Team member profile: Kelsey Gallagher

Kelsey Gallagher is one of our newest additions to the creative team.  Here is a little more about her. Enjoy!

What is your primary role at USDP?

Official title? Interactive designer – but I know that applies to a variety of different roles. Primarily, my role at USDP is assisting in the design of usable interactive experiences (that don’t hurt people’s eyes). I’m excited to share my knowledge and experience with the team, but even more excited to learn from them!

Talk a little about your background.

I’ve been into computers and technology for as long as I can remember, and also have a strong interest in art and creating. In high school, as I was contemplating college majors, my art teacher suggested that I check out graphic/digital design. She recommended the DAAP (Design, Architecture, Art & Planning) program at the University of Cincinnati. I read up on it, visited the campus, and enrolled within 3 months! While studying Digital Design, I had the opportunity to co-op at some awesome companies in some awesome cities. The co-op experience helped me to focus on my specific interests and sharpen my skills, yet I was still able to explore different facets of design.

How has the transition from full-time student to full-time employee been for you?

Short! But also pretty seamless, as co-op helped to prepared me for the transition. I must say that I enjoy having a set schedule, a comfortable work environment, and free time in the evenings and on weekends!

How will your past school experiences lend themselves to your work?

Multi-tasking (managing several school projects at once) and group projects are two experiences that will help me work more effectively on the job. Prioritizing tasks and working toward a deadline are essential when taking on a project at work, and group projects helped to prepare me for collaborating with co-workers.

How has technology influenced your creative abilities?

More hasn’t technology influenced my creative abilities? But really, to avoid boring everyone with a laundry list (because there is one), I’ll say that technology has influenced me to always think bigger. It is constantly changing and advancing, so it motivates me to find better ways to solve problems.

How has social media influenced you?
Social media has been a pretty big part of my daily life for years (I drink my cup of coffee in the morning and browse through Twitter and Facebook to kick off each day). I used to post and tweet more often, but lately I’ve begun to use social media as more of a means to get news. Social media has exponentially increased our ability to spread a message, whether it’s superficial or life-altering. I like to compare it to my grandparents gathering around the radio at a pre-determined time to listen to the news — only now, the news of our choice gets sent directly to us no matter where we are or what we are doing…pretty cool stuff.

Do you have any particular creative influences?

I’m more influenced by end results/final products than people, if that makes any sense. I realize that most of the awesome ideas out there were the products of multiple brains. I am especially influenced by the user interfaces that I interact with on a daily basis – specifically Mac/iOS, Android OS, Spotify, Twitter, Facebook, etc.

How do you stay creative outside of the office?

While I was in school, I stayed creative by collaborating with classmates. Now, I plan on re-teaching myself how to play the piano (that’s creative, right?) and painting again. I miss both of those hobbies; they got pushed to the back burner when I started college. I also really enjoy cooking, and hope to whip up some tasty stuff this summer.

What type of work are you most looking forward to?

I can’t wait to start designing for mobile, and I also look forward to any type of usability testing. I’m excited to design some apps!

How do you spend some of your off time?

Sometimes I don’t know where my off time goes – I can sit in front of my computer for hours and not even realize the amount of time that’s passed. But when I can, I love to travel. Whether it’s driving 3 hours north to my hometown or backpacking across Europe, travel inspires and soothes me. I also enjoy spending time with my wonderful friends and my dog, Lola.