Visual clarity and conceptual engagement, these two criteria remain the focus of all my UI designs. A first time user to any interactive experience enters an unfamiliar world. A good UI should appear approachable and bear some sense of familiarity. Order, scale, relationships between elements ought to fit together as naturally and transparently as a set of bricks.
When starting on a new UI I tend to look for a some physical materials to inform the design.
Glass, bubbles of soap, steel girder, wood, or paper. The idea here is to define a set of laws that dictate the behaviors of an interface. It is of-course this kind of design thinking that comprehensive UI systems like Google’s ‘Material Design’ are based upon.
This sort of process led me to develop a UI that accentuated the underlying grids of a page layout for The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum's site. The elements are strictly confined on the page in a manner suggestive of the particular subject matter the sought to address.
As visitors to the physical museum are invited to follow the paths of certain individuals through the events of the Holocaust so too would the site invite people to look through a selected set of persons profile pages to learn about their particular fates. A kind of hybrid social network page calling out profiles from the past.
Design for mobile devices like the iPhone captivated me with the heightened intimacy a user can have with the medium. The smartphone has a tremendous transformative effect on a user’s immediate space enabling them to carry a piece of their personal world with them everywhere. My very first foray came in the form of an in car iPhone app for General Motors simply called Car Mode <insert car mode promo vid>. Envisaged as near hands free interface with dictation and voice control, Car Mode required crafting a very simple and intuitive UI. The final design emerged from an iterative design study exploring familiar physical interfaces and specular materials like elevator panels. Ultimately GMs partnership with On Star led to the plug being pulled on our app. We had developed a very unique for 2010, fully functional prototype to beta...
We did get the opportunity to present other concepts to GM including Schoolrun, a dispatcher app that would allow parents to organize and run a school carpool. Eager to explore the boundaries of UI design for the emerging mobile space I developed a concept with a playful cartoon style interface. << insert School Run screens >> Current mobile trends have tended away from such skeuomorphic patterns and toward relatively flat forms. As the novelty of the mobile space dissipated I came to appreciate the emerging desire for more straightforward interfaces that just work without the added embellishment. User’s acquire certain expectations of their devices, normative patterns take over. My work in the mobile space in more recent years has progressed with those norms in mind, examples here by the augmented reality promotional app developed for Heineken << Star App>> and a video editing UI designed for German startup Cast A Clip <<Insert Cast a Clip screens>>
In 2009 I found myself teamed up with UX designers, mobile developers and solution’s architects, all of us tasked with the developing and bringing to market a range of mobile products for GM. Developing what was for the time a unique product concept was far more captivating than the tried and true microsite that so much advertising work of the time focused on. Be it digital or physical a successful product must answer an existing need in order to succeed, rather than creating an apparent need as is the goal of most advertising.
Over the past 3 years of my career the Product Design has shifted to the forefront of my professional disciplines. Working at Lifion I find myself side by side with product owners to develop new products within the Micro Services Architecture that the company adheres to. In this way I have helped define and develop products for the effective dating of records in HR systems and received a patent in the process. I have also led a cross team effort to design a directory of company associates that can be reconfigured to the needs of a regular employee, a manager seeking greater visibility of their team, and a human resources practitioner that may be tasked with administering benefits adjustments for one group of associates and then switch lenses and audit time-off balances for another group.
User Experience Design
Starting in 2008 I transitioned from print to interactive design and found myself working with UX designers for the first time in my career.
I was first exposed to User Experience design while executing my responsibilities as a visual designer and art director in the advertising world. At the time this was a discipline that ran parallel to design and didn’t necessarily overlap. It quickly became my practice to establish a more collaborative relationship with UX designers on any projects I was a part of. I immediately found the relationship to be very rewarding. Incorporating best practices into my designs, debating the virtues and downsides of different user flows with UX designers and incorporating usability benchmarks into my visual designs appeared to improve both the functionality and the style of digital products I worked on. the marketing world UX means setting certain traps for users while helping them avoid others. In 2014 I found that the sort of interactive work that was available to me in the realm of advertising had grown stale and dissatisfying. Marketting is a templated business with seemingly new platforms needing to be brought into the market every quarter. I realized that developing a comprehensive product required more time and a different business model. An opportunity to join a company starting on the creation of a whole new product for the HR space presented itself and I retired my Art Director garb for that if anUX designer. New challenges awaited me. An unstructured startup environment demands a very different approach to get one’s work noticed and valued. Every opportunity to make an impact with the entire UX team.
Of all the visual disciplines I pursue, this one is a strong favorite although it’s true nature continues to perplex and elude me. Capturing a still or moving image is a conscious act, it is the projection of my personal character into the world as I am obviously trying to capture what my eye sees and how it sees.