I began pursuing digital design as a hobby. This hobby lead to web design and development, initially doing freelance projects while completing a Master’s degree in English Literature. One such project lead to a full-time position at McGeary & Associates, a Connecticut-based electronic publishing company, and to the beginning of my career in digital design.
A few years later, I moved to Las Vegas, Nevada and began working at Electronic Arts Westwood Studios where I picked up Flash and ActionScript and first caught the bug for interface and interaction design. When EA decided to shutter Westwood and relocate its talent to California, I instead moved to MGM MIRAGE, first working as a digital designer in what was predominantly a print design shop. The demand for digital design from the MGM MIRAGE properties (Bellagio, MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay, TI, among others) grew dramatically and I was charged with hiring additional talent for my team. Within a short time my team became its own department and I was given the title of Director of Electronic Design and we provided the properties with mini-sites for concerts and tournament, digital assets and animation for screen displays on the gaming floor, lounges and nightclubs, and even a number of restaurants. It was also during this time that I began conducting customer research and usability studies.
Eventually it was time to leave Las Vegas and settle in Denver, Colorado where I took a position at EffectiveUI, the UX agency now rebranded Ogilvy. There I worked as a Production Designer and Lead Experience Architect, creating wireframes, comps, and prototypes. In addition, I conducted user research and usability testing throughout the U.S. as well as in Europe and Asia.
After six years, I wanted to develop an experience that I could own for a longer duration. I wanted to see the effect of my design and be able to iterate on it. eBags presented me with just such an opportunity. I recreated their mobile experience, moved them from a five page checkout funnel to a single page, oversaw a third party’s creation of our mobile app and, finding considerable friction points in it, took ownership of the project and redesigned it for its v03 release.