Designers rarely have a linear path. Here’s mine.
I started first in journalism. I worked in local television, wrote freelance articles for my local newspaper in upstate NY, and absolutely loved it. It was the perfect outlet to indulge in my deep-rooted need to understand what makes people tick and tell stories that mattered to my community.
After my time in news, I had stints in supply chain operations and B2B marketing, then moved to Chicago in 2013 to be part of the city’s quickly growing startup community. It was here where I got my first taste of user experience design. The ability to ask questions, dig into meaty problems, and help solve them? I was in. But even though the work was fun, I found that I still really missed the sense of civic duty I felt in journalism.
This desire to combine the two is what eventually brought me to my current role — a place where I can apply the inquiry and curiosity of design to problems faced by everyday citizens and public servants. I’ve worked on multiple projects across several federal agencies as an individual contributor and design lead. I currently consult on design leadership and strategy across several of our government projects while supporting three senior designers and one design manager’s growth as their supervisor.
While I can contribute across several areas of the design stack, my depth of expertise lies in content design, strategy, and research. Writing is how I got my entry into design, and is still one of my favorite parts of the work. I feel strongly that the words are the most important part of an interface and will forever be an advocate of plain language and content-first design. And when it comes to research, the curiosity that came with being a journalist back in the day never quite went away. I love to understand what makes people tick, how large systems unfurl behind the scenes, and how we can use what we learn to drive evidence-based decision-making.
In my free time, I can be found practicing guitar, cooking, reading a book, letting off steam on my Peloton, or playing with my puppy, Tito. I keep close to my journalism roots by supporting local non-profit news organizations such as City Bureau and Block Club Chicago – check ‘em out!