Design is Design

Newspaper design, which I fell in love with in 1999, is something I still enjoy and excel at. The industry’s death spiral has led to a dearth of opportunities. It wasn’t just about making a pretty page for me: I was in love with a philosophy devoted to ease of use, maximum information delivery with minimal demands of the reader, keen judgement, and attractive design that drew readers and rewarded them with an aesthetic and highly functional experience. UX and UI design in the flesh … pulp.

I enjoyed teaching student journalists these techniques and principles between 2009 and 2014 at Kilgore College. I helped lead a redesign effort that aimed not only to make their award-winning newspaper more readable and attractive, but also to teach the staff about the value of teamwork and collaboration. While I am relatively new to the latest iterations of the web design industry, everything that is espoused has its roots in the publication philosophies I have remained dedicated to for nearly 20 years.

Artist Website

Prototype of Artist Website - Summer 2019

The above is my first prototype using Adobe XD, created for a friend and artist. I’ve designed websites before, but it’s been several years and many changes in the industry later

My process involves getting a feel for her work (in this case, I was familiar with it), and understanding her needs as a working artist. Her level of quirk and collage played heavily into the style of the website. The art is front and center. Her storefront is operated separately, and the Shop link will go out to that. Perhaps if she were a client I might work with through a company like yours, we would offer different e-commerce avenues. As it goes, I have aimed to make it not only an easy experience for the viewer, but also a useful one for the artist. Everything is about her art, making it seen and available.

I am excited to now be able to put into practice so many ideas I never thought I’d be able to.

App prototype

This app prototype is for a “I wish this existed” product called Film Findr. This app would help emerging and established film photography enthusiasts navigate the changing and challenging world of film photography emulsions. While old-timers remember and know a lot classic film stocks, some are not aware of industry changes that are not only ones that involve shutting down film lines. A new film photographer may not know anything about the nature of film grain, the rendering of colors, or even what process is needed to develop the film. This app aims to make these differences accessible and available to a wide audience, guiding them to to making an informed purchase.

The research in this case is hard-fought over many years as a photographer and film aficionado. Being the audience helps me quickly navigate the process of catching up with software while maintaining the core values of research and usability. However, I am still consulting fellow film photographers as well as taking note of YouTube and other online film communities and blogs/vlogs. I intend to finish and perhaps find a developer for this app, as it has real world applications for what seems to be an emerging film renaissance.

Software mastery

My software skills include:

  • Photoshop

  • Lightroom

  • Capture One Pro

  • Adobe Illustrator

  • Davinci Resolve

  • Adobe Premiere

  • Adobe XD (actively learning)

  • Figma (actively learning)

  • Sketch (actively learning)

  • Mac OS + Windows

I learn software rapidly. It’s even faster when they are based in similar user interfaces. For example, I learned to edit video on an old Avid computer, which translated exactly to early iMovie iterations. Picking up Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premiere, and DaVinci Resolve from those proved to be little trouble. Consequently, my time spent on Adobe’s XD seems to be preparing me well with my explorations of Sketch and Figma. I am confident I will be able to learn any similar software with extreme expedience.

My newspaper strong suits were Page One and Feature Page design, but I also served as a copy editor and writer, and was known to be a good headline writer.

Though my newspaper portfolio barely exists thanks to the march of technology and the fact that newspapers rarely made PDFs available to their own employees in my days, I do have a decent amount of work I helped students create in a collaborative and educational environment. The Flare (the Kilgore College newspaper) won several state and some national awards in the eight-or-so years I was closely involved with them, many in design categories. I helped lead them through one major redesign in 2009, and another in 2018. I also helped maintain a tradition of excellence during the tumult of the retirement of one longtime adviser and then two years in a row of new advisers. The Flare just won another national honor a few months back. I’m proud of the legacy of not only producing great writing and photography, but also of understanding the importance of delivery.

Additionally, I have mastered InDesign, Photoshop, Lightroom, Capture One Pro, and Illustrator. I’m also serviceable in Adobe Audition. I used to be a speed demon in QuarkXpress, but do people even use that anymore?

More as I go …

Below are some examples of work I’ve produced at my current Graphic Design and Photography job. I will expound upon these as time permits …

Jamie Maldonado July 30, 2019