sapien-staff-interaction-designer-alex-horner

Alex Horner

User Experience Designer

Give Alex an inch, and he’ll take a lightyear. As a child, he learned the MS-DOS command line so he could play Dr. Brain and would troubleshoot the dial-up modem on the family computer.
He can learn about any software in under an hour and his text messages appear to be drafted by Bill Shakespeare. Attention to detail and a passion for technology make him an effective User Experience practitioner. During his downtime, you can catch Alex crashing on his drum kit, listening to the latest WTF podcast, and adding to his hoard of vinyl.

Inside Alex’s Head

Why did you pursue your profession?

“I’ve been interested in art and music forever. I entered college planning to get my basics out of the way and assumed I would forge a path along the way. I completed them sooner than expected and thought to myself, “Shit, I have to decide what I want to do with my life.” I decided to pursue art less than five minutes after that realization. I remember it very clearly. I’ve never second guessed the decision. Dedicating my time and attention to things that excite me has always proven rewarding. I’d rather be happy than rich.”

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

“This job is rewarding in a number of ways. I love that this industry is in its infancy. There are no (accurate) written rules that will guarantee success. We write our own every day.”

What is one thing you wish all clients undertsood better?

“That we’re professionals in a highly specialized field. We occasionally work with clients who fail to understand or appreciate that. They’ll try to hijack the process, which undermines our work and compromises the project. Folks don’t tell their lawyer how to practice law, nor do they tell their doctor how to diagnose them. Those people seem to view designers as technicians rather than professional communicators. There are plenty of hobbyist designers out there. We are not among them.”

What is the most common challenge you face?

“Verbally communicating what’s in my head – either to my team or the client. I need to read more; build that vocabulary.”

What is the most unique thing about the team at Sapien?

“The most unique thing about the Sapien Team is the camaraderie. I’ve worked lots of places and I’ve genuinely hated some of my past coworkers. It’s strange how well we get along. We all trust each other professionally in our respective roles. We are also close friends, which makes sharing ideas (especially the bad ones) much easier.”

What do you want to be best known for?

“…for making people laugh”