I'm passionate about building goal-oriented experiences that are easy to learn, fast, and remembered by everyone.

Recent Projects

CRDF

CRDF Global is an independent nonprofit organization that promotes international scientific and technical collaboration through grants, technical resources, training and services.


Challenges

I was tasked with the interaction design of a web-based system that facilitates an information gathering and remediation process between program applicants and CRDF. Allowing various CRDF user types access to an easily scannable, easy-to-learn interface to view progress, issues, and other at-a glance information, yet maintaining accessibility for colorblind users was one of the greatest UI challenges of my career to date.


Solutions

The front-end experience was built as a wizard, so that program applicants are guided through the complex process of providing passport information, selecting flight itineraries, tax/bank information, and employment eligibility authorization. If any information is rejected by CRDF, the front-end user is notified and guided through a remediation process. The CRDF administrative interface utilizes a novel interface for tracking program applicants, which was a product of creative thinking and many hours of intense collaboration with the client.


Takeaways

CRDF remains one of the most challenging and rewarding projects that I’ve been involved with, having taken the loose requirements and transforming them into a complex, tangible set of wireframes that the client could visualize as a fully-functional system.

Check It Out

Not Available (Private System)

Launched

January 2015

Responsibilities

Requirement Gathering
Wireframing / UI Design

Deliverables

Wireframes

Extensis Group

The Extensis Group provides managed HR and benefits services to small and midsize entrepreneurial companies nationwide and are entrusted with the management of over $1 billion in employment costs annually.


Challenges

The general challenges that come with developing modern websites aside, the greatest challenging on this project was education. How does one begin to convince a set of stakeholders (all unfamiliar with human-centered design) to follow a design process completely foreign to them? How is the value of involving users in the design and development process communicated to these individuals? Further, how does one keep UX as the focal point without allowing the client to slide down the path of “personal preference” when communicating feedback on the visual design?


Solutions

What was critical for Extensis was simply time and energy spent on education—not only what things were being done, but how, why, and how everything fits into the broader perspective and overall project goals. Various research activities were conducted in order to understand the needs, behaviors, and motivations of Extensis’ client base. The research efforts informed much of the content strategy and information architecture decisions that were made on the project.


Takeaways

Education has a powerful effect on stakeholders with outdated models of how modern websites should be built. They’ll fall in line eventually, but stakeholders can be unpredictable when they start seeing visuals. Starting with a basic wireframe and gradually increasing fidelity over time is a great way to keep clients focused on content instead of details that are of far less significance.

Check It Out

http://www.extensisgroup.com/

Launched

December 2014

Responsibilities

User Research
Persona Development
Information Architecture
User Interface Design
Beta Testing

Deliverables

Personas (119k PDF)
UI Mockups

AACP

The American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) is the national organization representing pharmacy education in the United States.


Challenges

The challenges posed by AACP revolved around UI efficiency. The browser-based system that we built was a complete overhaul of an existing tool which was cumbersome to use and limited in functionality. The toughest UI problem was designing a form builder which could be used to build out the complex and varied forms that are used throughout the system.


Solutions

The system that was developed was a completely custom-developed .NET web application which allows AACP to collect data from schools for accreditation purposes. Schools are rigorously tested every seven years though a wide variety of performance metrics in order to achieve or maintain their accreditation status. The system supports a wide variety of user types, each with varying user experiences with differing levels of access to the system.


Takeaways

This project highlights what kind of impact a compatible client can have on outcome of a project. Experienced, accessible, and detail oriented, AACP was able to communicate their needs in a way that made the design and development process as smooth as it could be.

Check It Out

Not Available (Private System)

Launched

October 2015

Responsibilities

Requirement Gathering
Wireframing / UI Design

Deliverables

Wireframes

MD Anderson Cancer Center

MD Anderson Cancer Center is a degree-granting academic institution and a cancer treatment and research center located at the Texas Medical Center in Houston, Texas, United States.


Challenges

What’s it like for a person suffering from Cancer of the Spine when they come visit the doctor’s office? What kinds of accessibility concerns need to be addressed? How can patients quickly and easily complete a large number of quality-of-life survey questions each time they visit? What solutions will be flexible enough to handle different hardware form factors?


Solutions

I ended up creating a wizard that guides users though each question one at a time. Although the solution was developed for a browser, I designed it in a way that would be familiar to anyone that had used a kiosk to check in (e.g. large text, huge buttons, and taking advantage of the full viewport).



Takeaways

More than any other project I’ve worked on, context of use and empathy dominated my design thinking. It became a moral imperative for me to design something that genuinely brightened patients’ days. It was a tall order, but I believe I succeeded.

Check It Out

MDA Patient Survey Beta

Launched

Summer 2016

Responsibilities

User Research
Requirement Gathering
User Interface Design

Deliverables

Wireframes
Patient Survey Prototype

Fair Oaks Farms

Fair Oaks Farms is one of the largest dairy producers in the United States. The company is passionate about sustainable farming efforts, protecting the environment, animal welfare, educating the public, and producing the highest quality products possible.


Challenges

Building successful e-commerce sites from the ground up is enough challenge in itself, but Fair Oaks Farms also required a checkout process that enabled customers to split their order into multiple shipping addresses—no small feat when responsively designed. Additionally, the highly perishable cheese product which the client is selling lends itself to difficult particulars in shipping and assuaging customer fears.


Solutions

A mobile-first, human-centered design strategy was at this project’s core. The checkout process was designed to guide users through a step-by-step process using natural language. Those with multiple shipping addresses are presented with a slightly longer process which guides them through splitting cart items into the correct addresses. Testing showed that very few users had issues learning how to use a unique checkout system.

Research showed that users are typically leery about ordering cheese online, so the “Have a Question?” content is featured prominently in the navigation and its questions organized in terms of popularity.


Takeaways

There was a moment during the planning stages of the project when the team asked, “Well, who else has done something like this?” looking for inspiration and other technical considerations. When the crickets began to chirp, we shrugged and trailblazed our own way. Hopefully Fair Oaks Farms will be a great marker for other developers struggling to implement multi-ship shopping carts in a responsive manner.

Check It Out

http://shop.fofarms.com

Launched

September 2013

Responsibilities

User Research
Persona Development
Information Architecture
Content Evaluation
Writing
Wireframing
User Interface Design
Beta Testing
Strategy Consulting

Deliverables

Personas (67k PDF)
Wireframes
UI Mockups

Virtual Atlantic

VA is an enterprise software development and website design firm in Reston, Virginia specializing in human-centered digital experiences that are beautiful, useful, and look great no matter what device is used.


Challenges

Over the course of my 10 year tenure at VA, I’ve been challenged with the redesign of the company’s online presence approximately every two years. Each redesign has brought its own set of unique challenges. This time around, we were absolutely set on a human-centered content strategy, a responsive and touch-friendly interface, and blazingly fast speed.


Solutions

VA’s interviews with the internal sales team, potential customers, and existing customers revealed that the overwhelming majority of users visit the site to review the company’s work history and very little else. In response, the site is heavily focused on presenting recent projects that have been completed.


The UI lacks any heavy graphics assets, instead relying on solid, bold colors to drive the overall look. The navigation style is instantly recognizable and leaves little room for confusion. The load-time performance easily surpasses the website that was replaced, and it looks great on all of the various devices that were used in testing.


Takeaways

The most important lesson learned in VA’s 2013 redesign was to be careful about making assumptions about customers even though you think you understand them completely. Asking the right probing questions, identifying the correct context of use, or observing behaviors and environments, will undoubtedly reveal key details that have an incredible impact on content strategy.

Check It Out

http://vainc.com

Launched

July 2013

Responsibilities

User Research
Information Architecture
Content Evaluation
Writing
Drawing
User Interface Design
Beta Testing

Deliverables

UI Mockups

World Yacht

Operating since 1981, World Yacht offers New York City residents and visitors the finest cruise venues available on the Hudson River. Annually hosting more than 125,000 guests near Manhattan, the service is one of the more popular luxury cruise destinations for romantic dinners, group outings, and corporate events.


Challenges

Due to a poorly designed and complex checkout system in use at the time, I was tasked with masterminding a new, responsive checkout system for World Yacht’s reservations. The challenge was to create a new reservation process that was mobile and touch friendly, simpler and easier to understand, faster, and ultimately more profitable.


Solutions

I decided that the complicated reservation process could be simplified by presenting the user with only one question at a time. As a result, a dynamic checkout system was developed that responded differently depending on what options were selected at each step. The checkout process is modeled after how I imagined a phone reservation would be conducted, using natural language to guide the user.


Takeaways

After running a series of A/B tests between the old and new reservation systems, the new platform was quickly deployed. It remains one of the best examples in my portfolio of how an improved user experience can positively impact a company’s bottom line.

Check It Out

World Yacht Reservations

Launched

May 2013

Responsibilities

Information Architecture
Writing
Wireframing
User Interface Design
Beta Testing

Deliverables

Wireframes
UI Mockups

Reynolds Community College

Reynolds Community College was founded in 1972, aiming to serve the capital region in and around the City of Richmond, Virginia. Since then, Reynolds has grown into the third largest college in the Virginia Community College System, enrolling students at three major campuses and five off-campus sites.


Challenges

The greatest challenges faced with Reynolds involved working with a large, slow-moving institution, and the ability to please a large number of stakeholders at once. In many ways, the project was relatively straightforward, with the exception that because the initial contract was so old, it was mainly an exercise in responsive design and would have benefited from more extensive user research.


Solutions

Providing a user interface that pleases a large committee is a tough challenge for any designer. Keeping the stakeholders educated was my strategy for getting through the project with the least amount of deal-breaking changes. I found that when I clearly explained and justified my design decisions, they warmed up to my proposals.


Takeaways

Despite the lack of direct research on website users, the key stakeholders were able to provide a treasure trove of demographics and content needs that proved useful in the end. In terms of navigation flexibility, information architecture, content management, visual design, standards compliance, and mobile compatibility, the final product was a massive improvement over their previous solution.

Check It Out

http://reynolds.edu

Launched

September 2013

Responsibilities

Information Architecture
Wireframing
User Interface Design

Deliverables

Wireframes
UI Mockups

Paving The Way

Paving The Way was created in 1990 as a cooperative effort among the Federal Highway Administration, the Ohio Department of Transportation, and the city of Columbus to improve planning and keep motorists informed on the progress of transportation construction throughout Central Ohio. It was the nation’s first program to address construction management and communication on a regional, rather than project basis.


Challenges

I was tasked with re-imagining a 10 year old website in order to establish new functionality, provide better alignment with the City of Columbus’s branding efforts, and improve the general user experience, especially for those with smaller devices.


Solutions

After conducting a series of interviews with current and potential users, a set of personas were created in order to communicate demographics, behaviors, and common tasks. A set of wireframes were created in order to visualize the user experience, and a UI was designed, that was loosely aligned with the City of Columbus’s branding guidance.


Takeaways

Paving The Way was launched in late January 2014, and the team I’m working on is currently collecting feedback from users and adjusting the site as necessary. Reflecting on the project, the most important lessons learned are centered on embedding maps as critical interface elements. When a map is embedded into a page, using the mouse wheel or scrolling with a finger on a touchscreen might zoom/pan the map instead of allowing the user to scroll further on the page. Paving The Way was reluctant to remove the mouse wheel zooming, so the map was adjusted to consume less space on the page.

Check It Out

http://pavingtheway.org

Launched

January 2014

Responsibilities

User Research
Persona Development
Information Architecture
Content Evaluation
Wireframing
User Interface Design
Beta Testing

Deliverables

Personas (150k PDF)
Wireframes
UI Mockups