Interaction Designer
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The Black Mixtape

Skills: Interaction Design, UX,UI Design, User Research, Prototyping, Rapid Iteration, and Experience Design

01. Concept

What does it mean to be black?

Through social media conditioning and lack of exposure to different types of people, specially black people, in one classification it creates a narrowed view on what it means to be black.

My thesis aims to call out these tensions by highlighting taboos and stereotypes in the black community through the power of music.

02. Why is this Important?

Not only do these stereotypes affect people in the black community, creating identity dysphoria, but non-black people as well. Here are some reasons as a community and globally that stereotypes are toxic:

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Diversity in Design & Tech - The diversity pipeline is always trending in tech today and people don’t understand why. When there is no representation in design or technology you’re not going to have people in those positions or careers.

Subtle Racism - From Kylie Jenner’s hairstyles and lip treatment to critiques of Beyonce’s performance at the super bowl, America isn’t a post-racial society. We see that everyday when a non-black person is profiting off of black culture or a police officer in power can walk away from murder.

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Generalization are dangerous - In my research and my own life experience I realized I had a disconnect from my identity. I came into this world black but have been told time and time again by black and non-black people that I wasn’t “really black”. I experienced Identity dysphoria - I wasn’t apart of a group society categorized me as because I didn’t follow stereotypes. I was triggered by society and went through stages of grief. Time and time again. From people like myself to Lil Kim, generalization are dangerous.

03. Process

During my ten month process, I learned so much about myself. I learned about my identify as a black woman and the history and culture of music in the black community.

I conducted design activities, interviews, research, immersions, and directional prototypes

04. Solution

Why a mixtape? Music has been and will always be apart of my life. It’s apart of my identity as a black woman. Music has been used for oral history, revolutions, movements, survival in the black community. Such as Negro Spirituals, Motown, The Black Power movement and more.

So I created the The Black Mixtape.

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The Black Mixtape is an collection of provocative stories sharing my experiences and others facing microaggressions, discriminations, fears and prejudice being a woman of color.