What I do
I have over 15 years of experience distilling complex challenges and translating them into clear, effective services and products that deliver business value. Whether it’s award-winning products for Harvard and MIT tech startups (Sonation, Smith Renaud), interactive presentations for Nobel Prize-winning scientists (Rockefeller University), research-driven improvements on college textbook apps (Pearson), or scalable content-syndication services for major publishers (Workman), I know how to build and lead effective and diverse teams of engineers, designers, writers, and marketers to create the great experiences that get the job done.
Where I stand
I am a UX strategist and product designer whose work makes it easier and more engaging for people to do what they are passionate about. I have helped companies and organizations increase retention and engagement, garner higher ratings, and boost word-of-mouth growth. I currently work on a special projects team at Pearson in Boston developing new products for life-long learning. I also worked on the UX and product teams at Pearson that designed digital textbook features and improvements that increased engagement and app store ratings.
At Sonation I led a team that re-designed a university laboratory application as a new mobile app for musicians that made singing and playing music more fun and engaging. The app, Cadenza, grew monthly active users over 800% in the first year and was selected by Apple as a “best new app” in the US and twenty other countries. Seeing the enthusiastic reception for the product, including an invitation to present it at Apple headquarters in Cupertino remains one of the most gratifying achievements in my career.
At Yale and Rockefeller Universities I got the science education I never had while collaborating with Nobel prize-winning scientists, writers, and visual designers to translate complex biomedical research into engaging stories for the general public. A really fun job I was honored to be a part of.
Earlier in my career I founded MIT AI Lab spin-off Smith Renaud, where I served as CEO, creating service products for syndicating content and advanced web solutions for some of the world’s pre-eminent cultural institutions, publishers, advertising agencies, and media companies, like Sony Classical, J Walter Thompson, Yo-Yo Ma, the American Museum of Natural History, Asia Society, and Workman Publishing. We were a great team on the cutting edge of Internet-based business models involving distributed, branded content (UPS package tracking, weather, cat calendars, etc.), web-based publishing services, and even crowd-sourced web content directories.
Works closely and effectively with stakeholders, designers, writers, engineers, and researchers
Leads products and features through concept, design, prototyping, refinement, development and deployment
Strong aesthetic sense of balance, clarity, and rhythm in visual design and time-based experiences
Strong verbal, written and visual presentation skills, including the ability to articulate rationales and advocate for great solutions
Visualizes, designs, and conceptualizes user experiences, including information hierarchy, process/user flows, concept sketches, annotated wireframes, interactive prototypes, high fidelity visual mockups, and optimized asset production
Knowledge of user-centered design methods, design thinking, and iterative product improvement
Strong communication skills and experience working in distributed, remote-first environments
Experience with SaaS/service development processes and high-cadence product development
Fosters positive and inclusive collaboration by hiring and managing bright, dedicated people who work well in cross-discipline environments
Comfortable with ambiguity, change, and the need for flexibility in a fast-paced environment
Designs interactions that are delightful, simple, elegant, and easy-to-use
Rapidly produces multiple concepts and prototypes; knowing when to make low-fi sketches and prototypes, and when to pay pixel-perfect attention to detail
Ability to adhere to and maintain design systems, including designing new, well crafted components that work well
Communicates and collaborates across teams in a remote working environment and clearly advocates for good, feasible solutions to stakeholders
Knowledge of Apple UI frameworks and their underlying technology, as well as all major design tools (see below)
InDesign/Zeplin/Abstract (Git for Sketch)
Miro, Mural, Omnigraffle
Apple Pro Applications: Final Cut Pro, Logic Pro
Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator