I strive to understand problems, define solutions, foster empathy, and craft meaningful experiences.
I am an ambitious designer who is a passionate advocate of human-centered design. My experiences span UX design for digital products as well as Service Design where a more holistic understanding of a system is needed to design better experiences between a provider and user. I am equally comfortable running research studies as I am designing wireframes, mapping user journeys or building hi-fidelity prototypes. My principle belief is in simple and usable human-computer interactions, where design thinking is primarily an effective means of problem solving. My approach to design is both collaborative and iterative where insights are the basis for an informed design process.
A fluid, lean approach to design
I practice Lean UX in an Agile development environment. This naturally encourages rapid, iterative UX phases, which place a heavy focus on refinement, user input, and team collaboration. Project managers, designers, and developers work alongside throughout the entire process to implement stakeholder / business goals and user goals. My process is quick, efficient, accurate, precise, and adaptive. It is custom-tailored to each project, allowing it to yield high quality UX in any circumstance.
This is how i start a project (Well...it depends)
For me, it all starts with why; it’s my favorite thing to ask in the whole world. What drew me from branding, graphic, and web design to UX was it let me push on the process – it holds up to critical analysis. At the bottom of that winding series of "whys" is a bedrock of support for the decisions that will then follow. It feels authentic to me, and authenticity is one of my core values, both in my work and in my personal life. Figuring out stakeholders’ goals and the business strategy enables my ability to drive things toward those. I do my best to ensure all these objectives are rooted in user-centered thinking. Throughout the project, a high standard of empathy for users serves as a benchmark to assess progress against.
(Competitive analysis, Stakeholder interviews, Brainstorming, Value proposition, Ecosystem map, Mood boards, Story boards, Analytics review.)
Once step 1 lays out some strategy, I let my insatiable curiosity run wild in learning about the end users.Adequate user research engenders in me empathy which in turn serves as motivation for the work to come. Empathy gets talked about as it relates to design a lot, but it took me a while to understand that it’s not just some abstract ideal to check off a list: I actually need to feel for the people for whom I’m designing. When I’m asking “why”, it’s transforming me from a pixel pusher who merely gives things some “polish” (a role to which designers are too often relegated), to a craftsman with intimate knowledge of the problems to be solved. If I can’t put myself in the shoes of the end user for a given feature of something I’m working on, that’s an indicator it’s time to go talk to some more of the intended audience.
(Surveys, Content audit, User interviews, Card sorting, Heuristic review, User testing analysis, A/B testing, Analytics review.)
(Analysis : Personas, Scenarios, Mental models, Use cases, User flows, Heuristic review, User testing analysis.)
Design / Sketches
Now that I’ve had sufficient input, I can begin to output in earnest. Time to get “creative”, as it were. I like to document these prerequisites in a brief of some kind: somebody else can make it; I can make it; it can be long, short; it can evolve; it can be called something other than a “brief”...the important thing is that there’s some mutually agreed upon (by stakeholders) spec to base designs upon.Ideating with others is more powerful than by myself, so the more collaboration I can drive, the better.When generating ideas, I prefer to keep things low-fi.A lot of ideas – good and bad – get generated by this “What if...” thinking though, which necessitates the next phase:
(Collaborative design, Content strategy, Taxonomies, Sketches, Wireframes, Mockups, Prototypes, User testing.)
Ideation / Refine
Brainstorming ideation in the previous step is a time to be playful and even silly. In refinement I become a bit more serious and start to reign-in the myriad of options hatched by abductive thinking. Design thinking opens up a broad spectrum of possibilities; critical thinking narrows it down. I have a bit of a left- as well as right-brained disposition, so I love that in UXD I get to flex both of those.At all of these stages, if you’ll recall back to the most recent gradiented & drop-shadowed UX process diagram you saw, there are cyclical arrows back to earlier steps; i.e. revisiting the why question and checking in with stakeholders to make sure things are still on track. That happens here, and as fidelity increases through information architecture and wireframing, guiding that progression are the high-level principles established early on.
InVision personally was a game-changer for this when it came on the scene, allowing usability testers to click through user flows and note troublesome points in the journey.Iteration is one of those project aspects that varies widely by how much time is available. At each step of prototyping I’m soliciting feedback and revising artifacts accordingly. If everything goes as planned, each cycle of creation / feedback moves us closer toward satisfying the key performance indicators identified early in the project. For Dashboard design work, Slack is one of my first stops for sending out prototypes for feedback.
(Bug fixes, Qualitative user feedback, Quantitative feedback, User pain point reduction, Feature innovation.)
I will keep checking for bugs even though it's finished. “Design is never done,” and of course my work doesn’t end when I send my deliverables to the project’s developer(s). As long as I’m a part of the team responsible for the product, I’m continually reevaluating solutions and striving to improve users’ experience. That means dipping back into any and all of the previous steps, questioning why decisions were made, and accepting a certain level of inherent ambiguity in creating products that solve complex problems.