Alex Robinson, Lead UX Designer
Alex comes from a visual design background and started his professional career as a web designer in 2005. As a web designer, Alex not only honed his graphic design skill set, but also learned how to create meaningful digital experiences through the melding of design aesthetics, content organization, and code.
After taking a number of personality and career aptitude tests, Alex found that he aligned with a career path more suited for highly sensitive and empathic people. He self-studied human computer interaction (HCI) concepts and user experience design methodologies and started designing from a human-centered perspective. He quickly found that designing for users first, ultimately made a better product.
Alex is currently working as a UX/UI designer in Baltimore, Maryland.
The story behind the name, A.F. Knot
A rope walks into a bar, sits down, and orders a drink. The bartender says, “We don’t serve ropes here. You’re going to have to leave!” Frustrated, the rope goes outside and frays his ends—to disguise himself. He then walks back in, sits down and orders a drink. The bartender says, “We still don’t serve ropes here. You’re going to have to leave!” Upset and dejected, the rope goes back outside and ties himself in a knot—to further disguise himself. He then walks back into the bar, sits down and orders a drink. The bartender asks, “Aren’t you that rope that’s been coming in here?” The rope responds, “I’m a frayed knot.”
The story of the rope in the joke illustrates the iterative process in user research and design. We design something based on assumptions, test those assumptions, and iterate solutions if those designs don’t align with our assumptions. That’s what the rope is doing just to get a drink!
A.F. Knot is short for “a frayed knot”—which is a delightful pun. Even though puns have their critics, they’re an amazing mental exercise. The idea is that while the left side, with its powerful language abilities, is best equipped to actually understand the joke, the right side is the one that comes in with the alternative interpretation of the words that lends the joke its laughs. This mental exercise is exactly the same as the UX design process. Visual and physical experiences are processed immediately with quick reactive thought, then are processed with deeper interpretive thought—just like a pun!