Nine things I believe:

1. Users come first. Always.
2. Research is often undervalued.
3. Multiple minds are necessary for innovation.  

4. We are not our users.
5. Anything can be solved with communication.
6. Egos get in the way.

7. Visual appeal will not save a bad design.
8. Process does not have a specific order.
9. Participatory design is a way of life.

Disagree? Let's chat!

 
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User Research

Contextual Inquiry, Workshops, User Surveys, Interviews, Research Plans, Participant Screeners

User research is the foundation for a design solution or product that will succeed. We must know how our users act, what they want, and what pain they have, in order to design for them. The trap of user research is that it can be misunderstood. As designers, we collect data points and knowledge that informs the solutions we create, not dictates them.

 
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Requirements Gathering

Stakeholder Interviews, Competitive Research, Workshops, and other Design Thinking Methodologies

The ability to gather requirements and align understandings is the foundation for a team that will succeed. Getting people together in a space (virtual or physical) to toss out ideas, ask questions, argue, and agree, is necessary for alignment around a shared mission, vision, and goal. I am a practiced facilitator of team workshops, both remote and in person.

 
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Understanding and Synthesis

Personas, Use Cases, Journey Maps, Storyboards, Affinity Diagramming, and other Design Thinking Methodologies

At any given point in the design process, we are inundated with knowledge, research, opinions, and potential solutions. We must make time in our process to make sense of the problem we are given. This can be accomplished through a variety of methodologies, and I believe in the endless capacity of design thinking to solve complex problems.

 
 
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User Experience Design

Sketches, Site Maps, User Flows, Low-fidelity Wireframes, Rapid Prototyping, Mid-fidelity Wireframes, Usability Testing

User experience design is the bones of the solution or offering. It is the infuriating, amazing, and iterative process that produces seamless user-centered experiences that feel as if they were designed for you. I am a devoted practitioner of and advocate for holistic user experience strategy. I love creating, refining, sharing, and re-creating wireframes and prototypes, and I get excited by new tools that help me better communicate these ideas and designs. UX design is where I find myself spending most of my time, but often, it becomes inextricable from graphic or visual design.

 
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Graphic and UI Design

Brand Research, Brand Design, High-fidelity Wireframes, Content Writing

Brand design and graphic design are the soul of any product or service. They make the first impression, they offer moments of delight, and they communicate with users in a way that doesn't require language. Graphic design was my first love, and I have been excited to see the discipline grow to share a gray area with user experience design. I love anchoring visual directions in a strong conceptual foundation and story, and experience a silly amount of excitement at applying a strong brand design to a stellar experience design.

 
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Execution

Prototyping, Redlines, Sprint Planning, Multidisciplinary Team Management, Collaboration with Development

Above most other things, I believe that a healthy team is key to achieving successful release of product and service. The ability to move quickly and smoothly through sprint cycles and releases is often due to a team that functions as a well-oiled machine. With a background working with fast-paced software development teams, I am comfortable working with Agile and Design Thinking methodologies, managing and communicating with multidisciplinary teams, and collaborating quickly to execute for users, stakeholders, and clients. I love when I can use a tool that makes cross-team collaboration easier!