Make it work pretty.
I am a 27-year-old product designer with a background in graphic design from East Lansing, MI. I live in San Francisco, CA and work at the killer data analytics start up Mode Analytics. I love to play the piano, sing, cook and eat delicious concoctions, and dress up for a night of karaoke.
As for my design process, I’ve often found that the best way to describe what I do is to compare it to architecture. Think of a good mobile app as my exposed brick townhouse. I design the blueprints before construction begins, and then see it through development. You can have a rockstar living room, but if the foundation and layout of the house isn’t solid, good luck selling.
As for my love of visuals, I’d say that’s where the interior designer comes in. I don’t want to just set a bowl of fake lemons down and call it a day, I want to best utilize the space while making it as functional as possible. I want my visuals to accompany useful text rather than compete with it, provide more context, and always be purposeful. Good aesthetics provide good energy, and make tools feel simpler.
I’m a strong believer that the experience starts well before someone gets to my product. I have a passion for marketing and writing, and helping to define the brand that really encompasses the entire relationship between the company and the user. Journey maps help me remember all of the possible touch points users have with our software, and I strive to account for all of the curious ways people naturally discover.
I love prototyping. Marvel and InVision are some of my favorites, but the ability to take mockups and begin to test workflows out at an early stage makes it so much easier to not get lost in one screen, but always remember the bigger picture. Working hand in hand with front end development also helps keep my process an iterative one. One of the best things about design is our inability to predict every outcome, but rather adapt and grow as we learn.
At the end of the day, nothing beats talking to people. I love me some humans. As much as I try to remain objective, sometimes we make assumptions without even realizing. Although I enjoy A/B tests, usability tests, and other research methods, I’m also lucky to get out and talk to real users and learn what their frustrations and needs are. At the end of the day, it’s not about adding features or selling something…it’s about understanding people and empathizing with problems. If my user feels like a super hero, I’m doing it right.