Building the Lab
August 29, 2021

How My Immigrant Parents Inspired My UX Journey

How My Immigrant Parents Inspired My UX Journey

Looking back, where I am now makes all the sense in the world. The experiences that shaped who I am today also shaped what I do now. Of course, I didn't know as a kid that what I was experiencing then would eventually lead me to UX Design. I'm now able to connect the dots in retrospect.

These dots start in Mexico, my parents' birth country. My parents met in Mexico City. They decided to come to the United States so their future children could have access to better opportunities. They came to the US in the 80s and settled in Brooklyn, New York. They then had my sisters and me.

Growing up, I remember spending a lot of time helping my parents navigate digital spaces, mainly due to language barriers. Specifically, my parents had trouble using products and services provided by the city that were necessary to use for things like signing my siblings and me up for school, amongst other reasons. Though my siblings and I always stepped up, I remember frequently asking myself, "Why is this like this? Why are these products and services built so that's it's hard for my parents to use them? How can I fix this?"

It's so clear to me now that these experiences planted seeds in me that would later blossom into a passion: creating more accessible public products and services that are available to all. My parents' difficulties with public products and services were the beginning of my journey into accessibility and Inclusive Design. Years later, I got a degree in Human-Computer Interaction where my studies and thesis focused on accessible technology. And now, I work for the greatest city in the world making similar city products and services more accessible to all.

It may sound grand, but I truly believe that if it weren't for my parents' journey as immigrants from Mexico, I wouldn't be doing what I do now as a UX professional. This is why we need as many different perspectives as we could get in UX, this is why we need diversity in UX, and this is why we need inclusion in UX. This is why I started Inclusion Design Lab. :)

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