Design is the craft of giving form to ideas.

I am a strategic, Curious, and Pragmatic Design Leader. Over 20+ years I've learned to deliver through ambiguity at every scale from startups to global enterprises. My unique career path has pivoted between design, engineering, product management, thanks to an ownership mindset that drives me to make what's needed for our users. I always pivot back to design because of its unique power to amplify learning.

Recent Highlights

CV & Resumé

 


 

Design Leadership

A design leader is a human leader and functional expert who gives the business a competitive advantage by design.

A good leader achieves their purpose by serving others; be it your team, your peers, or your leadership. It is a privilege, and serious responsibility, to lead because it means other people are investing themselves in your purpose.

Team Leader

Bookstores have entire sections dedicated to leadership so I won't replicate that here. I find most of my inspiration in how I show up for my team by learning about Leadership Models in Nature

Orca, Lion, Bee

Functional Leader

As a functional expert I try to support these three pillars to create a healthy design practice:


Culture


Craft


Commerce

Culture

I believe culture can be designed by rewarding behavior that reinforces our values, intentional hiring, and clear performance management.

Supporting Elements

 

Craft

Making things that meet high quality standards requires learned skills applied in a repeatable process.

Supporting Elements

 

Commerce

Design is a business function built on creativity. The acts of research, ideation, and delivery are used to make an impact.

Supporting Elements

 

 

Principles & Tenets

 

 

The Design Process Is Storytelling

Good product design is good storytelling. I believe in using story structure as a rubric for evaluating design work. There is a classic story writing tool called the Story Spine that can be very useful to designers:

Once upon a time there was  ,
Every day  ,
One day  ,
Because of that  ,
Because of that  ,
Until finally  ,
And ever since that day  .

An effective design depends on character development, conflict, and resolution; just like a compelling story. We need to understand our users (characters), frame their problems with evidence (development), ideate broadly on solutions (resolve conflict), and prove those solutions through testing (resolution).

Once upon a time there was User,
Every day User Story,
One day Problem Discovery,
Because of that JTBD,
Because of that Solutions,
Until finally Solution Validation,
And ever since that day Outcomes.

The true value of the Story Spine is unlocked when you use it in tandem with other design processes. There are many wonderful design frameworks to guide the design process such as the Double Diamond, Honeycomb, or The Loop™. These frameworks help designers navigate from ambiguity to clarity through a prescribed sequence of activities. There are more similarities than differences between them.

Many musicians will tell you that the loudest note in music is the rest note. Fine artists step back and squint their eyes. Athletes build recovery into their training. These moments of inaction provide intentional contrast to their respective processes. I've always thought design frameworks could assist designers more with the critical thinking that happens at junctures between each phase. The Story Spine provides a rubric for evaluating the continuity and efficacy of the work at each of these steps.

As a design leader, I focus on bringing together the right people at these inflection points to collaborate on making sure the narrative of the design makes sense. If the story makes sense, the design invariably follows.