I’m an emerging UX designer and researcher with a background in information science & architecture, content development & strategy, and digital marketing & design.
I am particularly interested in exploratory user research, optimizing workflows to support variable information-seeking behaviors, and developing quality content that tells the right story and answers the right questions at the right time.
“Content precedes design. Design in the absence of content is not design, it’s decoration.”
This is the part of the portfolio where many UX professionals put their design process. But my design process isn’t radically different from most other UX designers:
See what I mean?
I’ve decided that my professional philosophy could be more useful in highlighting my top design priorities and considerations.
01. Human-centered design
I say “human-centered” rather than “user-centered” design because it’s more important now than ever to remember we’re designing for real people, not theoretical users.
Technology is a powerful tool, and it should be designed around how real humans think rather than requiring that we train ourselves to think like machines.
It’s 2019—with proper configuration, the machines can pretty much keep up with us now.
02. Content is still king
Humans are hardwired to seek information. Understanding the ways in which we do this and designing intuitive pathways that enable us to accomplish our goals is the cornerstone of information science and user experience design.
Even the most intuitive, user-friendly interface will fail if a user doesn’t get the information they came for. And even the most relevant, detailed information is useless if it’s not presented to the user in the right way, at the right time.
That’s why effective, informative content—given structure by a logical, intuitive architecture, and made easily navigable by a human-friendly interface—is the key to a good user experience.
03. The how > The Why
Ask someone why they did something and they’ll tell you what their goal was.
Ask someone how they did something and they’ll tell you their priorities, their thought processes, and the steps they planned out in order to reach that goal. The “how” paints a much bigger picture than the “why”.
Process is at the core of everything humans do, from the simplest tasks to the most complex work. Studying, understanding, and anticipating the workflow processes of others (followed by multiple rounds of vigorous testing) is the key to good UX research and design.
04. Barriers are bogus, Affordances are Awesome
Doing the right thing should be easy and intuitive. Doing the wrong thing should be difficult, or at least very obvious.
Too many barriers and too much structure can make navigating a website or tool feel like a game of Operation. Touch the wrong thing and—ZAP!—now everything is broken and you have to start again. But a lack of helpful guidance and structure can be just as daunting and frustrating.
Balance is important.