I design because it gives me the opportunity to learn about people’s everyday lives. I build tools because it gives me the opportunity to assist someone in accomplishing a goal.
I design because it gives me the opportunity to learn about people’s everyday lives. I build tools because it gives me the opportunity to help people accomplishing their goals. Building that connection to my customer, understanding what they need to make their tasks easier, and finding a way to positively impact someone’s day to day work-life is what that drives my work.
Over the years, I’ve had the privledge to contribute to the design community. I enjoy speaking about working cross team, building empathy for your teammates, and how to apply the design process to all parts of your organization.
Please be in touch if you have a panel or interview in mind!
San Francisco, the land of opportunity in 1999. But I arrived with stars in my eyes for in-state tuition for UC Berkeley. While I got my stuff together to apply, I worked for Gap Inc in the PR department. I still have a difficult time remembering that I don’t get the employee discount anymore.
I had applied to the School of Information at UC Berkeley with the idea that I would become a business or industry researcher. I loved making connections between different ideas and sharing it with people to help them make decisions. I had no idea that design existed as a career – a career that would not only give me the chance to learn about different disciplines, but also help solve problems in people’s everyday lives.
With my heart on my sleeve, I joined the team at the Social Services Agency working to bring their content online. I built internal tools, implemented a CMS, and worked with external vendors to build a system that allowed caseworkers to reference case files online vs. waiting days to get them from storage. It was here I discovered my love of tools.
My first foray into the world of startups was building Freebase, a graph database intended to add semantic data to Wikipedia-like content. This technology was purchase by Google in 2009, and now powers the structured information cards on search pages as well as the rest of the knowledge graph. It was here that I first worked with engineers and PMs and made some lifelong friends.
Next, I joined an education startup aimed at helping students study for standardized tests with games and socializing. It was also a big education for me on agile engineering processes, and how it can help or hinder the user’s experience with your product.
I joined Asana as the first designer, the 10th employee, and before we even had a product being used by anyone other than friends. Together we brought the product to market, grew our customer base and revenue exponentially, and built the best team I’ve ever worked with.
The visual talent on the Mixpanel design team was enviable, but we weren’t set up for success in finding user-focused solutions. My work involved transitioning the team from producing mocks based on strong direction, to finding and validating solutions themselves.