Kate Ricci is a UX (user experience) designer who teaches in the Graphic Design department here at Moore. She has worked for several years in creating UX for streaming entertainment platforms.
What’s your earliest memory of being creative or knowing that you wanted to do something creative with your life?
Not so much things I remember but a thing I was told I did: I would hang out with TV repair person who came to our house and watch them work, while getting the full explanation of what was happening. I don’t consider myself particularly creative but I do like knowing how/why things work, which works well for a life in user experience design. I've always like art history and did aspects of graphic design in jobs without really knowing what it was. In the middle of a master's in art history I realized I'd rather do it than study it.
Who is the artist or designer who has influenced you most and why?
Does anyone have just one?
In terms of designer relationship: Dan Mall (Philadelphian) and Brad Frost. Why? Ideal working relationship between designer and developer.
In terms of ethics in design: Cennydd Bowles, Ruha Benjamin. Why? Design, historically, is not as inclusive or representational as it could be (think gender, socio-economics, accessibility, etc.) and we all should work with a holistic view of our users.
In terms of things I want on my walls: Corita Kent, ESPO, and Expanded Eye. Corita Kent for social justice, ESPO (also Philadelphian) for putting into art the things I think, and Expanded Eye for mixed media abstraction and tattoo inspiration.
What’s the most interesting thing you’ve done recently, professionally or otherwise?
Professionally: in addition to several years working in streaming entertainment, I freelance on projects with a more human focus. It’s a nice way to cover multiple types of design (streaming, enterprise, mobile app, web design) with one foot in the corporate world and one foot in design for social good.
Otherwise: pandemic restrictions eased means getting back into traveling.
What is it like in your classroom at Moore?
I try to keep it low-key but my goal is for students to leave the course questioning everything. I want them to see bad (and good) user experiences and know why they are such and what they would do differently or the same.
In reality, it can be frustrating since it’s more logic and usability than art. There aren’t always direct answers to questions, sometimes not knowing the answer is the answer, and sitting down and making sketches won't lead to a solution if the problem to be addressed by designs isn’t clear. Pairing user experience with graphic design is a little like being a badass unicorn: traditional art classes provide a foundation for good design and layering user experience on top marries good visual design and good user experience.
If Moore had a mascot, what would it be?
Probably a version of the Guerrilla Girls with a Philly bent.