My name is Matthew Alicea and I'm currently a third-year student at Appalachian State University pursuing a B.S. in Computer Science. My design and programming interests include user interface and user experience design for web and mobile applications. My passion is design, and I aim to use both the programming skills I’ve acquired at App State and design skills developed working on personal projects, to produce visually intriguing and useful interfaces, paying especial attention to accessibility.
I grew up in Concord, NC before attending App State. I'm also a second-generation Puerto Rican-American, and will be among the first in my family to complete a four-year college degree.
My experience at App has been invaluable to me. For two years now, I've worked as a resident assistant which has improved my communication skills markedly. In connecting with residents socially, and working with a staff to create a comfortable and safe living environment for the residents, I’ve learned how to communicate with people from diverse social, economic, and political backgrounds. And, I’ve developed some long-lasting friendships along the way.
Once I complete college I plan to work for a mobile software company that shares my own core values regarding accessibility and aesthetics. I’m equally interested in working in mobile tech or web design, as I’m passionate about both. Bridging the connection between art and technology is significant to me because I see them both as a way to express myself and my ideas, so landing a position as a user experience engineer is something I'm working hard toward, as it would entail working with artists and technologists to create intuitive, beautiful interfaces.
I am also making an effort to learn more about designing interfaces that abide the highest standards of usability and accessibility. I want to build useful things for those who aren’t in the majority, and I feel this is both challenging, and a social aspect of design that many designers don’t pay enough attention to. Designing useful, beautiful, accessible interfaces will better serve users from diverse background, and will help them achieve their own goals.