To me, design isn’t just about making things pretty, it’s a means towards an end. Whether I’m designing a website, an interactive course, an illustration, or an informative animated video there are messages to get across, and needs to fulfill. Form follows function, as they say. That doesn’t mean there aren’t opportunities to delight along the way, and that’s important too. More and more it’s what people expect, even from enterprise software and email. Fortunately, that’s what I love to do. There’s nothing more satisfying than creating something that’s both useful and delightful.
Except maybe when philosophy finds its way into cartoons.
Capital One came to my colleagues and I with the goal of creating the mobile experience for their Managed Portfolios - portfolios composed of ETFs and managed by financial advisors. Customers interact with the product very similarly to a checking or savings account and are geared for beginning investors. They wanted us to:
An app that is easy to use, straightforward, and stylish. The design utilizes visuals and common language to simplify a subject that could be intimidating, making the subject accessible to new investors.
The project was a collaboration between myself and two other team members. I was the planning and design lead.
The project was executed in a three week sprint with four stages: Research, Planning, Design, and Testing.
Capital One provided us with a trove of in-house research which we pursued further with our own user interviews and competitive analysis. Our research focused on the product's target demographic: Millennials who trust in technology and are beginner investors. The users we interviewed related that they were interested in a low maintenance product to grow extra income over time for specific goals. Common financial goals were retirement, saving for an emergency fund, saving for travel, and owning a home.
From our research we created an affinity diagram and persona hypothesis to drive the design.
As the planning lead I created a sitemap and user flow diagram. We decided that all the summary information would be in three pages accessible by swiping left or right from the home screen. The most important summary information, the information that would be all the user needed 90% of the time, would be on the home screen.
With the research and planning phase complete our team met to sketch out and combine ideas with timeboxed design studios.
Our first test and iteration was done with a paper prototype. Insights from those tests were iterated upon in our wireframes.
These improvements were implemented first in a low-fidelity wireframe made in Sketch and an interactive mobile prototype in InVision.
Further iterations from the low-fidelity wireframe tests were incorporated into a high-fidelity mock-up.
As an example of our iterative process, below are four versions of the Talk to a Financial Advisor screen. We separated the user's advisors and indicated their availability, then included a customer service number, and gave customers an exit.
We created an app that is easy to use, straightforward, and stylish. The design utilizes visuals and common language to simplify a subject that could be intimidating, making the subject accessible to new investors. Users can easily add to their investment or make use of the gains they've made, and they can easily get in touch with their advisor with any questions they have.
To improve upon the features of the 2015 Bumbershoot app and the apps of their competitors, creating a better user experience for festival goers.
We created an app that users had no trouble navigating or completing the tasks they set out to do. We focused on the user and her goals throughout the process and we created an app that users could relate to and see themselves using at Bumbershoot.
This was a group project with three other teammates. We shared roles as peers and colleagues. I leaned more on the design aspect and the information architecture as those are the areas that I have the most depth of experience.
We did not have access to the festival’s previous app, so instead we based our research on other festival apps and the Bumbershoot website. We interviewed six individuals about their experiences at Bumbershoot and similar festivals and found that finding friends was a common concern, as well as keeping track of where and when the next shows were. From the data we collected we created an affinity diagram of common sentiments, and created a persona to base our design work on.
Card sorting was at the beginning of our planning process because it helped us to determine the structure of the app. I created a list of terms related to the app with input from my team and then used the online card sorting tool OptimalSort to help find the optimal site IA. We also did some in-person card sorts in guerrilla testing fashion.
From the results of the card sorts I designed an efficient sitemap and global nav for the app. From there my teammate expanded upon it creating a user flow diagram for the app. With the IA of the app laid out we then began to put pen and pencil to paper and design.
Some parts of the app were designed collaboratively, while in some parts individual team members took the lead. We all drafted homepage screens. My homepage design shared elements with others, and was adopted by the team without much alteration. I took the lead in designing the map, map screens, schedule/line-up screen, and artist page screens.
We did two rounds of usability testing of the app. The first utilized a paper prototype of the design. The second used a higher-fidelity clickable prototype made in Axure.
The paper prototype testing revealed some trouble with the filters icon on the map screen. A dropper was used as the filters icon which users clicked only as a last resort. That was changed to a hamburger menu in the second prototype made in Axure. Otherwise users were able to complete all the tasks they were prompted to complete without difficulty.
Another design flaw was revealed in the second round of testing in the map filters page. When filters were active they displayed a checkmark, when they weren’t they displayed an x. This confused users as to whether they were active or not. We decided to replace them with toggles, as you can see in the screens below.
Users had very little difficulty using the app, and they were all able to complete the tasks they set out to do. There were a couple of miner hindrances but with another iteration they should be smoothed out and we should have a really solid design.
To design a stand-alone website for Williams-Sonoma, where users can sign up for classes, view recipes, maintain a grocery and kitchen inventory, and connect with friends and family. I had two weeks to do background research, conduct user interviews, and produce a clickable wireframe prototype for usability testing.
To create a simple, easy-to-use website with a simple search, inspiring content, and a simple way of keeping a kitchen inventory. User testing showed that task completion was done with ease.
This was an individual project completed as part of a UX Design Immersive at General Assembly in Seattle. I was solely responsible for all research, design, and testing.
The research phase included a competitive analysis, heuristic evaluation of the Williams-Sonoma website, domain research, and organizational research. I conducted five user interviews with potential users. I collected a lot of data on their cooking habits and more specifically on how those cooking habits were carried into their time online. With this information I created an Affinity Diagram plotting out the most common themes and ideas, and that was the basis of the persona hypothesis I created: Donna Martin.
Donna wanted a website that was easy to use, simple to navigate, ingredients focused, and that was an inspiring environment. In planning the website I started by creating a simple and efficient sitemap, which was elaborated upon to create a user flow diagram.
With a sitemap and user flow planned out I did a lot of sketching to work out the layout, and then used Sketch to create wireframes. I aimed to keep the layout and interface simple and efficient.
The wireframes were loaded into InVision to create a clickable prototype for user testing.
Three users were tested in the first test. From the feedback I got I made some design changes and tested it again with another user. I also had a class sign-up user flow wired and tested on the second usability test. The second test went very smoothly without any issues.
Some users felt some confusion with the classes on the homepage in the first tests. They weren’t sure if “Herbs 101” was a class or an article on herbs.
To make it clearer that the three placeholders under “Classes” were classes I added brief class descriptions and moved the text to the top near the section header, visually tying them, and making the information hierarchy clearer. In later testing there was no confusion.
In the first iteration of the Recipes page a dialog box would display as a confirmation message when a recipe was saved. This unnecessarily interrupted the user’s flow while providing feedback that the recipe was saved. The interaction was revised to provide modeless feedback. The text of the save button simply changes to “Recipe Saved” and is greyed, confirming their action without interrupting their task.
At the end of the two week design sprint I designed and created a clickable wireframe prototype, which, now in its third iteration, has been tested by users who had no difficulty completing the key user flows. The goals of the design were to create a simple, easy-to-use website with a simple search, inspiring content, and a simple way of keeping a kitchen inventory for Donna. User testing shows that task completion was done with ease and users found the interface to be simple and elegant.
For this commission I was asked to create vintage style survival guide illustrations for Original Penguin’s Fall 2015 Collection look book.
Lucy Schwartz is an LA-based musician who's songs have been featured in film and television, including Twilight, Shrek, and Arrested Development. She said she loved my "wonderfully kooky" style and commisioned a mystical fox design to help promote her upcoming tour.
For several seasons I have created t-shirt graphics for Original Penguin's Mens Collection. They have given me a lot of creative freedom and some pretty wild prompts.
Inspired by the work of Albrecht Dürer. I chose to represent the knight as courageously facing inward in the presence of death and evil.