About Me

You can get the shortcut version of me via my resume or contact form;  or you can take the longer, more comprehensive path via the text below; it’s up to you! If you like what you see feel free to Hire Me!.  Or at the very least follow me on twitter.

Have I ever actually worked as a UX designer or Information Architect?

Yes, I’ve spent the last 12-18 months working as a User Experience Consultant (I like to call myself the “Anti-Frustration Consultant”) . My biggest client by far is the Georgia International Convention Center , (link still reflects the original site, examples of the new site can be seen on my portfolio page ) and I have several other small business, medical and non-profit clients.

My resume indicates that I have more UI and web programming experience that pure UX experience; why do I think I am ready for a UX/IA job?

Great question!

While I have spent the last 12-18 months directly working in a pure UX/IA/IxD mold, it is true that the bulk of my technical experience was spent as a web-developer/UI developer. I was fortunate enough, though, to work at a start-up in 2000 that had a dedicated Human-Centered-Design team with a fully functioning usability lab. We started implementing Personas a few months after I started working there. This was more than 1o years ago, and I’ve been fascinated by the theory and practice of creating user-centered digital artifacts since then.

Okay, I used to be a programmer…but where did I work  & what did I do?

The bulk of my programming experience occurred back in the days when the logic and presentation were tangled up together. Despite it being a bad idea, the mixture of code and display fit my natural skill set perfectly; I wasn’t afraid of designing clean, intuitive interfaces or of  writing  the SQL queries and ASP/PHP code necessary to retrieve and display the data.

I am not a graphic artist (I’m not going to design a corporate logo anytime soon) but I have a natural ability to both empathize and translate. I’m not a “true” programmer either(I’m not going to be a system architect anytime soon either)I’m one of the seemingly rare individuals who are comfortable as a designer or programmer without being completely beholden or blinded by either one of those disciplines.

There are plenty of  graphic artist-designed sites that, while visually/aesthetically beautiful, are slow, plodding usability nightmares, and just as many engineer-designed sites with a myriad of options/tools that the user can’t find (much less know how to use).  I am able to translate the between the user and the technical, aesthetic & fiscal needs of the organization so that that what gets built is a balanced compromise between user needs and business goals.

As to the specifics of my programming experience, while working for Akamai Technologies in Seattle, WA as an Integration Consultant I was responsible for well, integrating,  our streaming media product, Netpodium, with a diverse range of client web platforms.  This provided both technical and design challenges which I solved with HTML, dHTML, CSS, JavaScript and ASP code.

After Akamai I worked at a small start-up, Attenex(now FTI Consulting), as an ASP.net/C# programmer where I was the UI programmer for a content-management product that had a web interface and a desktop application interface that launched as a Word add-in.

I worked closely with the HCD team hashing out the different usability issues surrounding consistency and clarity across two interfaces, and with making the somewhat unpredictable interaction with MS Word less traumatic to the user.

The HCD team at Attenex was strong and influential; we were using process mapping, persona’s, usability testing, and had even started implementing Extreme Programming (an extremely user-focused approach to development) when I left the company. During my time there I also wrote the user documentation for the product (hey, the help/manual is part of the user-interface!).

Do I have  anything else to say about myself in regards to UX?

I think it’s important to note that user experience is not something I care about only in the context of a job, I think about it all the time; I continued to read and learn about usability/user experience/human-factors during the several years that I spent outside of the technology industry starting and running a real-estate appraisal business.

The impact of technology (and poor ergonomics) on our everyday lives is something that I’m always thinking about regardless of what I’m doing for money. I think about how to make improvements to almost any interface I come across; web sites, doors handles in office buildings, toasters, parking garage pay machines, etc.

Hopefully I’ve convinced you that I do know what I’m talking about and that my unique and varied perspective would be a benefit to your UX/IA/HCD/Usability group. I’d love to talk about the possibility of working together, so send me an email if you’re interested in learning even more about how I can help your team.