“Angela is personable, beautiful, loving, joyful, spiritual-minded, brilliant, playful, serious about important things, sociable, likable, engaging, charming, studious, always thirsting for knowledge, one of the best friends a person can have, and she’s committed to ‘us’.”
See also Family.
Darryl “expounds upon Angela’s virtues a little”…
“Angela is a designer in the tech world, I am a consultant in the business tech world. She loves people, family, and culture, like me. She loves to travel and experience other cultures, like me. She’s anxious for the end of this bad system and being a part of God’s new one, like me. She hates all the cruel injustices of this world, like me. She wants to make life a little better for people, like me. She loves the Bible, like me. She believes in the enjoyment of life, like me. She loves the ocean and the beach, like me. She’s also weird and slightly off, like me. All in all, we’re a pretty good fit. Good thing since we are becoming “one flesh.’” — Philip Darryl Glass
Send in the Clowns
Gidget the Clown, graveyard inauguration, with Tweety the Clown (aunt), in honor of Roscoe the Clown (grandpa), and his father Rufus the Clown (great-grandpa). Oaklawn Cemetery, 2011.
My Momma, Arlene Jean
My mom, Arlene Jean, has this deep empathy for people. She is absolutely driven by it—everything she does is to positively affect others’ lives.
My Daddy, Matthew Niblick.
And my father, he was an artist, a painter, and he loved The Lord of the Rings. I remember finding the books among his things and struggling to read the trilogy when I was six years old.
He also loved Monty Python and the Holy Grail: having watched the movie alone in the theatre, he went home got nine of his brothers and watched it several times again with them.
My Dad, Melvin Baxley.
My mom remarried, and that’s how we became a part of the Baxley family. Melvin raised me, and with him came a new grandma, grandpa, and aunt, Dagmar.
I believe their talent was passed on to me—my father as an artist, and my mother with an unwavering love for the lives of people.
I played the violin.
I guess that’s why people say that design flows through my veins… I don’t pick up a paintbrush very often, but I do dream in pixels.
I grew up to be a designer.
In every experience I design, I can’t stop thinking about the user and how design and engineering decisions will affect their experience.
I got started designing back in 1995 by getting my hands dirty with ‘old school’ paste up layouts and color separations by hand.
As soon as they came out, I moved to digital tools like QuarkXpress and Photoshop. My creative talent seemed to lay in visual communication design and I started playing with interface design in 1998.
Bank of America
I got my start in Marketing on the NationsBank/Bank of America Brand Transition team. My manager, Barbara Reese Yager, became my mentor, and finally as something like a pseudo-mother to me. She helped guide my career decisions as I’d “call home” each step of the way.
When the brand transition was complete—NationsBank + BankAmerica were now the Bank of America you know today—Barbara pointed me towards Creative Services. My job was every bit like what they depict on Mad Men. I still miss those lunches at the Capital Grille, filet mignon, and then liquor soaked strawberries and cream for dessert, and that’s where I learned to drink. Yum.
But it was about then in 1997, a magazine on my friend’s coffee table caught my eye. Its cover boasted “Learn HTML in Five Days!” Well, he wouldn’t let me borrow the magazine so I only had two days to figure it out. And that’s all it took, by the end of the week I had my first website up, and I was hooked.
Meanwhile back at work, I moved into a role where I could flex my new-found Web skills designing online learning modules (then popularly called “eLearning”).
I wanted to take my designs to a different audience, so I moved to Texas to work at Travelocity.com. And then a friend of mine said that it would be so cool if I was a designer for Microsoft! What could be cooler than designing user experiences for some of the world’s most ubiquitous software? Microsoft beckoned! a calling haunting the back of my mind.
I took a big risk (it was still the post-9/11 economic depression), quit my job, and moved to Seattle. I wanted to work for Microsoft, and I learned from Travelocity that companies love to hire local, but that Texas wasn’t for me.
I had four months before I had to get a job.
It was down to the wire, and I was starting to consider a career as a barista, and then I landed an interview with the Visual Studio User Experience team. They were in need of a product designer for the new Visual Web Developer. I thought of my buddies back at the bank who were still using Visual InterDev and had plenty of complaints!
In my mind, when you use software, or a Web application and don’t have to think about it—if it’s innate and just works—that’s good design. And that’s the beginnings of a great user experience.
For the next three years I focused all my energy on designing a better experience for Web developers, including product design for ASP.NET, “Atlas” and IIS7.
Finally, I decided it was time to shift back to focusing on designers, and on making the collaboration between designers (me) and developers (them) a little less painful. 🙂
And so, that’s how I came to be a product manager on Expression Studio. After numerous evolutions and designs, I’m still here at Microsoft. [Edit: Ang left Microsoft in 2008.] And it’s the longest I’ve sat still, so to speak, in life.
Why? Through my designs, and influence over the products that I work on, I get to make an impact on the lives of my users.
I’ve also been told I’d make a killer design and UX consultant and that it’d be “a great place to channel my righteous indignation”. (I’m still not quite sure if that’s a compliment or an insult?!)
For the moment, when I’m not pondering pixels, I clown, sing, play the violin, and devour books, preferably while traveling and taking photos! And okay, maybe you can find me sharing my opinions on design!—that’s inevitable, it’s instinctive.
I think you know when something just feels right, and I’m passionate about everything—especially people’s experiences—feeling right.
More About Me?
That’s just about.me/angela.