The last decade
What have I been doing the last decade? I've been problem solving for some of the biggest companies on earth. Now I'm building successful brands for inspiring startups that are trying to make the world a better place.
Maker Creature 2008 – current (design freelance/contract work)
Branding, UX, product design, web design, print design, illustration, production, content creation, art direction, and creative direction for companies such as Zenoti, Five Four Ventures, Madé's Banana Flour Co, Chateau Ste Michelle Winery, Spacecraft Clothing, Superbig Creative, Evil Bikes, Hill Country Film Festival, & King County Public Heath.
GeneSavvy (part time employee) 7.2020 – 3.2022
Brand Manager, Visual Designer, UX Designer: GeneSavvy is a genetics startup specializing in rare and chronic diseases. I did brand strategy, UX & visual design, and creative direction. I worked in a small team with the CEO, one engineer, and one sales manager. Projects included a brand audit, brand guidelines, press kit, UX for a new doctor- and client-portal for collaboration and billing, technical genetics report redesigns, marketing and technical illustration resources, social media guidance and resources, collateral for clinician's offices, content writing including the bones of a featured web article, gradual brand refresh, presentation docs for GeneSavvy and a sister company, client and stakeholder interviews, and lightweight web refresh.
Microsoft Excel (FTE) 1.2017 – 12.2019
UX Designer, Visual Designer
SUMMARY / TLDR
In January 2017 I joined the Excel design team to work on data visualization, AI and ML explorations, cross-product tools, and data user-journey research. Native Excel projects included Power BI grid interactions and charting tools improvements. Excel Online projects including charting UX and data visualization tool development for the online platform, AI and ML opportunities, cross-product office tool integration, and user-journey research for data visualization creation. For Excel Online projects I worked directly with the PM and engineering team in Israel, and occasionally engineers in India and China, managing remote relationships and schedules.
In January 2017 I followed the data visualization specialization over to Excel where I worked on charting under Brad Weed. When I joined I worked with one of the researchers on data storytelling about the state of the world mobile market and Excel's place in it. I spent much of the following year working on improvements to the charting gallery, chart insert experience, and designing new charting features with several project managers and developers.
In 2018 I drove 30+ customer interviews (four interviewers) and presented the work for a visionary business intelligence effort led by Ben Rampson. The goal was to determine how we could better connect people with their data through integrating multiple Microsoft products, AI/ML, and new features in Excel. Ben and I met also with many internal teams, primarily in Cloud and Enterprise, to learn about possible collaborations or integrations. We delivered vision decks to the Excel team to inform direction and inspire feature teams. Many findings bumped up against AI projects my Excel teammates were working on.
In 2019 I have helped Excel Online achieve parity with the desktop product, making usability improvements to the features as they were ported over. I worked with multiple feature teams, the majority of which were in Israel (a few in China and India). This work involved touch and accessibility efforts I hadn't had exposure to prior. It also involved doing my own flash feedback sessions and other add-hoc user testing since researcher resources were tight. To better facilitate the web work I became involved in the company-wide effort to communicate the correct Office web styles and patterns, to manage expectations for shared redlines and library components, and to help engineers to customize older controls while the Microsoft Fabric library of shared components was being built by Office engineers.
Microsoft Azure (FTE) 5.2012 – 9.2016
UX Designer, Visual Designer
SUMMARY / TLDR
While on the Microsoft Azure team 2012–2016 I was responsible for the majority of the layout and content rules for the customizable live tiles in the Microsoft Azure Portal. I designed the intrinsic data visualizations for the portal (charting tools), helped onboarding partners and other designers with content needs and customization, and then consulted with other product teams as they started developing their own tile-based dashboards (Skype, Delve). I worked with the Microsoft Design Language team to coordinate data-visualization guidance and best-practices through the company. I also worked on internal event branding and collateral, Power Apps templates, UX for the first release of Microsoft Stream, and I coordinated between marketing and branding teams on the style guide for the Cloud + Enterprise division.
In 2012 the Microsoft Azure portal was undergoing a redesign to accommodate rapid and sustained growth. This portal is the interface between external customers and all the services available in Azure, whether those are first or third-party partners. With about six other designers and the project UX architect, Stephen Danton, I helped develop "tile" patterns and styles for the dashboards and I owned the continued management of these patterns. I helped internal and external partners snap to guidelines and to use the patterns to best represent their products, and if needed, add patterns to acommodate their services. Together we would also determine the best layout of the destination "panes/blades" (pages).
I also owned and drove the data visualizations available for partners to consume in the Azure portal on dashboard "tiles" and "panes/blades" and I designed much of the data visualization interactivity, working closely with Azure developers and prototypers and researchers. I met with on-boarding teams who needed to determine which intrinsic visualizations best communicated their services status and data, and then how to prioritize their communications at each size tile. Meetings with Azure engineers were also frequent: we frequently worked around tight time and system limitations. And as on-boarding partner's needs increased I pushed for budget to build additional data visualization features within Azure or to utilize other Microsoft data visualization platforms in Azure, such as Power BI or Excel.
Our design team also owned a handful of cloud startups (Microsoft Flow, Microsoft Stream, Microsoft PowerApps). We merged with the existing product team for Microsoft Power BI, and also became the design team for Microsoft Dynamics. We helped each other as necessary through this growth and thus I played a role in branding for all the apps. For instance, I did font reviews and worked on early templates and styles for Power Apps. Later I did a lot of UI and UX design for Microsoft Stream, an enterprise streaming Media platform, pairing with the Microsoft Web Framework team to incorporate company-wide design and engineering standards.
In 2016 I was the designer in the Cloud and Enterprise division helping the marketing team define the brand standards for our division. I worked under the creative direction of Jonah Sterling and with Tracie Westby from the Brand Studio at Microsoft to make sure the design standards our team had implemented for cloud products were accurately represented and that they influenced (and inspired) products upstream.
I was also part of a Microsoft company-wide data visualization v-team, driven by Shelley Bjornstad and Ramiro Torres that made an effort to coordinate design guidelines across all product groups. Through this effort I got to know data visualization experts within the company. I also attended the EYE-O conference for data visualization experts for three years in a row, twice while on Azure and once on Excel, contributing to global dialogs about big data and AI ethics, and being challenged to think big about the possibilities for new features in Microsoft products.
Amazon (On-site contract for Create Space, Disc on Demand) 8.2011 – 1.2012
Visual Designer, Production Artist: Contract on site. Meticulous quality control and heavy artwork alteration, utilizing strong software and organization skills to turn-around high quantities of digital art very quickly.Restaurants Unlimited, Inc (twenty brands, forty-eight locations) 1.2010 – 6.2011
Visual Designer, Art Director, Brand Manager, Sole in-house creative: Battle-paced, in-house design work: heavy output on tight deadlines. I juggled an incredible project list, managed internal and external relationships with design studios and production vendors, put in place internal processes, and designed a huge quantity and variation of materials and resources.
Rosanna Inc (lifestyle brand, tableware) 7.2009 – 1.2010
Visual Designer: I created style proposals, marketing materials, trade show collateral, original artwork, and production files for factories. I designed and produced the Spring/Summer 2010 catalog and art directed the product photoshoot for the collection (requiring photo-editing magic since we hadn’t received all the product for the shoot).
Koryn Rolstad Studios (international commercial artist) 11.2008 – 6.2009
Visual Designer: Contract on site. I helped with RFP's, project pitch ideas, mocks, and production files for 2 and 3-D projects using materials like acrylic, Sintra, metal, textiles, lighting, wallpaper, and resin. I built project-process-books, designed and coded simple e-mails, and designed event invitations. I assisted with construction installations of way-finding signage and a memorial art piece on a naval base.
Superbig Creative (brand development & design firm) 7.2008 – 9.2008
Visual Designer: Contract on site. I worked primarily on packaging and branding for Jones Soda, illustrations, photo correction, and the dealer book for Evil Bikes.
Positive Action, Inc (educational curriculum) 10.2003 – 11.2008
Visual Designer: I helped develop and integrate a cohesive style throughout hundreds of products for a wide spectrum of end-customer ages, and I designed marketing campaigns and collateral targeting government agencies and school administrators. I worked with both in-house pressmen and outside printers to achieve creative solutions and high quality within budget. I did resource purchasing and management, product photography, production, illustration, website design proposals, and the design and production of two catalogs.
Desktop by Design (small design and print studio) 1.2002 – 10.2003
Visual Designer: I supplied on-demand design services to a wide range of walk-in clients (as in, designing logos and collateral for people while they sat there watching me.)
Other work prior to 2003
Cornish College of the Arts Design Services Intern. Web design and marketing collateral freelance projects. Muralist for coffeeshops, wineries, and private home owners.
STILL LOVING IT.
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