Process. You either love it or hate it. Most people cringe their nose at the thought of it. My philosophy is that while not every problem is the same, there are some basic concepts that you just can't skip. Each step of the way, I try and validate the direction with user loops.
We've got to start somewhere. What is it we are needing to accomplish? Business goals? User goals? Stakeholder and user interviews, personas, and current task analysis are just some of the tools I like to use. To create a great user experience, I think we need to talk to the user when ever possible. What is it they want? What frustrates them? We're designing an experience for them, right? Before moving on, we should have a solid understanding of the user and their objectives.
Understanding the user's mental models is key in creating a delightful user experience. The organization of the content can greatly influence how easily a user navigates the application. Card sorting exercises, taxonomies and high level workflow diagrams are great ways to understand how a user might expect to interact. I feel that defining the IA is a lot like playing with LEGOs. Before we can start to build something, we need to know what blocks we have available to build with.
Now that we know what we need to build, who we are building it for, and pieces we have to play with, we can start thinking about design. We'll keep it to low fidelity wireframes first and iterate, iterate, and iterate. By avoiding discussions on visual aesthetics, we can ensure that discussions are focused on the interactions. By creating paper or click-through prototypes, we can discover usability issues before we even get to code.
Color, graphics, motion, and typography are just some of the many concepts that can have a huge impact on how a user interacts with the application. Visual design can be key in guiding the user's path, invoking desired emotions, and influencing results. The wrong combination can send a user running for the hills, but combination can result in a delightful user experience.
Most of these projects required a collaborative effort from a team of project managers, developers and designers, with everyone contributing ideas. It was often my responsibility to take the collective ideas and synthesize the results, exploring different ideas when time allowed.
I am a UX designer/developer that can thrive equally well in both worlds. My knowledge and experience in both these disciplines has served me well, enabling me to contribute to most aspects of the development life cycle of a project. I have a strong passion in creating user focused experiences. From the brainstorming and requirements gathering, to rapid prototyping and production of hi-fidelity assets, through the development and implementation phases of projects, I strive to create the best user experience possible.
As the leader of the Product Design Team, I managed a team of Product Designers along with leading UX initiatives for prioritized products across 3 business units. Additionally, I was the primary design resource for one of the newer products, collaborating closely with the Product Owner at a strategic level to help set product direction. From leading ideation sessions, UX check-ins, and user validation, I worked closely with the entire product team, creating UX artifacts to help drive and optimize the product development lifecycle. Strove to educate and evangelize UX methodologies within the company.
As the primary design resource for both the Product team and Client Services team, I handle all the UX responsibilities for the company. As the advocate for the users, I collaborate closely with Product Managers to shape the user experience of our products and ensure that the product’s business goals are still met. I am also responsible for creating all conceptual prototypes for our sales team, to assist them in conveying the possibilities of our product offerings. For Client Services engagements, I am heavily involved with the initial interviews to better understand the client’s current workflows and identify the opportunities for improvement.
From user research and user story creation, to interaction and visual design, I collaborated closely with Product Managers to improve the user experience of current products as well as help shape future product offerings. Created any necessary UX artifacts (from IA and workflow diagrams to wireframes and high fidelity comps) to facilitate workflow discussions and client interactions. Assisted in developing the company’s PDLC to ensure good UX practices are put into place at the appropriate times.
Responsible for the UX across the company's products, which included: monitoring, enforcing, training, and improving our own process to ensure that all designs were user-focused and met the company's high standards. Worked on desktop and web-based applications that had a focus on situational awareness and data visualization. Lead small, cross-functional teams throughout the company's hybrid Agile UX process, which included: user interviews, persona creation, information architecture and initial workflow concepts. Synthesised the collected information to iteratively create workflows, wireframes, driving the projects from interactive design through to visual design with high fidelity mocks.
Worked as one of the primary developers on the company's web based data analytics platform. Heavily involved with porting existing application from a knockout.js based framework to durandal.js. This project also involved refactoring the application to utilize d3.js instead of highcharts.js. Was a major contributor to the information architecture and interaction design.
Oversaw the look and feel of all IT initiatives to ensure consistency with Keller Williams branding. Managed the design team by prioritizing and delegating projects and tasks, as well as all HR duties. Mentored the design team on best practices concerning web/UX/RIA design and architecture. Established design frameworks for company enterprise systems. Facilitated communication with developers, project managers and business owners to ensure project needs are met. Looked for opportunities to integrate new techniques and technology.
Designed and developed the company’s website with full content management capabilities. Created all the print and web marketing collateral. Developed websites for company’s clients. Developed e-commerce/registration/reporting web-based application to manage client golf tournaments. Developed content management tools for various client sites.
Designed websites, multimedia applications and print materials for company’s clients. Flash development lead for e-Learning project. Lead developer an online audio/visual conference application utilizing Macromedia Flash Communication Server. Lead UI designer for flagship product.
Creative lead in designing all components of the Intranet used by advisors. Designed all graphics necessary for Intranet. Found ways to improve usability of the Intranet. Determined and implemented optimal file structure for Intranet. Participated in entire life cycle projects, from requirements gathering and focus groups, to testing and implementation. Occupied a major role in developing the functionality/usability of the content management tool. Aided in the design of the GUI for a content management tool. Provided ongoing training and tech support to remote authors/editors. Responsible for ongoing maintenance of the Intranet. Found ways to optimize and streamline both the Intranet and the process of putting content on the Intranet.
Thanks for stopping by and checking out my space! Feel free to contact if you want to know anything more. We can 'talk shop' or chat about anything else.
"You cannot NOT have a user experience" Lou Carbone