This week we sat down with Arcweb UI/UX designer Nicole Arasim. And rather than spoil her story in the intro paragraph, we’ll get right to the Q&A…
Nicole Dawn Arasim (AH-RAZ-IMM).
N-RAZ, but no one actually uses it. I just married into it.
Title and role at Arcweb?
UI-UX Designer, birthday celebrator and general excitement generator.
What were you doing before Arcweb?
My first two jobs after college were at architecture firms because I studied interior design as an undergrad. After a few unfulfilled years, I realized my heart was in web design. I went back to school at night and met Johnny Bilotta, who two years later hired me as his apprentice and taught me everything he knows about UI and UX. A year later the two of us joined Arcweb and I feel SO GRATEFUL AND LUCKY to have my dream job.
What excites you about Arcweb today?
I get to work with a team of designers who inspire me. I get to be in constant contact with the developers building the products we design so we can all ensure it turns out the way it should. I feel like I am an essential part of something bigger than me. When I worked at architecture firms I always felt very unimportant and undeserving of the bigger picture of where the company was going. I look back on that feeling now and I am glad that I know it… because it is what makes me so grateful for what I have now. Arcweb is a company that gives all employees a say in how we make our company better. Therefore everyone feels proud of what we do and we all put our heart and soul into our work.
What do you tell your parents you do for a living?
I just found out that my mom thought I was a developer—FOR THE PAST TWO YEARS! I guess I didn’t do a good enough job explaining it a while back. I spent almost an hour explaining to her that I do not actually build the software but that I am the person who designs a well thought out—and therefore usable—interface so a user can happily and easily interact with the software we build. I think my dad gets it though. (He is also in the design industry.)
What’s your tech setup?
Just an iPhone and a MacBook Air. And a large monitor.
What’s your favorite place to hang out in Philadelphia?
TOO MANY TO PICK ONE!!!! Philly is such a gem for foodies, but don’t let the word out; we like being underrated and not exploited. My fav place has always been South Philly Tap Room. And Cantina. And Sidecar. And … shoot, I’m gonna stop myself here because I think there are about 20-30 more places I love just as much as those three.
Where did you grow up?
New City, NY. Just north of NYC.
Do you live in the city?
I did for eight years after college. I thought I would never leave. I was a self described “Philly phanatic.” But when it came time to actually decide on what kind of home we wanted, we found that the bang for your buck in the burbs was insane. And believe me, I wouldn’t leave the city just for brick and mortar; we picked Levittown, the town where my husband grew up. At that point in our lives, we found that we were closest with his hometown friends, and the way they were all starting families with a balanced dose of friendship was what we wanted for ourselves. Also, the history of Levittown fascinates me. Levitt invented the planned suburb—each neighborhood has its own playgrounds, elementary school and green space. And he perfected a new way of building homes: assembly line style. The house remained stationary, while the workers moved from house to house. Each had one task such as pouring slabs, framing, installing electric sockets, etc. This highly regimented process enabled them to produce a finished house every 16 minutes. Construction of the homes commenced in 1952 and when completed in 1958, 17,311 homes were built.
What city do you want to visit?
Austin is next on my list. My sister just moved there!
What’s the furthest from home you’ve ever been?
Israel, and I promised I would be back.
If you weren’t Arcwebing, what would you be doing?
Career wise? I don’t think about that.
Favorite innovation of all time?
I’m gonna have to go with electricity, telephones, the internet, wifi… the INCREDIBLE STUFF that we take for granted.
Any hobbies you are passionate about?
I am also a photographer. I do family and baby portraits. I keep pretty busy on the weekends in the warm months, and it is fun for me.
When you’re not Arcwebing, you’re…
I’m with my loved ones. Family, Friends, Feline; all loved ones. I’m also learning more code, getting some “me” time and planning my next vacation.
You get one superpower. What is it and why?
TIME TRAVEL!!!!!! I think about it a lot. I want to see Philly in the 1600s. I want to see the world as I learned about it in history class. I want to see my parents as kids. I want to see my husband as a baby. I’m so weird, I know.
Which fellow Arcweber would you trade places with and why?
A developer; what they do really blows my mind.
What is one crucial element to a successful project?
That everyone on the team participate in the initial discovery phase. The discovery phase requires an adequate amount of time so that everyone fully understands the product’s goals and how we are going to accomplish them.
What is the best advice you ever received?
“If you want something you have never had, you are going to have to do something you have never done.” Works for me every time.
In your opinion, what’s the number one reason why a business would hire Arcweb?
We really care that what we build is done right and improves the lives of its users, because we all really care about our company.
And that’s Nicole. Read her most recent blog post about how we’re implementing Sketch App into Arcewb projects.
Lead image credit: South Philly Tap Room Google+.
Levittown Image: Public Domain.