How do I roll? Here are many of the methods and skills I have developed over the course of my career that make me an effective designer, collaborator, strategist and leader.

 Photo credit: Gerard Lozano under  CC

Photo credit: Gerard Lozano under CC

Facilitation, training and co-design

Tom Wujec's declaration that "design truly is a contact sport" has always resonated with me. Effective problem solving through design relies on our ability to teach, encourage ideation, and build consensus. I have planned and led workshops, developed programs to teach design thinking and rapid prototyping of ideas, and presented on a range of topics from the attributes of effective design teams to building accessibility programs in small and large companies.

 

  Photo credit: Mark Opland

Photo credit: Mark Opland

Sketching and lo-fidelity design 

Throughout the design process, but especially in the early stages, low-fidelity design is a technique I practice extensively. Pencil on paper allows me to capture and communicate ideas quickly, but more importantly, it allows me to discard them and move on to the next idea with little-or-no overhead. "Just enough" design is one of the most effective methods I have found to work closely with stakeholders, product managers and front-end developers. It reduces time spent on design iterations while creating a communication medium that is easy to understand and achievable by the whole team.

 Photo courtesy of  Comrade , all rights reserved

Photo courtesy of Comrade, all rights reserved

Rapid Prototyping

Rapid prototyping brings design systems to life. Building models that enable us to interact directly with products and services in context is one of the most effective and affordable ways for us to validate assumptions and communicate a more complete vision. I am not religious about any single tool or method - having employed everything from pencil and paper, to advanced software such as Axure, iRise or HTML/CSS. Incorporating prototyping into the design process also creates efficiencies such as the ability to quickly test with customers and effectively communicate progress to leadership and stakeholders.

 Process flow by Mark Opland

Process flow by Mark Opland

Business Analysis, Requirements and UX Documentation

It is one thing to design a cohesive experience, its another thing altogether to document that system in a manner that is detailed, accurate and easily understandable. I have extensive experience building documentation systems and always seek opportunities to simplify and streamline complex projects. I work with closely with business analysts and developers to understand technical requirements and use cases and produce UX documentation that is elegant, communicative and thorough. These typically include wireframes, flowcharts, prototypes and annotated UX specifications.

 Photo courtesy of  Comrade  all rights reserved

Photo courtesy of Comrade all rights reserved

Research and Synthesis

A core tenet of user-centered design is the application of research-based customer insights to influence design rationale. Throughout my career, quantitative and qualitative research have been instrumental in informing the decisions that shape my work. Whether it is lab-based usability testing, focus groups, surveys, syndicated or competitive research, customer and market insights impact the decisions I make every day.

 Photo courtesy of  Comrade , all rights reserved

Photo courtesy of Comrade, all rights reserved

Collaborative leadership

An experienced team leader, I have dedicated more than eight years to developing, mentoring and inspiring multi-disciplinary creative teams. Fostering a culture of collaboration and trust, I empower individuals to have a strong perspective while always ensuring we have a common voice. I seek to constantly evolve the practice of design to keep pace with rapidly shifting industry and customer expectations.