Jonathan Habashey was one of the first students to join the undergraduate information sciences program when it started in fall 2019, and now he will be one of the first to graduate from it.
Habashey likes talking to people and understanding how they think, but he also likes technology. He started out interested in computer science, but wasn’t very interested in the coding aspect of it – that’s when he found out about the new information sciences major.
“I was told that information sciences is more on the people side, and I’m more of a people person so I looked into it. I saw that it had User Experience design, and that catered to my interest in technology,” he said.
He wasn’t quite sure what to expect going into the program, as prior to joining it he had never even heard of information sciences. But once he was immersed in the classes, he enjoyed every second of it.
“I realized that information sciences is a whole world of things that I had never even thought about: studying how people do research, studying how people should do Google searches – I thought that was really interesting,” Habashey said.
He recounted learning about what goes into the creation of a software application or website, and how to make it more usable and user-centered. It was easy to start seeing UX design everywhere once he learned about it – in his social media apps and in every website or program he used. He describes UX designers as being a “connector” between those who speak in tech, such as software engineers, and the everyday user of technology. Being that connector allows him to translate what the user needs and wants out of technology, and to relay that to the engineers.
“This is my way to help a lot of people before they even have trouble with it, I’m stopping the problem before it even gets to them and making sure they can do what they need to do really simply and easily,” he explained.
Information sciences has grabbed Habashey’s attention enough to push him into applying, and getting accepted into, the master’s program at the University of Tennessee School of Information Sciences. There, he hopes to gain an even better understanding of theory and to get more hands-on experience in UX design.
“Having a master’s degree will mean so much more once I’m out in the field,” he said. “I feel really accomplished graduating, even though it was something expected of me, but it’s still a big deal and I’m glad I get to continue my education here at UT. I love UT and I’m happy I get to spend another two years here.”