My story with computers began decades ago when my dad purchased our family’s first IBM PC back in the 80s. As dull and bare as this archaic artifact may seem to us today, I was immediately captivated by it. Computer classes were far from being available at schools in Juárez; therefore, besides the crash course on MS-DOS and Lotus 1-2-3 given by the company which sold the PC to my dad, it was on us—my siblings and I—to learn to navigate the interface, together. Then in the late 1990s, when I attended business school, the talk gravitated towards the customer experience when walking into a brick and mortar retail store. This was also known as “feeling” the branding. And shortly after, information technology departments, dominated by computer engineers, shifted their attention to transferring this “feeling” of branding to online stores. It was during this time that I became interested in desktop and digital publishing, which I too learned by experimenting and collaborating. Technology has taken remarkable leaps since my first computer, yet the way I interact with digital interfaces has not changed. I dive-in and learn by collaborating with others.
When Dr. Laura Gonzales invited me to join the Multilingual User Experience team at UTEP, I was thrilled to work in projects right at the intersection of rhetoric, language, culture, and technology. From her I have learned to give a multidimensional contextual meaning to UX. Her leadership and her innovative work teach me day in and day out that UX researchers have the responsibility to be the users’ allies. And collaborating with talented interns and researchers from different institutions is an invaluable undergo that teaches me to appreciate research through various lenses.
While searching for a deeper commitment to non-Western discourses, I became involved in a community-driven project centered on Indigenous language interpreters in collaboration with colleagues from the University of British Columbia in Canada, the Universidad de Veracruz in Mexico, the Centro Profesional Indígena de Asesoría Defensa y Traducción (CEPIADET) in Oaxaca, and Dr. Gonzales. Together, we are organizing a conference for Indigenous language interpreters in Oaxaca, a state where more than one million people speak an Indigenous language. The purpose of this project is to gather professional and academic resources that will help create a collection of ideas and strategies to assist in the professionalization of Indigenous language interpreters, and the ultimate goal is to publish this collection digitally. I am delighted to work with this team and thankful to all for allowing me to grow as a researcher in the areas I love.