From physics and astronomy to sociology, and now user experience design, I have studied many things in my life. Now I strive to apply everything I have learned towards technology, whether I am creating new applications or reimagining old ones.
Some Fun Facts
I have hiked up to the highest point in Texas, Guadalupe Peak.
I can play the first movement of Moonlight Sonata on piano.
I know how to use a recurve bow and arrow.
I have skydived over the Palm Islands in Dubai.
My Journey So Far
Carnegie Mellon University
At CMU, I earned my Master of Human-Computer Interaction. The rigorous program taught me an enormous amount regarding the design process as well as soft skills like working with and leading a team, and hard skills like programming and using a variety of design & prototyping tools. The opportunity to work with brilliant peers from around the world was an invaluable experience that will stay with me the rest of my life.
As the sole designer, I was responsible for architecting the layout of information as well as designing interactions and visuals. The different facets of my job gave me the opportunity to work closely with developers, quality assurance, and the Chief Technical Officer. The CTO and I regularly discussed users’ needs to determine the most relevant and beneficial features, while developers, QA, and I work together to ensure the final product reflects the intended design.
My work at Solve4M included content strategy, but the bulk of my projects involved graphic design, creating marketing collateral geared towards prospective corporate partners. My contributions included redesigning Solve4M's logo and producing illustrations for a presentation template that showed what Solve4M does, how it works, and the benefits of sponsorship. While some graphics were informational, others served to reinforce the messaging on their respective slides. Devising unique concepts for each illustration broadened my capacity for lateral thinking and visual design.
Austin Community College
I went to ACC looking for a career that would capture my passion and drive. I wanted to pursue something that involved art and creativity as well as problem solving and deductive reasoning, criteria which UX Design met perfectly. Since beginning ACC’s program in Web & Interactive Design, I have been fascinated with the design and development of software.
In-Store Advantage Solutions
In 2012, I joined a company called In-Store Advantage Solutions, which sold DirecTV in retail stores like Best Buy. On a daily basis, I encountered situations requiring the ability to relate to customers, find their "pain points," and provide a better alternative. I learned that sales is about knowing people and understanding their motivations for acting. The sum of my experience with customers bolstered my ability to empathize with users, understand their needs, and make design decisions befitting their expectations.
As 1 of only 2 UX focused designers at Favor, most of my projects involved researching and designing for some of the biggest challenges facing the gig economy and on-demand delivery. For Runners, these included making the job easier and more efficient so they can earn more money. Customers wanted to order from their favorite places, good service, and a low price And merchant partners needed smooth integration with their existing operations. Each of these segments is complex with many facets, and all of them are inextricably connected. Any change to one segment affects the others. My experience at Favor has trained me to think in terms of design systems rather than isolated instances.
GozLab at UT Austin
The semester after graduating UT, I became a research assistant for a psychological study. The goal of this study was to understand how college students perceive their use of Facebook, compared to how they actually use the social media platform. My role involved collecting data for analysis, running participants through a survey and observing their Facebook timelines for a period of several months. The role exposed me to empirical practices similar to those used in product testing and usability research.
University of Texas at Austin
At UT, I studied sociology, learning about how groups of people think, act, and react based on various factors. Many of the sociological methods used in observing social structures can also be applied to the users of a product; in this way, I see UX design as a form of applied sociology.