About Me

I'm not that interesting. You'll see.

Hailing from tropical Northeast Ohio, I currently work at Vitamix as the manager of the Experience Design and Business Intelligence team. I previously worked for Within3 as a User Experience Designer focused primarily on the company’s mobile offerings. Before that, I worked at Sideways doing Front End Development, where we built apps targeted for iPhones and iPads. Prior to Sideways, I was contracted to do Front End Development at the Cleveland Clinic in their Interactive Marketing department, focused on the main website and microsites.

Evangelism

A couple of friends and I co-founded an annual Web Design and Development conference in Cleveland called Rustbelt Refresh.

I was a Core Team member of what was once the Cleveland Web Standards Association (now defunct). We actively evangelized web standards and gathered often to share best practices.

Core Beliefs

I believe that whatever is offered on the web needs to be as user friendly as possible. I don’t think it should be limited to techies. What once drew me to the web is not as easily found as it once was. So much of the web has become "big business" so that tracking your every move has taken precedence over simply sharing what can be offered. I have nothing for sale, so I have no need to follow you around the internet, placing ads in front of you to force you back to this site. Come and go at your own choosing. I don't have the energy to beg you to find this site essential to your lifestyle...because it probably isn't.

I care about sites and apps being designed using best practices in web standards. I also care that designs are usable on various devices. My aim is to be as inclusive as possible, knowing that I have blindspots and biases I need to overcome to continue to improve in this area.

Philosophy

My most recent experience has allowed me to lead 5 distinct disciplines: user experience design, interaction design, front end development, email marketing, and business intelligence. Coming up the ranks as a Front End Developer is not the standard path of someone managing a user experience/business intelligence team, but empathy for users and the desire to find the best solutions to serve their needs has always been important to me. I advocate for accessibility and attention to performance impacts as part of the design solution.

I'm passionate about planning modular systems employing a responsive front-end coupled with an adaptive back-end architecture to deliver the right content in the right context. I'm a fan of Progressive Enhancement. I am not a Javascript hater, but I am not in favor of CSS-in-JS, so you know what camp I am in. I endorse allowing the most fault tolerant portions of the web stack to do what they do best: avoid service interruption, allowing users to access the content, products, or services they came for, while layering in pleasing details making the experience feel effortless. I'm also a believer in the "content out" design approach.

I have a strong point of view. I like coding standards and guiding principles, but without being so rigid as to avoid compromise. I see all ideas along the project life cycle as a series of trade-offs. Design solutions that strive for performance wins can still deliver memorable experiences. The challenging (and fun) part of working on the web is figuring out how to provide an enjoyable experience, with very little overhead.

Working Principles

Unabashedly stolen from Jared Spool.