Over the last few years I've developed self-initiated side projects in procedural design (Houdini), creative coding (Processing) and experiential / real-time installations (Arduino, TouchDesigner, Unity). These projects have led to amazing opportunities: from traveling the world to produce 360VR videos starring Bill Gates & friends, to developing an interactive book presented at the United Nations General Assembly (which now lives in Gates' home library) and creating a 3D projection-mapped interactive experience for visitors at the NHL Seattle Preview Center.
Not knowing any better, all of my prior side projects subscribed to the "move fast and break things" model. Fast results with surface-level domain knowledge, which has served me really well in my field of art direction and visual design. Fortunately, over time and experience, I've made certain realizations in regards to interactive projects (my blanket term for anything outside of static deliverables like an image or a video) and, more importantly, the role I want to play in the process. This coincides with an emerging field I'm very interested in - product design prototyping, particularly in XR.
However, having no direct formal experience in the fields of UI/UX, I've decided to start a pair of side projects to guide me through the "product designer" journey. And, I've decided to blog about them to document the process.