Software Development
Design / Good Works

For this aspiring designer, the whole world is a template

“I cannot turn it off,” Owen Modamwen said, of his tendency to notice and critique design decisions in the world around him.

At General Assembly in D.C. (Photo via Twitter)’s Editorial Calendar explores a different topic each month. The April 2017 topic is design. These stories explore people and firms making new, inventive and beautiful things in each of our five markets.

Just six months ago Owen Modamwen had no coding experience. “Well, outside of copying and pasting HTML into MySpace,” he laughed. But in November the young Lockheed Martin systems engineer left his job to pursue something new. “I decided that I wasn’t going to work until I discovered something interesting,” he said.

That something interesting? Soon it became learning to code. He started tutorials on Free Code Camp, and would attend meetups on Saturdays with other area students. He then got into user experience design “by necessity” and stumbled upon Adobe XD as a way to build malleable prototypes, and it was then and there that a passion was born.

Owen Modamwen. (Photo via Twitter)

Owen Modamwen. (Photo via Twitter)

“That really brought life to what it is I’m doing,” Modamwen said.

He decided to apply to a General Assembly bootcamp to put some training behind his newfound passion and, as a question on the application, was asked to design an app to improve the grocery store experience. Rather than sketching a concept by hand, Modamwen broke out his newfound Adobe XD expertise and built a prototype. GA, he says, was impressed — he was offered a full scholarship and will start in June. And in the meantime he’s keeping nice and busy working on his grocery store app and playing around with other prototypes in Adobe XD — a video game mockup, for example.

It’s clear that Modamwen, who was born in the D.C. area, is a hustler. And he’s got big dreams ahead — after GA he’d like to start his own consultancy, working in UX for different businesses. UX, but also “human experience design,” as Modamwen put it. Think redesigning workspaces, for example. Or customer experience at coffee shops.

Modamwen sees the potential for better design practices just about everywhere he looks — “I cannot turn it off,” he said, with a grin. Ah, passion. It’s like that sometimes.

Companies: General Assembly

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