My name is Dario. Which rhymes with stereo.

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I am a UX designer originally from Chicago, IL, USA.

I now reside on the Gold Coast, QLD, Australia.

The image above is how ChatGPT interprets me and my journey to Australia. Seems about right.

I was born and raised in the Chicagoland area. I got my undergraduate degree in Speech Communication at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. I got a Master’s of Science in Human-Computer Interaction at DePaul University in Chicago.

My first job out of university was in a call centre working for Ameritech, one of the first mobile phone companies in Chicago. This was the 1990s, so customers were just getting used to how mobile phones worked. Customers would regularly call and say "My phone isn’t working." The first question to ask was Is your phone turned on? to which people would respond, "You have to keep it turned on??" This was a carryover from the mental model of landline phones: a landline phone just needed to be plugged into the wall for it to work – you didn't have to turn it on.

The per-minute cost of using a mobile phone back then was relatively expensive, so billing conversations with customers had a tendency to get heated. This experience made me sympathetic to what front-line employees go through. In every organisation that I've worked with, I always make an effort to keep in regular communication with the front-line staff. The direct customer feedback the front line staff provides is invaluable. This provides an opportunity to create alignment between the tone of voice and messaging of what is being said directly to customers with your digital channels.

I worked at a print shop for a little while. I learned how to set up digital files for various types of printing presses.

I worked at a marketing communications agency in Chicago for a number of years. Through my own educational efforts I learned the skills to be a front-end developer. I built websites and crafted email campaigns. I also taught myself the fundamentals of search engine optimisation (SEO). I had a full-time position as an SEO consultant at a large agency in Chicago. After earning my Master’s degree in Human-Computer Interaction I began my journey as a UX consultant.

I am a UX practitioner because I want to reduce stress and improve people's lives. Generally this translates to:

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