Position Title: Director of Insight & Strategy
Degree/Year: MSIS, 2007
“I like to sit down with people and see what they are actually doing...I like teasing out insights, and just getting to know people.”
Kijana Knight came to the iSchool from the world of computer science. She was working for Motorola as a software engineer, but was looking to branch out into something more people-focused, and was specifically interested in usability. In looking for a program at UT that would help her achieve that goal, she came across our in-house usability expert professor Dr. Randolph Bias' Web page, and discovered the iSchool program.
Kijana kept up her job at Motorola while enrolled full-time at the iSchool. As she worked through the program, she found herself able to do more usability-focused projects at work, and was even able to use a work project as her capstone. In her classes, Kijana found she was able to get practical experience that is still valuable today. Though her usability courses with Dr. Bias were especially helpful, she also found that taking Introduction to Research in Information Studies gave her a good background for the research papers she has to read and write now, and the multitude of presentations she had to give in a variety of classes prepared her to be clear, coherent, and engaging when working directly with clients.
Today, Kijana works as a design researcher for projekt202, an Austin-based consulting firm that works with companies to improve front-end user experience. In this capacity Kijana does a variety of user research, including in-office visits to observe how people work and competitive analyses to see how products could be improved in comparison to competitors. "I like to sit down with people and see what they are actually doing," she says. "I like teasing out insights, and just getting to know people." Kijana also enjoys the many opportunities she has to travel nationally and internationally, and the variety of projects and topics she gets to work with. "There's never a dull moment," she says.