UX Design Lead, BuildDirect

March 2015 - Present

BuildDirect is an online home improvement marketplace. As UX Design Lead for the buyer side, my job is to develop and improve the UX for everything from product pages to review systems to the search experience, in order to meet our business goals.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS:

  • Redesigned the product detail page, resulting in an 11% increase in add-to-cart conversions
  • Redesigned the product review experience, resulting in a 15% increase in form completion while requesting more information from the customer
  • Facilitated a 5-day google-ventures-style design sprint for the Community team
  • Wrote a widely-read internal research document about how to improve our shopping cart conversions
  • Presented 3 x 1-hour lunch & learns on "UX & Human Psychology” and "Persuasive UX”

DUTIES:

  • Strategy: worked closely with product management, helped align business and user goals, wrote use cases, established metrics, interpreted data from Adobe Analytics, analyzed competitors like Houzz, Wayfair, Home Depot & Lowes
     
  • Design: developed Information architecture, produced user flows & wireframes, applied heuristics & modern best-practices
     
  • Prototyping: built prototypes with Invision, Axure, and html/css/js
     
  • AB Testing: Built production-ready html/css/js code for AB tests using Adobe Target, set up dashboards to monitor metrics
     
  • Research: validated prototypes, conducted usability studies & user interviews, measured task success and time-on-task, uncovered user attitudes & pain points, summarized findings
     
  • User Interface: designed the layout & grid, made typography & color choices, applied brand guidelines, created icons, prepped artwork for production, created visual specs for developers

Portfolio links: BuildDirect Marketplace Redesigns

 

Product Team Lead, Nugg

June 2013 – Oct 2014

Nugg was a team collaboration app designed to help teams stay in sync, uncover important issues, and stay energized and engaged with each other. I wore a few hats at this startup.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS:

  • Provided alot of value to this early stage startup by taking on a mix of product management, UX/UI, and engineering roles
  • Hired a front-end developer and  together we built an MVP product in 2 months. Ported it to iOS, Android & Web.
  • Through usability testing and user interviews, identified failings with how users were perceiving our product, and drew up a plan to tackle it
  • Conducted 30+ hours of interviews with the target market to find product-market fit, and produced a report that identified the greatest opportunities and defined a cast of personas that the product would serve.

DUTIES:

  • Product Management: prioritized the backlog with PivotalTracker (and later Jira), ran scrum meetings, wrote user stories, measured velocity, negotiated timelines and reported progress to stakeholders and board members. 
     
  • UX Strategy: worked closely with stakeholders to determine business goals, wrote use cases, established key metrics, interpreted usage data, analyzed competitors like Slack & 7 Geese.
     
  • UX Design: developed Information architecture, produced user flows & wireframes
     
  • Prototyping: built prototypes with html/css/js
     
  • UX Research: conducted interviews with existing and potential users, uncovered user attitudes & pain points, wrote personas, conducted usability studies, summarized findings
     
  • User Interface: designed layout & grid, made typography & color choices, applied brand guidelines, drew icons, made artwork production-ready
     
  • Front End Development: planned and designed the front-end app architecture, selected the BackboneJS framework, wrote the code for it with the help of another developer, and implemented MixPanel to gather analytics. Worked feverishly.

Portfolio links: Nugg App, Teamstack

 

Founder, Giant Squid

Feb 2012 - May 2013

In 2012 I founded Giant Squid, a consulting agency. Working with a small band of freelance explorers, we trolled the depths, searching for new ways to delight users. 

  • Recruited and managed remote project teams
  • Developed the UX & UI across many form factors including phone, tablet, desktop, and large-format screens
  • Worked closely with clients: presented concepts, worked out project plans & negotiated timelines
  • Engineered web apps using HTML5, CSS3, Javascript, and the following libs & tools: jQuery, Backbone, Underscore, Angular, Require, Grunt, Bootstrap, etc..
  • Engineered software using Flash AS3 & the Flex framework

Portfolio links:  Barkerville App, Qasr al Hosn App, TOTAL Simulation

 

Co-Founder & UX Lead, Tactual Systems

Aug 2009 – Jan 2012

In 2009 I co-founded Tactual Systems, a consulting agency specializing in bespoke software for large-format interactive displays, exhibits, and mobile apps. As co-founder, I wore a few hats, with a primary focus on developing high-quality user experiences.

  • Recruited and managed remote project teams
  • Developed the UX & UI across many form factors including phone, tablet, desktop, large-format screens, as well as physical exhibits
  • Worked closely with clients: presented concepts, worked out project plans & negotiated timelines
  • Coded software using HTML, CSS, Javascript, Flash AS3, MaxMSP & Jitter

Portfolio links:  Binder App, LikeItUp App & Website, Predator Ridge Welcome Exhibit, Vancouver Tourism Display

 

Senior UX/UI Designer & Engineer, Big Green

July 2005 – Nov 2008

Big Green was a consulting agency specializing in interactive exhibits & websites that combined 3D, web and video into one seamless experience. At this time Flash was the platform of choice for agencies pushing the boundaries of interactive on the web.

  • Developed user experiences for web and large-format interactive displays
  • Worked closely with clients: presented concepts, worked out project plans & negotiated timelines
  • Engineered software using Flash AS3, using best-practice design patterns
  • Created wireframes, storyboards, sitemaps & user flows
  • Mentored junior team members
  • Won a Georgie Award for 2006 Best Website

Portfolio links:  Cosmo Display & Website

 

Web Designer & Developer, Tidal Multimedia

Jan 2005 – July 2005

  • Designed and developed websites using HTML, CSS, & Flash
  • Designed presentations for Vancity, the City of Coquitlam, & Teekay Shipping
  • Evolved an administrative system for the management of multiple websites
 

Interactive & Print Designer, Freelance

April 2003 – Jan 2005

  • Developed websites & cd-roms using HTML, CSS, Javascript & Flash
  • Developed a suite of flash-based e-learning games to teach safe food handling
  • Designed logos, brochures, business cards, menus & handled printing
  • Designed the Rocky Mountaineer Railtours newsletter each month using Indesign
  • Worked with numerous small businesses in the Vancouver Area
 

Presentation Designer, The Barnes Organization

May 2002 – Mar 2003

As a presentation designer for Canada’s premier investor relations consulting firm, I worked directly with the Vice President of New Media to create investor websites & presentations — raising millions in new capital for clients.

  • Storyboarded presentations based on scripts & speeches
  • Explained complex financial data through the design of diagrams, charts, special graphics & animations for investor presentations
  • Produced print materials for TO Hydro & London Stock Exchange - extensive image manipulation including retouching, collage, and compositing.
 

Interactive Designer, DM Studios

Aug 2001 – May 2002

DM Studios was a boutique digital agency. Here I worked on a range of projects for web, video, and print. I was fortunate to be involved at both the conceptual and technical level so early in my career.

  • Completed a partial re-design of the company website
  • Developed flash navigation for online learning at Seneca College
  • Designed & developed print & web materials for Outpost42, a grassroots environmental / multimedia organization
  • Edited video & created motion graphics for various projects, including a corporate video for Polytainers Inc., and a TV pilot that was later picked up by CBC Television.


Education

Bachelor of Fine Arts Program, Visual Arts, 1996-1999
York University, Toronto, Canada

TOOLS

  • Sketch
  • Axure
  • Invision
  • OmniGraffle
  • Photoshop
  • Illustrator
  • Balsamiq
  • PivotalTracker
  • Adobe Target
  • Adobe Analytics
  • JIRA
  • Git

CODE

  • HTML5
  • CSS3
  • Javascript
  • jQuery
  • Backbone
  • Bootstrap
  • Foundation
  • Phonegap
  • Actionscript
  • Flex