UX & Interaction Designer

About Me

Kiyana Salkeld

Kiyana Salkeld

A research-driven UX & Product Designer adept at translating user goals and needs into clear engineering and product specifications.
Who Am I?

My multidisciplinary background places me at the intersection of computing and the humanities. I view myself as a being a “product thinker,which means I am always striving to answer the following questions:

  • What is the user problem that needs to be solved?
  • Who are we solving this problem for?
  • Why are we trying to solve this problem, and what are we trying to accomplish?
  • What needs to be done in order to realize our goals?

I ask myself these questions because I thoroughly enjoy viewing my work through multiple lenses - engineering, design, research, marketing, business development - as well as working with individuals from varied backgrounds. I can empathize with engineers and relay technical concepts to non-technical teammates and users. I understand the value of design and research, and am passionate about injecting these pursuits into product implementation. I enjoy big picture thinking, but will happily dive into examining smaller design decisions when appropriate. Above all else, I enjoy the company of other people, whether that’s working alongside them in a team setting or talking to them about their needs and desires.

How I Got Here

For as long as I can remember, I've loved to draw. As a kid I would spend hours entertaining myself with nothing but a pencil and a stack of paper. But it was evident that I also had an extremely analytical mind. When it came time for me to decide what I wanted to be when I grew up, I thought that being a computer graphic animator would bridge my love for art with my systematic approach to problem solving. So I decided to study computer science. 

I enjoyed immersing myself in technology and solving computational problems, but it became evident that being a Pixar animator wasn't my dream job anymore. I didn’t want to limit myself to coding. I wanted to interact with users directly, understand visual design principles, and be involved in strategic decision making. I realized that studying Cognitive Science would help me inch closer to this goal. I graduated from the University of California, Berkeley in 2014, where I earned Bachelor's degrees in both Computer Science and Cognitive Science, with a focus in Human-Centered Design

As my Berkeley career drew to a close, I felt like I still had more to learn. This realization led me to the University of Washington in Seattle, where I earned my Master’s of Human Computer Interaction and Design. This interdisciplinary program integrates courses from the four departments in the cross-disciplinary group, Design Use Build (DUB): Computer Science & Engineering, the Division of Design within the School of Art, Human Centered Design & Engineering, and the Information School.

When I'm Not Working...

My friends joke that I’m a “herder” because I’m always trying to round people up to join me in whatever the activity of the day happens to be. Activities typically include seeking out craft coffee, going to concerts, hanging out at Indian Rock Park, watching basketball (go Warriors!), reading and retweeting articles about Sketch, and providing podcast and music recommendations that are only occasionally unsolicited. In fact, here’s a sampling of the music I like! I tried to put together a playlist of my favorite songs by my favorite musicians, a feat much easier said than done. But, as a good user experience designer, I’m not averse to taking recommendations and iterating on this playlist.