I get to know people so we can understand their problems and futures.
I absolutely love talking to people about the headaches, heartbreaks, and dreams that fill their lives. By connecting with individuals through interviews, focus groups, surveys, observation, quantitative data analysis, workshops, participatory design, and other means, I work with my collaborators to understand and document the very real, very challenging problems people face everyday. Whether it’s a confusing interface, a communication breakdown, a job that needs to be done, or an unmet basic human need, each story of struggle points to an opportunity for change.
I get to know problems so we can identify their systemic causes.
When I speak with someone about a problem, I dig deeper to find out what’s really going on beneath the surface. I sift through the data we’ve collected and identify connections, causal relationships, and trends. I work to understand and visualize the root causes of the problems within a system and the stakeholders who are relevant to these problems and their resolution.
I get to know systems so we can design transformative interventions.
I work to build a clear understanding of “what’s really wrong here”. This allows us to start identifying opportunities to really address the problems within a system, which means really bringing value to the people we are serving. We can then frame problems that are big enough to seed change but still tractable enough to accomplish. From there we can ask “How might we…?” as we start designing interventions that will transform the ecosystem. These may manifest as a change to a UI, a re-designed business process, or a new or re-defined product, service, or organization.
I get to know futures so we can work towards preferred ones.
Laced throughout this entire journey is consideration of the historical events that led to the current state and consideration of the future scenarios we could find ourselves in. Looking backwards shows us how change has happened and looking forward shows us how change could happen. I often incorporate strategic foresight, scenario building, backcasting, and ethnographic and experiential futures into this work so that we are designing for the future rather than the present, which will soon pass. I have found this combination of systems thinking, problem re-framing, and foresight to generate the most powerful and durable interventions possible.
INDUSTRY & ACADEMIC RESEARCH EXPERIENCE
ERT (eResearch Technology)
Clinical Solutions Translations & Licensing, Electronic Clinical Outcome Assessments
Design Research, UX Design, and Web Development to create internal tools for managing workflows and documents (2018–now)
Carnegie Mellon University
Human-Computer Interaction Institute
Design Research with Jodi Forlizzi & John Zimmerman on misalignment between patients and physicians regarding electronic health records (2018)
Design Research & UX Design with Jodi Forlizzi to address the wicked problems of stress, mental illness, and poor well-being at CMU (2017–2018)
Design Research with Niki Kittur & Jeff Rzeszotarski on comparing touch-based data visualization interactions to desktop applications (2015)
Center for Machine Learning and Health
Design Research with Min Kyung Lee to understand the ecosystem of community-based organizations in Pittsburgh serving people experiencing homelessness and identify opportunities for service interventions (2016)
University of California San Diego
Design Research, UX Design, and Software Development with Steven Dow & Narges Mahyar on crowdsourced civic engagement, leading to the tool and paper “CommunityCrit” (2017)
Research & Development
Design Research & UX Design for Onboarding & Growth squad regarding account implementation & permissions setup (2016)
Design Research & UX Design for UX initiative to re-design web application with a focus on navigation and information architecture (2016)
Office of Institutional Research
Design Research & UX Design of data visualizations for C-Suite executives to understand sponsored research funding (2013)
Carnegie Mellon University, BFA 2018
Drama, Video & Media Design
Fifth Year Scholar, Transdisciplinary Social Change