UX design, prototyping
Most of the projects I've worked on for the past couple years are confidential and I'm not able to talk about them in detail. But in an effort to communicate my experience I'll speak in general terms.
I've been working on the next evolution of Windows OS and how it adapts for new devices. Much of this has been incubation work that has yet to be delivered to customers. Device tailoring has helped me to think about an entire user experience, not just what's shown on-screen. This includes ergonomics, the user’s surrounding environment, and ability. Through partnering closely with hardware teams, I’ve had the opportunity to explore unique experiences that will change the way people use devices.
accessibility & inclusion
I've connected with experts across Microsoft to learn how I can integrate accessibility and inclusion into my day-to-day process. If an experience is primarily designed for touch input, I think about how it might work with voice, keyboard, or gaze. If it's catering to users with a fast WiFi connection, I look for how it might work for slow or no internet connectivity. My goal as a designer is to make experiences that fulfill a real user need, not just the users who are like me, but the users I don't yet understand and want to learn more about.
My background as a front-end developer has armed me with prototyping skills that I leverage heavily to bring designs to life. The purpose of the prototypes I build range from simply making static designs interactive, to creating something to send to a user study. My background also helps to bridge the gap between design and engineering. I’m able to advocate for the user in conversations across disciplines while keeping in mind the design vision and engineering cost.
One of my favorite things about the design process is doing an exhaustive exploration of possible solutions to a user problem and pushing the limits of my initial assumptions. I learned in art school that the first twenty ideas are merely a vehicle for getting to the great ideas, which lie beyond the low-hanging fruit. Although my goal is to develop a clear and decisive stance on a design solution, having alternatives in my back pocket has been key when met with the reality of engineering constraints or push-back from partners. I thrive on complex problem-solving and find that I can be my most creative when things don’t go according to plan. I aim to create designs that can adapt for changing requirements or grow progressively over time.
I’ve always enjoyed horizontal projects that bring cohesion to a complex set of parts. A good design system is flexible and can respond to changing variables while still appearing part of a family. I look for inconsistencies and opportunities to align, ever-mindful of Microsoft’s shared design language. Before reinventing the wheel, I consider similar experiences our users may be engaged with or reach out to other teams at the company to learn about their approach. I look for how the features I’m designing can fold into the larger whole and take advantage of existing building blocks. I take my designs far beyond the best-case scenario and make sure to stress test them for many factors such as language, screen resolution, device orientation, error cases, or user personalization.