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Dustin Vaughn-Luma

Designer, Photographer, & Cyclist

I’ve spent my life finding comfort in various things that interest me; however, the three aforementioned pursuits are what excite me the most. Let’s start with design.

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As a designer, these are my core beliefs

Take time to fall in love with the problem you are trying to solve.

We often jump straight to solutions and overlook the nuances of the problems we are tasked with solving. By doing this, we inadvertently dismiss user needs and place ourselves in precarious situations late in the product creation cycle.

Designers should have at least a basic understanding of front-end development

All UI designers should at least have a basic understanding of how code works. As someone who has spent a lot of time designing for web, I’ve made a point to teach myself HTML / CSS so that I know what’s possible.

Visual design principles should never supersede interaction design principles in UI design

Artistic endeavors like symmetry have their place in UI design, but ‘dolling up’ an interface should never take priority over usability.

Users should never be referred to as “customers”

These are the people who actually use your product(s). When we begin to think in terms of dollar signs, the user experience is diminished.

Responsive web design is no longer a luxury

It is a necessity – and as such, experiences across multiple devices should be thought through comprehensively, not just as scaled versions of the same UI.

Design, product, and engineering teams should be in sync from the start

All too often designers receive requirements from product owners who haven’t adequately consulted with engineering about constraints, or who don’t have a good understanding of target user wants and needs. It’s crucial that these core units communicate clearly from the beginning.

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Design Expertise

Well rounded with a thirst for growth

Design Leadership

User experience design manager with a consistent record of building great products through cross-functional team collaboration, innovation, and iteration.

Technical Knowledge

Proficient in HTML & CSS with an emphasis on responsive / adaptive web design, alongside a sound understanding of information systems management

A Champion For The User

A motivated, empathetic, and creative thinker with a user-centered focus on experience design

My Wheelhouse

UX Design (Emphasis in Interaction Design), UI Design, User-Centered Design, Wireframing, Human Factors, HCI, Engineering Psychology, Ecommerce, Merchant Development, Conversion Rate Optimization, Web Analytics, Responsive / Adaptive Web Design, HTML, CSS

A few tools that I use to solve problems

Pencil & Paper, Sketch, Adobe CC, InVision, Keynote

Working Knowledge Of

PHP, MySQL, Javascript, Linux, Apache

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Photography

Photography helps me absorb and process life in a unique way. It has afforded me opportunities and relationships that I am forever grateful for.

“The way I would put it is, I get totally out of myself. It’s the closest I come to not existing.”

– Garry Winogrand

Photography has been what you’d call a serious hobby for me for about 6 years now. The desire to make photos started back in 2010, when I began using a little app called Instagram. Still in its infancy, I was one of the first adopters; providing feedback and helping to shape the app that so many use today. To be honest, it was a really fun time.

In those days, the community was small and full of wonder – much unlike the narcissistic porn hub that it is today. Everyone (for the most part) was friendly, and it wasn’t uncommon to ask authentic photography related questions and receive genuine answers. Two years later, I found myself participating in Instagram photography campaigns for companies such as Carnival Cruise Lines, HTC, and Harry’s to name a few. I was given the opportunity to travel with my family and make friends with people who I remain in contact with to this day. It’s been a pretty wild ride. It set me on a path of discovery that continues to intrigue me, and while I often shake my head in disbelief as to what the Instagram community has become, I do recognize the opportunities and relationships it’s afforded me; and for that I am grateful.

Today, I spend a little less time making photos on my mobile telephone, and focus more time in the analog world. I have built up a small collection of 35mm film cameras – SLRs and rangefinders of various types – and never seem to leave home without one of them slung around my shoulder. I may still take the occasional iPhone photo, but I’ve developed a real passion for film and I don’t see that diminishing anytime soon. I’ve established a goal to learn as much as I can about the art (and science) of photography, and the only way for me to contend with that goal is to shoot as much f**king film as I can possibly afford.

I’m sure I’ll have much more to say on the topic of film in the coming months, so be sure to check back in.

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Cycling

My first true passion. I’ve ridden and raced virtually every type of bicycle, but I’ve always found my way back to the dirt. That’s home for me.

“The bicycle has a soul. If you succeed to love it, it will give you emotions that you will never forget.”

 – Mario Cipollini

Cycling became an interest of mine around the tender age of 10. A family friend of ours was an avid road and mountain bike racer, and he would often keep an eye on me while my parents were away. Greg LeMond and the Le Tour were often topics of conversation between us, and our relationship was the catalyst for what has now become a lifelong passion.

Now that the college road and mountain bike racing years have come and gone, I’ve turned my attention to sharing the love of the sport’s disciplines with my sons. Our family actively travels to and competes in various enduro, downhill, and cross-country mountain bike events (sadly, road racing is but a fond memory – that isn’t to say that we don’t cheer for our favorite spandex-clad warriors from time to time). Lindsay, my lovely wife, manages it all and always has her camera in tow. When we’re not traveling and racing, you can find my boys and I (most days) in the forest of Nisene Marks, UCSC, or above Los Gatos huffing and puffing around.

I imagine I could go on forever about this sport, so I won’t write more about it here. I’ve got some fun stories to share, so make sure to ask me about them sometime.

2016 Race Results

Enduro
CA Enduro Round #1 (Fontana, CA) – Expert Men (30-39): 8th
CA Enduro Round #2 (Reno, NV) – Expert Men (30-39): 9th
CA Enduro Round #3 (Salinas, CA) – Expert Men (30-39): 10th
CA Enduro Round #4 (China Peak, CA) – Expert Men (30-39): 7th
CA Enduro Round #5 (Ashland, OR) – Expert Men (30-39): 9th
CA Enduro Series Overall – Expert Men (30-39): 6th
SRAM Canadian Open Challenger Enduro (by Camelbak) – Open Men: 27th / 72

XCO
CCCX XCO Round #3 – Expert Men (35-44): 4th
CCCX XCO Round #4 – Expert Men (35-44): 3rd
CCCX XCO Round #5 – Expert Men (35-44): 4th
CCCX XCO Round #6 – Expert Men (35-44): 1st
Sea Otter Classic XCO – Expert Men (35-39): 8th

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