Day#212: Interview with James Mokhasi

Day#212: Interview with James Mokhasi

Hi there, for today I have arranged a chat with a freelance UX/UI Designer. Always great to learn from others and see how they produce the amazing projects that they do, James thank you taking the time to chat.

What made you make the shift from a print designer to a digital designer?

Having studied Visual Communication, I can pretty much do anything under that umbrella and “digital design” is one of those things. However, at the time I was very fascinated by it (still am) and the possibilities thereof.

How did you then make the next step into UX and UI?

I’ve always been fascinated by the human mind and our behavioral patterns as people;

A long time ago I did an app with a friend of mine for one of our clients. This was before there were the terms UX and UI, when we were JUST designing an app. It was for the first time that i got to see first hand how design (particularly Ux and Ui) incorporates within it the behavioral patterns, mental models of users etc, and how those elements can be used through design to enhance or improve somebody’s experience of something. Because up until this point all of this was kind of a theory in my head ‘lol’.

But once I saw it working first hand,  I knew I wanted to get into it and create those awesome meaningful experiences for people.

I see that you worked on the ABSA Mobile Banking App, what part did you play in the project and what was your process for getting the project done?

I was the android Ui lead on that project. We followed the SDLC process, of  Planning, Analysis, Design, Implementation, Testing, Maintenance and repeat.

Can you share a bit about your general UX process?

  1. Understand:  what it is that we are trying to do and why. Find out who we are trying to do it for. Do interviews and develop journey maps and use cases. 
  2. Research: Find out who in the market is doing the same thing and how are they doing it, look at trends.
  3. Brainstorm: Start putting some ideas down on paper. Possibly sketch out some screens and flows and create a form of a paper prototype. Test those ideas out.
  4. Design: Start putting those ideas down into a wireframe of wireflow, evaluate and test, then start implementing the Ui and then test again.
  5. Then implement: Start building the functionality etc and test again.
  6. Repeat: Design can always be improved, so it’s really key to test as much as possible at every step, because that will inform you as to where improvements can be made, and you might need to repeat the process again.

How has your experience been freelancing, and how do you get clients if you don’t mind sharing.

It’s really been awesome. I’ve had the honor of working with some really awesome teams and have built some really awesome products. Which is cool, because it means that my portfolio becomes quite varied; from chatbots, to investment platforms to medical and even education digital products in just 2018 alone. So it’s been really awesome.

What have you learned from freelancing?

I have learnt that discipline and management are 2 key components that you have to cultivate in ensuring that you stay on course.

What has been a big mistake that you made in your past, that you feel you learnt from and it helped you grow.

I would say the biggest mistake I’ve ever made would be living in fear. Fear of things going wrong, things not going according to plan or whatever. I realized how limiting that way of being can be, so I started doing things that I was afraid of and putting myself in those uncomfortable situations and really embrace that and become comfortable with it.

So I tend to run at things pretty hard with not as much fear as before, and doing that has just made me realize how all of it is just in your head, and you can break through all of that. Once you witness that internal growth you start to look at your life as a whole and wonder what else you can improve by applying the same principle.

“Know the broadly and see it in all things” – Book of five rings (Myamotto Musahsi)

Any interesting resources that you would like to share?

I follow Jared Erondu, Dan Mall, Brad Frost for some insights in design. Jared also has a design podcast that he co-hosts with Bobby Ghoshal called High Resolution. I also listen to audiobooks a lot. Currently reading Jordan Peterson’s 12 rules for life. That’s pretty much it hey.

Thanks so much for sharing your time James, wishing you everything of the best for 2019! Happy researching until next time.

Bye for now!

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