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Independent Consultant - UX Research & Product Strategy / March 2017 - present
I help companies uncover latent and unmet customer needs through ethnographic research studies, translating insights into opportunity areas balancing customer needs, competitive landscape, and team capabilities, translated into strategic roadmaps for staged growth.
I am an expert in applying human-centered design methodologies to help companies get to tangible products and services that have deep resonance with customers. I help teams get to the best ideas faster, validating concepts with target customers and reducing risk by translating customer insights into informed design criteria that guide product strategy. With any project, I focus on understanding each client’s unique perspective, balancing speed with rigor, and blending strategy with adaptability.
Past clients: WeightWatchers, NBCU, The Sundance Institute.
// Methodologies //
Problem framing, need analysis, ethnographic research, interview discussion guides, interviewing, observations, intercepts, shadowing, data synthesis & analysis, insight definition, experience mapping, stakeholder mapping, brainstorming/ideation, compelling storytelling, low-fidelity prototyping for testing, concept development, UX audits & analysis.
Independent Design Thinking Workshop Facilitator / January 2011 - present
As a facilitator and coach, I help clients learn Design Thinking principles and methodologies through immersive, hands-on, and collaborative workshops.
I’ve facilitated for multidisciplinary teams across sectors, within the Stanford d.school, Capital One, and numerous corporations and startups while building Pivotal Labs’ LA office (such as CoreLogic, NBCU, Perforce, Grindr).
Built a Product practice founded on human-centered design • Grew a team of Product Managers and Product Designers • Established agile teams across 3 business units (eCommerce, Fulfillment, Foundation) • Managed the software product development roadmap across the organization
Pivotal Labs, Associate Director & Head of Design / January 2015 - June 2016
Ensured clients & Pivots felt they are adding value & having fun doing it • Co-led Santa Monica office growth from 15 to 50 employees from Q1-Q4 in 2015 • Hired & enable a growing team of 8+ designers • Redesigned Product Design hiring process to rapidly grow team with the right people • Teaching other LA leadership design process, how to sell it, & how to work with designers • Evolving integrated process across Product Design, Product Management, Engineering & Data Science to enable agile process & deliver software
Pivotal Labs, Design Manager / June 2014 - December 2014
Practicing Designer & founding Design Manager of the Los Angeles office • Managed small team of designers, expanding & depending their skill sets • Established a Design practice and process rooted in UX Research and Design • Defined and developed a new product offering, Discovery + Framing, getting clients to product market fit faster & allowing Pivotal to take on earlier stage clients than previously able
Pivotal Labs, Freelance UX Designer / March 2014 - May 2014
Trained & led team of Pivots & clients through Discovery + Framing process • Taught Discovery + Framing best practices to San Francisco Design team • Defined & developed MVP for Perforce Helix, scalable & secure version control software.
Defined the product roadmap with engineering and community teams to translate user needs into product features. Led team through app beta and initial product launch, focused on user acquisition and retention by growing an engaged community of food lovers sharing their stories via the Tastemade iPhone app.
Culture Kitchen Inc, Co-founder & Chief Operating Officer / May 2011 - January 2013
Led ethnographic research that defined need space & 2 product lines • Led product development, user research & operations for product lines • Developed 8 products in 8 months shipping to 40+ states • Designed company website & all print marketing materials • Raised $100K+ in funding from 500 Startups, The Designers Fund & Angel Investor • Featured in Fast Company, Techcrunch, NPR, Business Insider, Daily Candy, Tasting Table & more
D-Rev: Design Revolution, Product Design Lead / June 2010 - August 2010
Led field research throughout Indian Public & Private hospitals for Brilliance, low-cost phototherapy device treating neonatal jaundice • Developed device form & refined design for manufacture from manufacturing partner’s Chennai facilities • Main on-site liaison with Indian manufacturing partner • Launched third quarter 2012 & 13,000+ babies treated and 260+ newborn death averted (updated 12/2013).
David H. Liu Lecture Series in Design at Stanford, Co-Coordinator / Spring 2010 - 2011
Planned & coordinated lecture series hosting design leaders Jeanne Gang, Neri Oxman, Jane Fulton-Suri, Valerie Casey, Gadi Amit, Robert Brunner, & Dan Harden • Increased lectures attendance & created intimate dinners for speakers & design graduate students
Numark Industries, Designer + Project Manager / January 2008 - July 2009
Developed new & refined existing outdoor furniture collections & accessories for external clients & Numark brand, selling over 300K units • Main clients: Target, Lowe’s, Sears, KMart. Managed project time line, client interactions & prototyping production for projects
Radius Product Development, Industrial Designer / August 2006 - December 2007
Worked with interdisciplinary team on product improvements & new product offerings within the consumer & medical industries • Main clients: Copco - Rick Bayless, Sure, SCJ, Kimberly-Clark, Mead. Developed products with lean design research techniques, facilitated brainstorming sessions, sketching, prototyping & rendering • Developed & maintained Color, Material and Finishes Library.
Pactiv Corporation, Product Researcher + Designer / April 2005 - August 2006
Researcher - Managed, planned, conducted, & analyzed qualitative research through ethnographic observations & interviews identifying insights to guide product development for The Hefty Brand.
Designer - Developed new & existing products identified from research by facilitating brainstorming sessions, sketching, prototyping, & computer rendering & modeling for Food Service clients.
McMaster-Carr Supply Company, Parcel Packing Supervisor / September 2004 - May 2005
Co-coordinated, developed, & led 50 warehouse employees in packing operations • Analyzed workflow to determine best practices & methods, increasing productivity and efficiency
Stanford University - MFA in Product Design - June 2011 - GPA 4.0
Carnegie Mellon University - BFA in Industrial Design, Minor Photography and Digital Imaging - May 2004 - GPA 3.6 University Honors
Central St. Martins College of Art & Design - BA Honors Product Design - Fall Semester Abroad 2002
DESIGN. Organizational Change, Design Thinking Workshop Facilitation, Ethnographic & Contextual Research, Usability Testing, Shadowing, Design Thinking, Brainstorm Practice & Facilitation, Research Study Planning & Facilitation, Focus Group Moderation, Video Compilations, Story Boarding
SOFTWARE. Adobe Creative Suite, Final Cut Pro, iMovie, Keynote, PowerPoint, Excel, Wordpress, SolidWorks, Catia
PRODUCTION. Wireframing, Sketching, Rapid Prototyping, Rendering, Wood Working, Metal Casting, Sewing, Sculpture, Black & White + Color Photography
SPEAKING, AWARDS & ACTIVITIES
Telstra Media Partners Roundtable: Speaker - Sundance.org Redesign case study & Pivotal Process
Hawaii Food & Wine Festival: Speaker - Battle of the Food Geeks, Pitching Culture Kitchen
Food Design, IDSA Duncan Anderson Lecture Series: Speaker - Design, Food & Entrepreneurship
Women2.0 Founder’s Friday SV: Speaker & Co-host - Culture Kitchen’s Story & Female Entrepreneurship
The New Food Chain, Investing in Food Startups: Speaker - Food Startup Trends: Tech & In-Person Experiences Growth
BASES Social-E Business Plan Competition - 2nd Place $5K award, Stanford University
Omnivore Books Cookie Competition - 2nd Place, Salted Triple Chocolate Peanut Butter
US Patent 7,708,110: Inventor - Bandless Hearing Protection Device & Method
Industrial Designer’s Society of America: Member - Professional Member of Chicago Chapter
Carnegie Mellon University Swim Team: Member - Competed at Conference, Set 400YD Freestyle Relay Record / 2000-01