Coming from a background in product design and evaluation, I’ve come to appreciate the intersection of good design and human behavior. Which is really just a fancy way of saying, “how people use the stuff around them.” I’ve found that in order to create something functional, interesting, and actually valuable for your audience (whether it’s a website or a physical gadget), it’s crucial to take the time to understand both what they want AND what they need.
When it comes to helping organizations tell their story online, I draw on my extensive work in the nonprofit sector to anticipate what will connect with their audiences. My role in working with mission-driven clients boils down to identifying and developing the most effective tools to connect with their stakeholders.
The job is twofold: finding ways to present an organization’s work in a compelling way while also handling all the nitty-gritty logistical details. I work at transforming good ideas into a system that actually lets a visitor do something – like learn about programming, sign up as a volunteer, or easily navigate the online donation process.
My nonprofit work has spanned a wide range of roles – as a staff member within an organization, as an outside consultant to foundations and nonprofits, as a volunteer, and as a board member. I also dabbled in the dark arts of advertising during my early work in the publishing world, which turned out to be a tremendously valuable experience when it comes to marketing and communications work with any type of organization.
Prior to my web development role, I graduated from Emory University with a degree in international studies and environmental science, and I worked on staff at organizations including the National Wildlife Foundation and Columbia University. I spent two years in the aforementioned advertising role, before transitioning into product design and testing with a major online publication.
After living for several years in Atlanta and Los Angeles, I’m currently based in New York City. NYC makes a great home base for traveling, which is one of my big loves along with sports, cooking, and music. I’m also working on developing my woodworking skills, which requires a true sense of how people use items, and how to create something that merges style and function – so it’s actually quite a lot like web design. But much dustier.