A long and strange trip

It all started with pushing pixels around a screen until it wasn’t just design, it was a connection. I was connecting with people. The more that I approached design as a relationship (instead of a transaction) with the audience, the more successful and impactful my design would become.

It was those relationships that fostered my imagination and fascination beyond the screen. I wanted to understand the fiber, and the emotional sinew that tied together my work and a person’s connection with it.

I fell into UX before it had a name. It was just… the front-end. A button, some text, maybe a crude call to action, and users were left with little choice to comply, or complain.  As our collective understandings of human behavior collided with our clumsy interactions with technology, the need for a more natural way of working with our soon to be robotic overlords that technology gave birth to modern UX principles.

I was hooked. 

I had been a graphic designer for quite some time, and had grew into creative leadership roles naturally. I blended that set of skills with my desire to build, not just think. I wanted to make things work just as much as I wanted to design how they would. I learned basic HTML, CSS, and then Javascript… and then a myriad of libraries, frameworks, and toolkits since.

It wasn’t until recently that I brought it all together; my love for design, my passion for behavioral science and motivation. It blended well with my understanding of technology and software development, the organization of complex systems and my ability to think through tough problems by asking the right questions.

Over the years my diverse experience opened many doors; each with challenging opportunities that would help me continue to grow as a designer and a leader.

I’ve developed a way of working – a set of principles, approaches and skills that I feel can help me be a great asset to any product or organization. Creative Director, VP of Product Development, Group Head of UX – all just titles – I can work inside of a title; I would rather shape my role based on what needs to be done and the people I support.

My Bread & Butter

Leadership & People Power

I build teams. I build-up talent. I bring together people under a shared vision and positive team culture. I promote success through positive leadership methods, and learning by example. I’m comfortable sharing thoughts and ideas with creatives and engineers alike.

Design Thinking

I help companies find solutions by embracing design and the power of understanding who the solution is for. When we sit down to create a solution for a business need, the first question I ask is always “what’s the human need behind it?”

Doing

Sure, sitting behind a desk and delegating is good for some. I can delegate like a beast. But nothing makes me happier than getting my hands dirty. Doing and being capable of doing what I ask others to do – it makes a difference.

My Toolkit

Lean Methodologies

I’ve found that working through problems with a set of assumptions instead of towards a set of requirements offers a better design return. I’m not focused on detailed deliverables. I’m looking to produce changes that improve the product in the here and now – build, measure, learn and repeat.

Agile Mindset

UX should be integrated within an agile framework and not exist outside of it. I believe its possible to make room for design within a sprint; supporting a continuous integration of value-driven design features. I believe that good UX can complement the software development lifecycle.

Design Systems

Every organization thrives on the need for scale, efficiency and consistency. Design systems can bring together shared ideas under a single design language that not only ensures that designers are on the same page, development teams will also benefit from these modular systems that encourage rapid product development and reusability.

Culture of Research

The success of any product relies on the ability to process both qualitative and quantitative data to either build assumptions or validate them. It’s important that any team, even without dedicated research resources, embrace the power of user research.