About

TL;DR

I'm a UI and interaction designer who can code enough to build my own projects and communicate/collaborate well with developers. I've been employed doing some form of web-based design since 1996. I've worked in a wide variety of industries including television, broadcast news, finance and currently healthcare. You can view my LinkedIn profile for all the gory details.

From the beginning

The beginning of my career was primarily editorial and content design, and I was lucky enough to see the primordial formation of content management systems happen in real time. For the last 16 years I've been working in the enterprise space, which is great for hard interaction design problems, and not always great for keeping one's front-end skills up to date.

I started back in the good old Web Dark Ages. In addition to be the era of garish, clunky animated gifs, it was also the era of "code your own designs". Of course it was much easier to learn then, but I'm thankful to have learned the basics early.

I love making websites and have always had little side projects. By 2010 most of them used Wordpress and my coding efforts were limited to poking at existing Wordpress themes. This was also when I started to drift away from keeping my front-end skills up to date. The kludgy era of floats, positioning and clears proved too much to hold my interest, and I turned my attention elsewhere.

A few years ago I started to notice flexbox and then grid. Building web sites suddenly felt fun again and I've been skilling up ever since.

Skills and approach

I'd categorize myself as generalist. My strongest skill is interaction design but I'm also strong in general UI design and information architecture. I'm relatively OK at research, and I enjoy it. I skew towards not great at typography, and I'm definitely not good at illustration, animation or graphic design. My dev skills are heavy on front of the front-end, with strong HTML and CSS and not-so-strong anything beyond simple DOM manipulation in Javascript.

My blurb about my day job is "creating complex task-based workflows" with all the requisite buzzwords (iterative, collaborative, balancing user needs with business objectives and implementation concerns... also all true). My process is somewhat messy, non-linear and conversation-based with prototypes shared early and updated often. Sometimes I'm roughing out ideas to get stakeholders on the same page and elicit requirements or features, and sometimes I'm validating a design or a technical approach, it really depends on the project and need.

I originally thought I'd make this more of a traditional portfolio site, but I rarely create traditional deliverables, unless you count stuff like this that's over 20 years old! And in my current role creating B2B enterprise applications it's not easy to figure out how to publicly share my work. Since I'm not actively looking for a job I'll deal with that if and when the time comes, but I would like to find ways to represent and share some of my day-job work. I'm currently thinking of writing a couple of articles, like one on how I prototype.

What else?

When I'm not fiddling with side projects I enjoy photography, I also studied it. My style is somewhat new topographics.

A typical photo from my current Flickr account
An example of what you can find at my current Flickr account.

For years I posted to Instagram, and still do on occasion. Prior to that I had a Fotolog account and then a Flickr account. I also made a photoblog using Moveable Type that I posted to from 2006-2008 that's still up today, although it's so out of date that I can't log in.

In the beginning of 2020 I thought I'd give Flickr another shot. I also started a Pixelfed account. I stopped posting as the pandemic picked up, but might start up again. Ultimately I'd like go full-on Indie Web and starting posting here, maybe using this. We'll see!

Now what?

The people I follow and find inspirational skew heavily towards craft over hustle, and like to share their process or what they've learned as a way to help others. It's a little reminiscent of the good old Web Dark Ages when everyone was trying to figure things out, and it's a pocket of the web I'm happy to have found.

I'm hoping to use this site to share my process and what I learn, or struggle to learn. I'm also hoping some of it will be useful to more than just me. Thanks for stopping by!