My process is outlined in this User Experience Portfolio.
Think Local is a theoretical service that alerts you when important local decisions are made. It encourages attending community meetings with friends and keeps you in the loop of local issues you care about.
Think Local is a digital product/service for improving civic engagement. The idea was sparked by the North Dakota pipeline incident. I reimagined what the scenario would be like for a Brooklyn neighborhood and how engaged citizens would congregate, educate themselves on the topic, and voice their concerns at city council meetings before it was too late. Research shows citizens, no matter how busy, can handle more engagement with local politics as long as they are provided a well-designed system to operate in and enjoy.
Please take a look at the InVision prototype
Presentation in PDF can be found here
I created illustrations, which were animated by Josiah Kruse, a developer at the Freelancers Union. To see it in action, go to "What is HIVES?" band at the bottom of the HIVES page.
Illustrations and art direction: myself
Front end engineering and animations: Josiah Kruse
Serving as visual and interaction designer on this project, I was excited to work with the technology team at Freelancers Union to redesign the website's user experience. Inspired by Google's material design aesthetic and service design principles for social innovation, we created an elegant and easy-to-use tool that independent workers can use to connect to one another, find work, and apply for benefits.
Excited to learn that the website I created the UX and Visual design for has been featured on Everycation's 100 Top Non Profit Websites of 2016.
Freelancers Union is a organization that advocates for independent workers and their education in their fields. This website is a great example of how to take a familiar interface, but keep it from being stale and boring.
Their use of angles is, although possibly over-ambitious, is just an example of the many ways to freshen up a less than original design. A lot of the images and icons on the site do a great job to illustrate the fun and spontaneous mood that the mission of the organization suggests.
This is a rebrand and campaign for the Direct Marketing Association's annual conference, &THEN.
See the "Small Style Guide for a BIG Event" Here
Our team at concepted several promotional campaigns for &THEN. These are: "It's like" ("Being a Marketer at &THEN is like being a music nerd in a record shop", "product" ("&THEN cures marketing dysfunction"), "great minds coming together at &THEN", and finally the "profile of a marketer/designer/leader" campaign (see examples).
These are multifaceted campaigns that target marketers who are interested in gaining new industry knowledge, finding their strengths, and being more creative in their area of expertise. “Marketing that doesn’t feel like marketing” is a humanizing approach that takes the “predictable” and “corporate” out of marketing.
The &THEN Conference website
Creative Director: Bemnet Yemesgen
Copywriter: Bill Zimmer
Font inspiration for the sketch: Macula, the Impossible Font
I was excited to participate in the Global Service Design Jam last year. I worked with an amazing team to create a theoretical service that would make it easier for those who are interested in helping Syrian refugees act on their intentions. It was fun and a great way to flex the creative muscle. We are working to make this project a reality.
The project our team at Global Service Jam prototyped is called Slact (though we think the name should change to something less tongue-in-cheek since this name trivializes donating from the comfort of the internet. We are thinking naming it NowYouCan). It is an widget that pulls in tasks or donation opportunities from IRC, UNICEF, Kiron University, and other organizations in Lebanon, Turkey, and Europe. This widget will be embedded after articles about Syria. Our research shows that people are most empathetic toward refugees after reading about them or watching a video.
We believe giving people several options for channeling their inclinations to help others would foster a sense of agency. a platform that tracks, visualizes, and rewards people's impact within their social network is the key to a sustainable donation practice.
Tasks pulled in for US users will be mainly monetary but the app/widget's features - it's transparency in how long tasks take and the 'view your impact' visualizations - will create delight in donating money.
For Lebanon, Europe, and Turkey tasks have an even bigger opportunity to be social.
- A school in Turkey can provide a workshop where kids can learn something new together from an equal playing field. The teachers from the school invite their friends to host workshop. It becomes an event where adults bond and network while providing value to the kids.
- For young adults in Universties, this could be bike trip that they would have been taking in cycling club but this time it's also with refugees their age.
- A group of Turkish students learning English has a club where they practice english. They invite refugees to this club and help them learn English too. This is mutually beneficial because everyone gets to practice skills while hanging out with friends.
Social network feature that rewards continual use
For those who donate only, there is an option to sign in, create an account, and connect with likeminded people in your area (location based social discussion board, feed, links with Facebook). Engagement builds is what our team found and people tend to help more when others can see and appreciate their efforts.
Sustainability model - "Karma"
The social network (mentioned above) that connects likeminded people will help sustain the practice of giving. In addition, we are considering partnering with organizations like Amazon. For every x number of dollars/points the platform user spends they can apply towards fulfilling their own needs.
For US users especially, it will be important to create mutually beneficial partnerships with news organizations that would want to feature the widget in the middle or at the end of their articles. Organizations under considerations are: Aljazeera, Huffington Post, and Washington Post.
- Readers have been asking how they can help (a friend of mine who works at New York Times mentioned that readers often write in to ask how they can help after reading one of your articles).
- The widget's "spread awareness" option would increase article shares and impressions.
A quick poster for an art collaboration, an Art and Music event in Baltimore following the police violence instigated riots in 2015.
"The message: #thisisbaltimore wants to show that Baltimore has a beautiful side" as well as provide a forum for discussion and an outlet for expression in light of current events.
#ThisIsBaltimore #BaltimoreUprising #PovertyIsViolence #DemilitarizeThePolice
While at Travel Channel I pioneered the in-house creation of mini sites, which were sent to TV critics in order to promote shows. This is my favorite out of many more I have created.
I am excited to collaborate with the University of Maryland's Language Science Center on a user experience project for Langscape.
Langscape is a portal that links an interactive map of the world’s 7000 languages to an ever-growing database of information about those languages. It aims to serve researchers, the public, educators, government, and NGOs. It is a unique resource for raising awareness of language diversity.
Developer: Paul England
Freelancers Union App connects freelancers to lawyers within their freelance community.
Freelancing is growing, especially in New York, and the infrastructure to support the new working class is not in place yet. Freelancers often lack legal protections that are in place for full time workers. This app helps fill this gap.
I was thrilled to work as a product designer with the team at Freelancers Union to create the user experience and visual design of this app. I admire the work they do to build a peer-to-peer network of independent professionals.
I used Sketch to create the design, Zeplin to communicate the designs to the software engineers, and InVision to share with the internal clients. The app was coded using React Native.
The look and feel of the app is in line with the Freelancers Union online style guide that I helped create the year before but slightly more toned down. While we still adhered to elements of Google's material design and used the brand's bright orange for UI in the app, the overall look is more minimal and the palette is lighter and earthier.
"Connecting freelancers to the relevant legal experts is a tremendous service to freelancers everywhere." -
- Damien Hughes, Google Play
Strategy: Freelancers Union team
Develoment: Chris Casebeer and Alex Zagorodniuk
Illustrations: Sveta Belaya and Kacia Ng
Tools: Sketch 3, Zeplin, Invision App
Branding and custom typography for Sodexo.
I was asked to create a logo for an Asian fusion "cafe". This was one of the logos I submitted for consideration. Ultimately Sodexo chose another name for the cafe and another logo design but I am happiest with this iteration. It was the most fun to make!
"The Service Design Jam is a weekend-long workshop held every year in late Feb/early March. The goal is to develop new services, including brainstorming, researching, prototyping, and sharing.
After revealing the Jam’s secret theme on Friday night, we’ll break into teams and start working. The challenge is to identify and understand a real-world need, ideate and prototype concepts, and deliver a solution by Sunday afternoon.
You will have an awesome time and connect with passionate people from your community, and from all over the globe. You will make cool prototypes and pieces of work like videos, customer journeys, service blueprints and more! You will experience how a structured innovation process can produce robust, concrete and human-centered results, in just one weekend.
This is a weekend for you to ask “Why” like a kid, dream big, forget convention, and just make stuff. So put your design thinking hat on, and let your creativity fly!"
A trans-disciplinary designer from Parsons pulled me into this projects when she was asked to create a resource for participants in the 2016 Service Design Jam by the local organizers. From her writeup:
We created a deck of methods cards operating under a few self imposed criteria.
Modularity: The methods work best when they're applied throughout the design process, but no two projects are the same, so selecting the right methods for the project is essential. We wanted to communicate that each method was its own moment, not just a step in a linear and automated process.
Interdependence: Each method was designed to build on the others, not operate in a conceptual vacuum.
Collaborative: We realize that under time constrained work situation team consensus can be a real obstacle to momentum. Each method was articulated with this in mind. Our aim was to both embrace natural leadership and maximize the benefits of a plurality of perspectives.
We're proud of the outcome and I continue to share these cards with anyone interested in teaching or learning service design.
You can download the cards here!
Font: Macula by Jacques Le Bailly
How often do we wish we could do something about ongoing injustices in our outdated and often corrupt systems? There is a group of activists doing important work in Baltimore. They are giving a voice to unheard communities. It was a pleasure to help them in this small way.
"OnBckgrnd.com is a space for those often unheard voices. It is a space where policy analysis, as well as conversations with experts and policymakers, is informed first and foremost by the perspectives traditional media mechanisms have often functioned to silence."