More about me
Get in touch: [email protected]
My Daily Grind
I'm currently director of product & design at TodayTix, where I lead the Goldstar brand. Previously, I was at Oracle NetSuite, where I helped build and evangelize a new design system; uShip as Head of Product Design; and IBM as design manager for the Developer Experience & DevOps team. Before that, I helped grow Goldstar, a live events ticketing business. My days are currently split between managing my team, prioritizing work and revising the roadmap, filling gaps by taking on unexpected small projects, and helping to unblock the team wherever they're struggling.
- Design/UX Leadership
- Product Management
- UX Design
- UI Design
- PHP / Ruby on Rails / React
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.
- Defined workflows for a 100-person design systems team, covering ingestion of new requests, triaging, prioritization, handoff and review.
- Participated in triage and prioritization ceremonies that controlled the flow of work & requests.
- Defined and ran support program to evangelize and educate org-wide teams on how to use the design system. Supported 20+ teams through this program.
- Led user research projects which interviewed 10-40 individuals. Wrote interview scripts, performed interviews, and generated insights.
- Coached designers on interviewing skills, insights generation, and presentation & speaking style.
- 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.
- Refreshed a brand design to meet accessibility standards
- Established visual design language and tools to enable easy generation of design assets while maintaining a high bar for quality
- Rebuilt email templating system to provide greater flexibility, improve code reuse and stability, while decreasing production times.
- Rebuilt ecommerce 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.
Random bits & highlights
- 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.
- Co-led a project 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- After I left Wired, they wrote up a small project I did, Painting via RSS.
- 2016: UIE, Creating a UX Strategy Playbook, with Jared Spool
- 2015: Cooper University, Transforming Customer Experience (Service Design)
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.
I have written for several national publications, including Wired magazine and Business2.0, as well as running a technical writing consultancy.
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.