Maegan Clawges

UX Engineer at Google

I loved math in high school, but didn’t know about computer science until college. One of my freshmen professors recommended that I take a class in computer science, in addition to the journalism and design classes I was already taking. Up until then, my dream job was a journalist or graphic designer. 

I was a journalism major before I added a second major in computer science. I get really excited about storytelling. I love visualizing public data to help others digest it and I also really enjoy writing.

Today, I design digital experiences, writing code for YouTube, building prototypes, tools, and making art. My job focuses on building new experiences for creating and watching videos. The computer science skills I use are mostly algorithms, front-end development, and image/video processing. My background in design and familiarity with Adobe tools help me collaborate closely with my team as we work on the future of YouTube.

Three things that helped my career

Three things that helped me in my career are mentors, communities, and a balanced lifestyle that allows me to be social and active while still writing code.

My family was fairly disconnected from the digital world when I was growing up. My dad was an Outward Bound instructor and now builds high ropes courses, so I was very exposed to experiential learning philosophy as a child. While they aren’t used to the digital nature of my job, my parents appreciate that the creative and collaborative nature of my job is a great fit for me.Continue reading

UX design art and code

I feel very fortunate to work at the intersection of code and art; and I hope to build on that in the future. Studying computer science will help you succeed in any career path you choose. It’s a tool that enables you to solve all kinds of problems.

I wouldn’t be where I am today without the help of friends, both in tech and outside of the field. I am a visual and social learner so working through assignments with my friends in CS really helped me excel. Through our collaboration I also became more confident in technical conversations and environments. I also draw a ton of creative inspiration from my artistic friends and am energized by my conversations with them. My friendships outside of the tech industry give me perspective into various facets of society and the struggles of our generation.

Honestly, working at Google was my dream for a long time. Then, my dream shifted to be working in UX (User Experience) Design at Google, which I am doing now. Now my dream career path is looser and centers around working with artists and designers to tell immersive stories through different mediums. I hope to return to journalism one day, write a novel eventually, and maybe even do some teaching.

Maegan’s path to UX design art and code

>> Went to A. C. Reynolds High School, Asheville, NC

>> Did a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Computer Science and Journalism, UNC Chapel Hill

>> Worked as a Windows UX intern for 4 months

>> Was a designer for The Daily Tar Heel newspaper in Chapel Hill, NC

>> Worked as Data Visualisation and Interactive Intern at San Francisco Chronicle and SFGATE

>> Works at YouTube as a Google UX Engineer

Find out other ways to combine UX design art and code

UX design art and code

I love visualizing public data to help others digest it and I also really enjoy writing.”

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