Driven by my father's overwhelming frustration when trying to set his VCR timer, I earned my Master's degree in Human-Computer Interaction from DePaul University in Chicago. My undergraduate degree is in Speech Communication from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. I've since shown my father Donald Norman's "The Design of Everyday Things" to let him know he's not alone in his frustrations with technology and design.
I believe in open and iterative collaboration across all appropriate stakeholder teams. I live by the two tenets of user-centered design:
I believe that UX design is inexorably tied to business strategy. A company needs to have a solid strategy before viable design solutions can be provided. (See Playing to Win: How Strategy Really Works.) All design solutions roll up to the company's business goals.
When given a project I start with problem analysis. Before you can design anything you have to know what design problem you're trying to solve. One of the best qualities a user experience practitioner can have is to ask the right questions. If you're uncomfortable having every aspect of your project over-analyzed and peppered with questions, you probably won't enjoy working with me.
Some of the questions I ask include:
Once I've identified the problem, I identify sources of user information that can create criteria for selecting design solutions. These sources include:
At its core, user experience design is just an elegant way of communicating information. Identifying the necessary data points to solve your design problem reveals the crucial pieces to form your information architecture. Rough sketches on paper typically serve well at this point to begin visualizing designs.
Those rough sketches get created in Sketch, and the Sketch files linked to an InVision prototype for the team to review and comment. After meeting with the team on the comments, I make revisions and invite comments again. Before I get through too many rounds of iterations I like to get the dev team involved to make sure we're not designing something technically impossible. Rapid user testing can be used to elicit feedback about the designs as well.
Elegant designs aren't just created; a collaborative design process allows for the solution to a design problem to evolve.
I began playing percussion in grade school. I learned that there are 26 standard rudiments in percussion. Those rudiments can be used as the basis for technique and style. The ratamacue is but one of those rudiments. It is with this grounded approach that Ratamacue Design is founded.