I am currently enrolled in Indiana University’s Human Computer Interaction Design Master’s program and I expect to graduate in May 2012. My undergraduate degree is in Computer Science from Ball State University. I currently call myself an interaction designer.
I am passionate about interaction design because it is the best outlet for my need to solve complex problems. I thought that becoming a computer scientist would fulfill that need, but my undergraduate degree in computer science showed me that I am too much of a people person to have been satisfied just programming. Computer Science did, however, teach me effective problem abstraction and how to find patterns in solutions. My experience at IU continues to teach me how to work in multidisciplinary teams, focus on every detail of a project and the big picture simultaneously, and present and critique design concepts and strategies.
- I am…
- An Army brat
- A nerd
- An interaction designer
- A people person
- A Free Hugger
- A computer scientist
- A pianist
- A knitter
- Obsessed with learning and creating.
I grew up as an “Army brat,” which means I’ve been exposed to an encyclopedic set of cultures, ethnicities, and contexts. Being raised in this environment helped me develop my ability to empathize to a heightened level. When I view a situation, I immediately try to imagine how it might look to other people.
I am a huge nerd. It comes with the territory of being an HCI/d student, a computer science student, and a gamer. I’m obsessed with technology, customizing laptops online that I never buy, and reading magazines about gadgets. I also love gaming of any kind (video games, board games, puzzles, sports, anything).
I stand on a street corner every Friday and hold a sign that says “Free Hugs” on it. I’ve done this for about four years now (only during the school year, since that is when the most people are out). I began doing it at Ball State as an undergrad, and when I came to Indiana University I decided not to give it up. Thankfully I was able to find a few classmates who would do it with me, since it’s a bit creepy to do it by one’s self.
I think I collect hobbies. My passion for creating, learning, and trying new things has overwhelmed me a few times in my life, leading me to add new activities to my list of hobbies. My two most prominent hobbies, currently, are playing the piano and knitting.
Austin Toombs is PhD student at Indiana University Bloomington studying Human Computer Interaction Design. He is an Experience Designer with a programming and software development background. He enjoys rolling around in the snow, creating with his hands, reading, people watching, and hugging strangers.
Navigate By Methods
Brainstorming and Ideation
Personas and Scenarios
System Architecture Design