I consider design to be a social responsibility. It can shape the way people perceive their world, provide them with the necessary tools to go about their daily lives, and shift their way of thinking. Design requires empathy, attention to detail, and patience, and it is a responsibility that I do not take lightly. I seek to make technology more human-friendly, to translate the digital environment into something worth exploring, and to create a positive and lasting impact on a person’s life in some way.
I am often asked why I teach in the evenings, in addition to working full-time as a designer. In my opinion, being a prolific designer is not the only demarcation of success in our field. A truly successful designer is someone who is able to transfer their knowledge and mentor others so that everyone is able to push the boundaries and possibilities of human-centered design thinking. True success comes from helping others, not from hoarding opportunities. My ultimate goal is to prepare my students to become the most valuable design thinkers our world has ever known, so that they are the ones to solve the hardest human-facing technological problems that we’ve yet to identify.
My work experience spans physical and digital UX. At Sphero, I led the physical and digital experience design on the Star Wars Force Band. I worked directly with project leads and technical teams to help define and design the product UX. I was also on the launch team for the wildly-successful app-enabled Star Wars BB-8 droid. At Amazon.com, I’ve had the privilege to work on products that have touched customers worldwide. I spent a year and a half on the corporate innovation team developing the physical/digital UX for Amazon Go. My work afforded the opportunity to design for multi-screen environments, biometrics, and complex computer vision problem solving. I’ve since returned to Amazon as a UX designer on the Consumer Electronics retail technology team in the Denver office. I am also active in the Amazon UX Design Mentorship program, which allowed me to hire, coach, and develop designers of varied backgrounds across the company. In the evening and on weekends, you can find me teaching UX research and design at University of Colorado-Denver and General Assembly-Denver.
I completed my Master of Science degree in Human-Computer Interaction at Iowa State University, and my Bachelor of Art in Art/Graphic Design at California State University-San Bernardino.
My design expertise includes user experience design, user interface design, digital product design, graphic/visual communications, branding, and integrated marketing communications. My background as an individual contributor, manager, and entrepreneur has given me the privilege of working in and with communications agencies, tech startups, small and large businesses, and other fellow entrepreneurs.