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    Ryan J. McManus
    UX/IA/HCI student and aspiring professional

About Me

One of the great things about UX/HCI is that people in these fields come from so many different backgrounds. I am no exception to that rule, and accordingly I like to believe that my varied academic background endows me with a uniquely holistic perspective. I have always had a strong interest in learning for learning's sake, and I constantly strive to bring a logical, algorithmic, and evidence-based approach to problem-solving regardless of the topic in question.

As an undergraduate at UNC, I studied psychology and history, which gave me the opportunity to explore many of the big issues and challenges facing us, both as individuals and as members of wider society. Together with my long-standing passion for other subjects like geography and philosophy, my studies have provided me not only with a bunch of fun trivia, but also (more importantly) the ability to put problems in their wider social context and see the "big picture".

That said, as I previously suggested, taking an analytical and empirical approach to answering questions is also very important to me. The fact that software (and specifically UX) design affords this while still maintaining an opportunity for creative expression is a large part of why I'm pursuing this career path. Leaving school with a social science degree, I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to work at a local software start-up, which enabled me to become acquainted with both the process of software development as well as many aspects of the business side of things.

As of Fall 2016, I've entered graduate school- specifically the highly interdisciplinary MS-HCI program at Georgia Tech, which is proving a great way to gain project experience and expand my technical skill set. In terms of academic, I'm most interested in learning about how software is currently used and may potentially be used to educate, persuade, entertain users (or, even better yet, more than one of those at the same time). This broad area of interest includes such various topics as serious games, edutainment, training simulations, interactive fiction, virtual spaces, online communities, and internet propaganda.

I am currently seeking an internship in UX design/HCI-related capacity for Summer 2017.

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