Alicia Duca '13

Alumni Spotlight

Alicia Duca with small dogDegree(s): Psychology

Current Position Title and Affiliation: User Experience Researcher

Summary of Position:
I am an UX Researcher & prototyping designer. As a UX researcher, I collect and analyze data that is responsible for creating an optimal experience for the user when they interact with a digital product. In order to develop products that satisfy user needs (and delight them in the process), I help my company to understand who our user is, and what their needs are. As a prototyping designer, I get to create MVP's and conduct usability tests with potential users.

What do you love most about this career path?
UX involves the psychology of Human Computer Interaction. Computers, as we all know, are bicycles for the mind. We have allowed ourselves to access the world at the touch of a button. It is rewarding to be a part of the innovation that is rapidly occurring.

website user interfaceHow did UMass and/or Psychological and Brain Sciences help prepare you?
Psychological and Brain Sciences prepared me by giving me a good foundation of lab skills to improve my analytics capabilities. I will always remember the project that we did where we surveyed students on campus about a topic, and analyzed the results with SPSS. Fast forward to 11 years later, and I do that type of work daily at my job.

Advice for Current Students:
My advice is to take as many labs as possible. Having tangible projects on your resume, builds your portfolio. A portfolio is stronger than a resume, because it allows you to dive into detail about your hypothesis, testing method, and the outcome of your experiment.

app on mobile phoneAdvice for Alumni:
Don't give up your dreams if your dream job isn't your day job. I graduated during a recession, and had a hard time finding a research job. It took me 8 years and a mini-masters in the tech field, to get my dream job. I love collaborating, and jamming on creative ideas. Reach out to me if you are interested in UX or HCI ;)

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