Lorraine Hairston

UX Design (CGT)

What made you decide to choose your specific major?

Discovering and choosing UX Design as a major was a happy coincidence. I’ve always had an interest in graphic design, but I also wanted to be at the Purdue Polytechnic Institute because of the emphasis on hands-on learning. When I was in high school, I visited Purdue’s campus for a Polytech callout event and when looking over the pamphlet of major offerings, UX Design caught my eye. It seemed like a great way to combine my creative problem solving skills, art abilities, and my love of project-based class structure. 

What are a couple of your favorite things about your program of study?

Where to start? First off, I love how UX Design is so broad. There are so many different fields within UX, and as soon as I get experience in one field, I’m eager to try my hand at another. For example, I love conducting user research, but I’d also like to try UX writing, and flex my creative muscles in UI. Secondly, I love that the UX program encourages creativity. There is no “by the books” or “one size fits all” approach to any given problem, and that opens up so much opportunity. We are given the tools to solve problems, and then we are pushed to use those tools in combination with each other in a way that makes the most sense and will yield the best results, instead of just going through the motions because that’s the way it “should be done”. Lastly, the professors offer great support and critique that allows us to make mistakes, learn from them, and pushes us forward. 

What has been one of your favorite class projects?

My favorite project so far has been working with Purdue Libraries to improve the user experience of their website’s search engine. This project was very research heavy, and involved website evaluations, user testing, and analysis of other institutions’ library search engines to inform our redesign proposal. I loved that it was a project for Purdue, and it taught me a lot about a useful tool that I never really paid attention to. The team I worked with was very driven and communicative, and that made the experience all the better.

What other activities are you involved in on campus?

I'm involved in MTA as a member. 

What do you know about your program of study now that you wish someone had told you when you were choosing a major?

UX Design isn’t just web design, you won’t just be stuck staring at computer code all day.

What would be one piece of advice for prospective students or new Purdue students?

The professors and TAs are always willing to listen to any comments or concerns you have. There is no penalty to being communicative, and it helps them get to know you personally. Go to office hours!

Have questions? Email me at lhairsto@purdue.edu