Historic design & development efforts
The navigation on this page drives to work I've done over my career, ranging from digital interface design, website development, branding, and fine art.
My role on these projects has typically involved research, design & development as relevant to the work itself. If clients were involved, in most cases I worked directly with them, while in the rest I was part of the production team and others interfaced with the client.
If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask.
A brief story of me
Anyone can simply review one's resume or LinkedIn profile to see what roles they've had, but it doesn't tell the whole story. Below are some key learning elements in my roles to date, wrapping up with thoughts on where I'm aiming to go.
- Majored in Illustration, with a minor in advertising design. Attending the Columbus College of Art & Design taught me how to think about design, and to a large degree how to go about tackling larger communication and problem solving challenges as well.
- Despite not having gone into commercial illustration nor joining an ad agency out of school, the skills I learned here allow me to adapt to challenging circumstances, to learn quickly and to be adept at applying past knowledge to new contexts.
- Minotaur Design
- Owner: Running my own business taught me the need for and value of keeping good records, networking, finding the right right balance in client communication and in making bold promises - then delivering on them. It also taught me that I don't enjoy bookkeeping, billing, or direct sales.
- Building long-term business relationships has been very rewarding, and small jobs (done well) have consistently rewarded me far beyond the scope of the actual project.
- Multimedia Designer: This was my first professional role after college, one that evolved into an 8-year career supporting B2C and B2B models in the automotive sales and marketing industry.
- Beyond the wide array of technical, creative and communication skills I picked up in this role, I learned how important it is to be open to learning new things regardless of how pertinent they may seem to your interests at the time.
- I also discovered that being willing to take big risks (moving across the country, leaving support networks behind) often pays huge dividends.
- Reynolds Web Solutions
- Web Designer / Art Director / Design Manager: This was a pivotal role, affording me the opportunity to take on leadership responsibilities. Learning to manage & lead a team of designers was incredibly challenging, forcing me to challenge many assumptions I'd formed about myself and my skills.
- Guiding a team of creatives draws on different skills than visual design - I had to build these new skills through trial and error, and by learning from leaders I respected.
- Guiding large corporate clients through an extensive projects as an art director required me to improve my communication and collaboration practices - and adapt to how appearances & language truly matter in forming business relationships and keeping them strong.
- Digital Media One
- Web Designer: I was able to acquire more client-facing time in this role, as well as taking an active role in company strategy.
- Once again I found that being open-minded towards tackling new kinds of work was the right way to go. I picked up storytelling skills, and gained video recording and editing experience which has proven valuable in subsequent situations, on the ground and in terms of forming commmunication & marketing strategies.
- Scripps Networks Interactive
- Web Designer (contract): Joining Scripps Networks Interactive had been a dream for several years, and I jumped at the opportunity to get my foot in the door. As a web designer I was able to do the job well while focusing on learning how an organization worked at an enterprise scale - identifying functional groups, their roles and leadership, and how to make things happen within the organization.
- Ad Operations Manager: Faced with the decision to return to full-time freelancing or take a leadership role in a division I had little experience with, I chose the latter. Growing and leading a team of semi-technical folks was part of this. Learning how each part of the company functioned to create world class content, get it in front of people and work with advertisers to monetize it was a fascinating exercise. Who to work with to stay in the loop and to make things happen was a must, and seeing the numbers side of things helped shed light on a number of strategies I'd wondered about in the past.
- This role had me working closely with editorial, engineering, and sales, leading naturally to a role in engineering where I was able to leverage many of the same relationships on the content side of the table.
- Front End Engineering Manager: I have always enjoyed learning how to actually build out the designs myself and others have envisioned, but leading a team of geographically dispursed front end developers was even more complex. Balancing my employees' career goals with the goals of the engineering team as a whole, the Scripps Networks food and shelter categories and the company as a whole was a full time job by itself - but one I felt was rewarding.
- Working closely with editorial and the visual and user experience designers, my engineering team and I made terrific progress in process improvement across intake, project management, quality control and overall production efficiency - while doing our best to keep the end user in mind rather than the advertisers alone.
- Software Developer: Due to a series of strategic and organizational changes, I moved from a software management role to that of developer. I had to rapidly learn OOP programming principles, specifically using JAVA, as well as getting up to speed with Adobe's enterprise CMS known as CQ, or Adobe Experience Manager.
- In this role i led the ad technology integration and customization allowing us to transition our decades-old ad tech platform over to the new CQ architecture across HGTV.com, HGTVRemodels.com, HGTVGardens.com and Frontdoor.com.
- This was a successful endeavor, however I do not find programming alone to be fulfilling, so I worked closely with my team to transfer my subject matter expertise to colleagues once I made the decision to return to the world of design with PerfectServe.
- Senior User Experience Designer: I've been heads down since October 2014 putting into practice the elements of user experience I've learned in recent years through reading books, chatting with experienced practicioners, attending and speaking at conferences and writing trade articles. It's one thing to learn new skills, and quite another to use them in a context and manner that is truly practical. User research and usability testing has been what I have enjoyed the most thus far, though it has been fun to get back into user interface and interaction design once more after years spent in more technical pursuits.
- The importantce of working directly with your users has been reinforced again and again for me in this role. Gaining insights directly from care teams within each department at the hospital is invaluable, and often results in vital findings that escaped initial rounds of research.
- I am looking for roles in which I am able to more consistently apply best practices to specific challenges, where I am able to help guide an organization towards greater understanding and implementation of user-centered design principles, and where I can build an appropriately sized & skilled team to tackle more sizable solutions - benefitting from multiple perspectives, skillsets and backgrounds.