Since 2012, I have been hard at work earning my MS in the Human Centered Design and Engineering (HCDE) program at the University of Washington. In that time, I have gotten many opportunities to do real research for real clients, such as Microsoft, Cheezburger, and the City of Sammamish. I have done everything from intensive contextual inquiries to comprehensive usability tests. I have studied various topics like the Theoretical Foundations of HCDE, Experimental Methods, and Empirical Traditions in HCDE to help me prepare for any situation.
Professionally, I have done a fair share of user research as well, helping clients better understand their customers by, for example, creating personas. I believe in a mixed methods approach, and that applies to my background as well. My BA is in mass communication, education and experience which I draw from any time I need to interview users or find research material for a literature review. It also helps whenever a client is looking for succinct written content.
For over a decade now I have been a designer. I still remember being a kid, tweaking the Windows XP GUI to make it more user-friendly and designing basic websites where I could talk about how much I love video games and giant robots. To be honest, I haven't really changed - I still really want to talk about giant robots. But I have gone on to develop corporate and personal webpages, designed logos, and even helped put together an iOS app or two.
My studies at the University of Washington have been critical in helping me develop visual skills. I have taken classes on Information Design and Visualization, Interaction Design, and Visual Media to get a better understanding of how to design. I am always mindful of users as well, which is why I also took classes like User-Centered Design and User-Centered Web Design. All of that has given me a lot of experience putting together prototypes and designs for the usual, like an app that helps people shop, and the unusual, like a motion-controlled kiosk for buying movie tickets.
I am someone who cares a lot about his entertainment and the idea of "turn your brain off" media bums me out. Art is made by passionate people and it should inspire a similar passion in anyone who consumes it. I started a blog, Mildly Pleased, as a place to write about the movies and TV shows I watch, the music I obsess over, the video games that suck away my free time, and anything else that strikes my fancy. That is also the home of the podcast I host, Top 10 Thursdays, in which a panel of experts and myself construct a top 10 list of something culturally-relevant every week.
There was a time when I thought I might be a filmmaker. I have been making movies since I was a kid, and I genuinely believe having the ability to put a video together competently is critical in the modern world. That is why I ran Linfield College's video club, Wildcat Productions, for three years and why I am still involved in independent film production today. I am someone who is comfortable on either side of the camera, as well as sitting at an editing bay.
Here's a downloadable version of my resume for your reference.