Chelsie Kasun believes there is a place for creativity in tech
Currently an interaction designer at Software Engineering Professionals (SEP), Chelsie Kasun was born near Evansville in Newburgh, Ind., and she was influenced at a young age to pursue her natural creativity. Two high school math teachers had a big impact on her and opened doors she didn’t know existed when they encouraged her to explore computer science as a possible match with her passion for design. They taught her that there is a place for creativity in tech.
Chelsie attended Indiana University in Bloomington and double majored in informatics and graphic design with a focus on human-centered computing.
“I love the visuals, user experience, interactions, animation, users, and interface, so those fields of study fed fuel to my fire,” Chelsie said. She is passionate about creating tech that is accommodating and keeping in mind that not all users are the same, nor do they have the same expectations or needs. She hones in on particular use cases and solves problems that hinder a user’s experience. “That is the designer’s job,” she says.
Chelsie is also passionate about encouraging women to enter the world of tech. In college, she worked as a student founder for the Center of Excellence for Women in Technology, advocating for women to gain exposure to technical programs and encouraging them to believe in themselves amidst a male-centric industry.
Around the same time in her undergrad experience, Chelsie discovered TechPoint and the Xtern program. She participated in the first and second years of the internship program, working in marketing and product development at hc1.com and user experience (UX) at Salesforce respectively.
As a direct result of her experience with the TechPoint talent initiatives, Chelsie has chosen Indy as her post-grad home. “The city is connected, hip, non-overbearing, hospitable, and encourages talent to grow and help those in need for the community or partnerships.”
Today, as an interaction designer at SEP through the Indy Tech Fellowship, Chelsie works on the company’s Product Experience Team, focusing on the visual design of information architecture. She always keeps her users top of mind as she and the team she is a part of build solutions for customers.
“I design user interfaces that take into account the many different touchpoints our users have with multiple platforms and numerous interactions,” Chelsie said. I help customers ask the ‘why’ and ‘how’ process questions that are essential to sculpting great products.”
QUESTION: What about the Tech Fellowship program appealed to you?
CHELSIE: Since I did Xtern for the first two years of its existence, it was only natural to be encouraged to get involved in a full-time experience that would provide me further social building, leadership, community engagement, continuous learning, and meeting other young new professionals like me right out of college.
What skills have you learned?
I have learned a lot about different design guidelines and platforms — depending on the code base and language chosen — to be able to support the developer and the user. It has been fun getting deeper into libraries like Google Material and really understanding why it works and when to use it throughout a project.
What do you do outside of the 9-to-5?
I visit with friends in Bloomington, rock climb indoor in gyms or outside at different gorges or cliffs, adult color, read, take pictures, do community service, watch interesting shows, bike, brew coffee in different experimental methods, serve as an executive for civic engagement for the Indy Tech Fellowship, and have Bible studies with friends.
What is your favorite Indy food?
Milktooth! I love all brunch spots, but this place keeps me on my toes trying new things and enjoying variety and global notes. It also has a plethora of flavor-brewed coffees I find fascinating every time! Plus, Fountain Square is so quaint and full of character!
Where do you see yourself at the end of the fellowship?
I hope to be a rising designer known by the UX and design community in Indy, and have a good reliable reputation as a leader and “the person” to ask for design help and solutions at my company.