Who are you, and what do you do?
Hi! I'm Missy Titus (that's @missytitus everywhere on the internet). I'm currently a User Experience and Visual Designer (and the one-person design team) for a small tech startup. In previous lives I've worked in social games (I know) and even print (gasp!) design. I made the switch into User Experience because I love putting things together in a cohesive way, one that flows intuitively. I also think humans are a fascinating species and trying to understand their brains is interesting.
I also write on Medium and Stemmings about design and Women in Technology, both of which are close to my heart. I found that expressing my ideas through writing comes most naturally to me, but I've also started giving short talks (like this event with Double Union) and getting involved and giving back in other ways (like this fun project to raise money for the Philippines). My hope is that putting ideas and positivity into the world helps someone, somewhere make sense of their own thoughts and ideas, feel connected in some way, or at least makes them laugh.
What hardware do you use?
For work, I have a 15" MacBook Pro attached to a Dell monitor and a Wacom Intuous Pro tablet. I also use an Apple keyboard, but I could take it or leave it; I think the laptop keyboard is generally fine. I sit next to a window, so my most loved piece of hardware in the colder months (and this is San Francisco, so that's 11 out of 12 months) is the shared space heater which I commandeered and have sitting 3 inches from my body at all times. Finally, I have Apple earbuds plugged into my face 90% of the time I'm sitting at my desk. Even if I'm not listening to anything it's somehow comforting.
At home I have a Mac Mini, an Apple Thunderbolt Display, and a mini version of the Wacom tablet. I use a second generation iPad mostly for watching Netflix and YouTube videos. I read on a Kindle Paperwhite, and I text / surf the web with an iPhone 4 (my 5 was recently smashed to smithereens on the unforgiving San Francisco pavement.) When I'm feeling extra lazy, I have an Apple TV to watch more Netflix, but on a bigger screen.
I also use a WhiteLines notebook. I love WhiteLines because, as the name implies, the pages are light gray with a grid of white lines (instead of black or blue lines), which makes it super easy to sketch mocks in pencil or pen and see your lines really clearly. I use it for note taking, writing down ideas, sketching, and making lists. I love to make lists.
Oh, and I drive a VW Beetle convertible in charcoal gray. Holla!
And what software?
I find Adobe Illustrator to be the easiest program to make fast wireframes, mocks, and do visual exploration. I use Illustrator for making icons and assets as well, and of course, I also use Photoshop for web-ready assets.
And the internet! The internet is my favorite software. I use Google everything: Chrome, Gmail, Calendar, Drive, Search, YouTube. We use Hipchat for inter-office chatting, Trello for project management, and I use Dropbox for work and personal projects and file storage. I listen to music on Rdio (and occasionally Turntable.fm with my coworkers for nostalgia.) I admire cool things on Dribbble, Tumblr, and Pinterest. I consume all of my news (and make new friends) on Twitter. I occasionally Instagram.
What would be your dream setup?
My setup at home is pretty ideal. The Thuderbolt monitor is awesome, and I love the Wacom Tablet. If anything, I'd like to super size both of those things, but add a MacBook Pro.
I'd also like either a large whiteboard or an easel with huge pad of paper. There's something really satisfying about drawing sloppily on an oversized canvas.
My dream set up would also include a team of top notch UXers around me, to bounce ideas off of and work through problems (on a comically large pad of paper, of course.)