Michael Boland is a multi-disciplinary designer, connecting his skills in UX research, UI design, & web development to create useful, ethical, & enjoyable experiences.
Michael's journey has been far from normal. When he was young, Myspace was still the social media platform everyone was on. Therefore, he learned the bare minimums of HTML and CSS to tweak and redesign profile templates and color schemes. Around the same time, he began to experiment with Photoshop and video editing software.
However, further progress would be put on standy while he pursued a college degree in anthropology - still aspiring to be an Egyptologist, a dream job he wanted since he was 5 years old. During this time, he was blessed to travel to multiple countries, researching alternative and sustainable business models for the 21st century.
Like most recent college graduates, he had no idea what direction to go in and wound up working for a year in sales, marketing, and web design at a start-up housing/boating development. Though the job paid well, Michael learned two valuable lessons: 1) he despised working as a salesman and 2) he really enjoyed designing web apps and responsive websites.
He then began applying for graduate school in the US and Europe. He hoped to combine his research background with his more technical skills in design and coding through either I/O psychology or business anthropology programs. On the final days of summer, he received an acceptance letter from a university in the UK for an applied psychology course.
A few months later Michael was living in England, attending organizational design lectures, technology conferences, and Bitcoin hackathons. This is when he really began to hone his programming and design skills. Awarded for innovative ideas and a web application, he gained enough confidence to start freelancing. His workflow consisted of designing a webpage layout with old-fashioned pencil and paper, discussing key concepts with clients, then rapid iterative prototyping and hosting on Github pages.
After moving to Porto, Portugal for the summer to conduct research and work at a start-up digital design school, Michael further developed his UX/UI skills - adding Sketch, InVision, Figma, and InDesign to his toolkit. He wireframed, prototyped, and mocked up all summer long, adding valuable experience to his resume. He also traveled extensively: through Spain, North Africa, and the Middle East (home page background picture = Sahara Desert in Morocco).
Last fall, he moved to the Balkan peninsula as an Entrepreneur in Residence via the Swiss Government. He worked extensively with freelancers, entrepreneurs, and start-ups: encompassing product design mentorship, design thinking workshops, and blockchain technology and cryptocurrency lectures and meetups. It was the first time he ever taught design principles and processes to groups - let alone to entrepreneurs in Albania, Kosovo, and Macedonia.
Since returning to the US in December of 2017, Michael has begun applying for various positions at design firms, studios, and agencies across the country, looking to further develop his skillsets with a supportive team and talented colleagues. He also freelances on the side, working on design and front-end web development projects in his spare time.
Michael's writings and work have been published in Business Magazine Albania, Flux Publications, and in Swiss EP media among others. He's also appeared on podcasts in both Europe and the US.