I got into designing with technology because I like making things. I’ve designed for many different industries, but cohesively I believe in empowering people to be creative, productive, and curious.
I especially enjoy working on products with unique technical challenges where design and engineering are tightly interwoven in the experience.
I’m a design generalist. User research, flows, wireframes, UI, motion, prototypes…I like sorting out systematic interactions as well as minding the details. I collaborate with the team to do the right type of design for the problem at hand, favoring iteration over perfection.
I’ve spent most of my career with early-stage launch products and startups, so really my process is Whatever Works to get things done. Generally, I prefer a small collaborative team with a culture of making and learning, and the opportunity to have autonomy in working toward novel solutions.
Here are some more words about how I approach working on teams.
I try to learn as much about the product and people using it as I can. This includes user research and user feedback, and also doing domain research on the industry and understanding the technology that the product is built on. I listen to team members, and look for ideas that have been on the backburner. This doesn’t have to happen all at once, as learning is a continual aspect of designing.
Prototypes > Presentations
I believe in making not just deliverables, but also in making as a part of figuring out possible solutions. I tend to work by making prototypes, since my goal is always to get closer to something that works and can be tried out by a user.
My contribution as a designer is often to find simpler ways to approach a problem, or to untangle a complex feature set into smaller addressable parts. Or to get team members to agree to not add another feature. Or to just condense 3 button clicks into 1 and give more hierarchy to common features. Finding the small ways to simplify usually leads to larger overall improvements.
Experiences are built and improved by iteration. I’m not a perfectionist. Speedy iteration with direction is the way to go, instead of trying to figure out everything at once. This is especially true when dealing with unknown complexity or new technologies. Also, iteration doesn’t have to mean design is done incrementally—when a significant UX improvement needs to be made, I take responsibility as a designer to quickly make a possible better solution.
Momentum = Speed X Trust
I’ve found this magic on more than one team, where once everyone gets comfortable working together, work can happen very quickly because an idea can be bounced around among team members and improved. User experience is not simply designed, it is a collaboration between everyone working on a project to take action on improvements and innovations. Momentum means making decisions from trying prototypes instead of debating in meetings. Momentum means empowering each other to try out an idea instead of just talking about it. Some teams already have this culture, other teams have to uncover it. I’ve found that the greatest contribution I can make as an individual is for my personal design process to build toward a culture of momentum.