More about me
Get in touch: [email protected]
My Daily Grind
I'm currently a design manager at uShip. Previously, I was at IBM, where I manage the Developer Experience & DevOps design team. Before that, I helped grow Goldstar, a live events ticketing company that operates a website and iOS/Android apps. My days are currently split between managing my designers, filling gaps by taking on those unexpected projects that fall into our laps, and helping to unblock designers and developers with whatever they're struggling with.
Notable Work & Achievements
So, what have my hands actually touched? Here's an overview of the types of projects I'm typically involved with and outcomes achieved.
Managing a UX Team
- Led a large user research project which interviewed 40 individuals. Wrote interview script, coached other UX designers, performed interviews, and generated insights.
- Coached other UX designers on their interviewing skills, reviewing video recordings, and providing feedback on presentation & speaking style during team meetings.
- Established OOCSS coding style, coaching other designers/developers, reducing development time/effort and the number of CSS styling bugs.
- Built a UX knowledge base for organizing research insights using Airtable for easy retrieval when starting new projects.
- Established convention of keeping a UX Project Journal, designed to keep a record of decisions and insights, wireframes, prototypes, through the lifecycle of long-running projects. This helped stakeholders stay up to date with progress and informed them about why decisions were made.
- Established the practice of design pairing, where UX and UI designers work together, regularly side by side, while generating wireframes and mockups.
Notable UX/Design Projects
- Rebuilt checkout process, increasing purchase conversion by 15%, decreasing user-facing errors 70%.
- Discovered and plugged a checkout scenario that saved the business more than $100k per year.
- Led implementation of Apple Pay and Paypal on Web, iOS and Android platforms, which almost instantly accounted for ~18% of payment types.
- Designed and led implementation of a "magic link"-style email-only signup for checkout, boosting new checkout signups by 15%.
- Redesigned the site's primary search & filtering interface on desktop and mobile, boosting engagement 30%.
- Led a site-wide responsive Web redesign, and rebuilt site's core layout.
- Redesigned several existing and new internal admin tools.
- Redesigned partner portal.
- Successfully advocated moving to Bootstrap CSS framework for new internal tools, which increased speed of development and reduced burden on design team to minimal levels.
- Built an icon font generator, forked from another gem, for managing the conversion of SVG icons into an icon font. Early versions included embedding the Base64-encoded font in CSS for easier use in email.
- Built a live styleguide using the kss gem & middleman to audit current CSS and help enforce coding guidelines.
- Built a email template generator, using Middleman, to bridge the gap between the team's custom-built, email-delivery app and the team's familiarity with Ruby templating systems.
- Project Management
- UX Design
- UI Design
- Ruby on Rails
Recent Workshops Attended
- 2016: UIE, Creating a UX Strategy Playbook, with Jared Spool
- 2015: Cooper University, Transforming Customer Experience (Service Design)
Random bits & highlights
- Fresh out of college, I worked on a hyperlinked, networked sales presentation system for a Fortune 50 beverage manufacturer (cough, not Coke) that predated the Web.
- Early in my career, I helped a friend build a Flash-based Pokemon card trading app that matched players wanting to trade cards with public spaces where they could safely meet.
- Made the NYTimes Best Seller list, as cofounder of SMITH mag, when our Six-Word Memoirs book, "Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six-word Memoirs By Writers Famous & Obscure", made the list for several weeks.
- I was paid to reimagine Newsweek magazine with my SMITH co-founder, Larry Smith. We were among three teams hired, another was led by legendary designer Roger Black, so ... we were in amazing company, and it was really fun work.
- After I left Wired, they wrote up a small project I did, Painting via RSS.
A ruby gem for dynamically building an icon font from a folder of SVGs. We used this at Goldstar. This project was forked from Fontcustom, to which I also contributed enhancements. I created this fork (and released it on Rubygems) to ensure I could update the gem easily.
The Bottom Feeders
They had a kick-ass product, cash in the bank, and eager customers. In the scrappy world of Silicon Valley start-ups, they were about to be eaten alive. (Wired, 10/1996)
Ground Truth (not available online)
Never get lost again, as geographic information systems usher in the era of intelligent transportation technology—smart cars. (Wired, 12/1995)
Why does robot love kitten?
The name is an homage to the classic ASCII "zen simulation" game
Robot Finds Kitten. To me, it's as succinct a metaphor for living with technology as I've discovered.