neilomara.com

User-Centered Designs

neilomara.com

User-Centered Designs

neilomara.com

User-Centered Designs

Bio

My Passion for Music

Ever since I was a kid I've always loved music. I played trombone for fifteen years in band and orchestra, and became obsessed with music theory and composition. When I was in middle school, I downloaded a free trial of music notation software called Finale Notepad (it's a program that you can write music with), and I knew immediately that I wanted to spend my life using technology to create inspiring projects for others. I received my bachelors in music in 2017, and although I'm not a professional musician, I still enjoy writing music and practicing the piano at home.

Teamwork and Leadership

I've always enjoyed collaborating with others to accomplish common goals. I jump on any opportunity I can to learn from my peers, and nothing makes me happier than being able to share knowledge that others have given me with members of my team that are eager to improve.

Client Advising Experience

I've always been a people person in terms of empathy and reading people, so after graduating from Augsburg University, I decided to pursue work in car sales for Motorwerks BMW. It was a great fit being a friendly face for folks in need of proper guidance, and my experience in sales gave me a great foundation in regards to user research. The interview skills I gained from my time in the car business helped me to formulate great questions for my users and shareholders in order to extract invaluable information for me to fine tune my user interface designs.

How I Began Coding

Coding was something that I never had any experience with...I'd never taken a class, and I didn't really know about logic and engineering. Oddly enough, it was my favorite game 'Minecraft' that taught me about logic gates, and began my journey into coding. For those who don't know about Minecraft, it appears to be a simple game where you collect blocks that you can use to make fun stuff with. The amazing thing about this game is that it's actually more complex than it seems with a material called: 'redstone'. Redstone basically acts as electricity in the game, and certain materials have an active state or an inactive state depending on whether or not it is charged by redstone. With this in mind, I really wanted to make a working digital clock that told real life time in our base. One of the beautiful parts of the game is that certain blocks conduct a charge, and certain blocks do not. This means that you can create a line of code by using different block patterns. As you can see in the bottom gif, behind the clock is a series of memory tapes that are daisy chained together, with each of them being connected to their own section of the clock face. In the image, you can see that there are rows of green blocks; green blocks conduct the circuit. If I replace those green blocks with glass blocks, then the circuit will not be conducted. So I can edit each row to output a different line of outputs in order to program the clock face properly. Then I rigged the far right memory device to rotate automatically on a one minute timer, so each minute, the minute digit on the face of the clock ticks up. In the back of the memory machine is an output that will only activate when the digit '0' is active. When the digit on the minute side = 0, it activates an output that then automatically changes the line of code on the memory machine to its left, and so on and so forth. To top it off, I rigged the final daisy chain to also set off a firework show every hour in our base...I was dealing in boolean logic and never even realized it.

Discovering My Love For User Interface Design

I enjoyed creating with logic so much that I decided to take a leap of faith and change careers, so I enrolled at Dakota County Technical College and received a web programming certificate in 2021. It was during this two year program that I discovered ux/ui in a required class, and the second I jumped into adobe XD to design user interfaces, I was hooked. I could spend days at a time in XD designing new mobile, web, and kiosk interfaces without noticing how much time had passed. I knew that I had finally found the creative work that I wanted to do for the rest of my life, so I signed up for a ux/ui bootcamp through the University of Minnesota and completed it in 2022. Following the bootcamp, I pursued a Masters in Human Computer Interaction through Iowa State University, and completed my degree in 2024.

Samples of My Work

Resume