I am a UX Architect. I have traveled through many different environments and situations to bring me to this point where I have a true understanding of UX. I graduated from Oregon State University with a degree in graphic design and quickly became a corporate designer. I discovered the web and what an interesting and challenging environment it is. I began my career in Silicon Valley during the beginning of the web boom when putting the dot com after a name sent an IPO rocketing into Wall Street space.
After a year, the desire to focus my skills brought me back to graduate school in Corvallis to study a mixture of design and computer science. But soon I partnered with a friend to start a web design company in Portland, ending my graduate degree pursuit. At this time, I was still what I would call an Interface and Interaction Designer as well as a Front End Developer. This partnership ended the way many friend based start-ups do, but on good terms.
I journeyed for a while between agencies and corporations in the Portland area and eventually accepted a full time position as an interface and interaction designer at Xerox, Wilsonville. I quickly established myself there and helped to build a Multi Media department using primarily Adobe Flash and other web based media technologies. The department was a success and was treated as an internal agency doing work for every department within the company. During my 11 years at Xerox , I worked with both the end users as well as the development departments. This is where I made my transition from a designer and a front end developer, to what has become User Experience (UX) Designer and Architect.
I have been a UX Architect designing patient healthcare advocacy tools, logistics software for an international shipping company, and I am currently leading the UX design department for an e-commerce company.
During my time designing the logistics software, I had a level of access to our end users that was enlightening and liberating. During a visit to Toronto to study my user base on location, I had the chance to perform user testing on some of the new application patterns. I found that just one simple change in my design would allow the user to complete a task with a 400% productivity increase.
While working in e-commerce, I have had to design multiple checkout processes for both desktop and mobile in a very complex gifting scenario. This single checkout was dealing with both sending multiple items to a single address, as well as multiple items to multiple addresses. I contracted with a User Testing company in San Francisco to observe 15 of my customers work through different variations and scenarios of my new checkout designs.
It continues to surprise me how people can use our meticulously designed products in a way we never conceived and thus, give us insights into better product designs.