My first graphic arts experience? Talking Coloring Book on the Amiga 1000! Although, I didn't launch my design career until 2001 in high school when a local guitar shop owner gave me my first set of strings in exchange for a gem of a site built with Netscape Composer. I've been building the web ever since (as well as rocking out sweet jams).
At the Columbus College of Art and Design, I was trained in advertising, graphic design, digital illustration, photography, copywriting, project management, creative direction, brand strategy, all of which took my web work to a whole new level.
I started as a designer with People To My Site in the Summer of '06 and for over five years worked on print design, web application design/development, brand strategies, and wrestling Internet Explorer 6 like some Sisyphean arch-foe. My work for Highlights for Children, Inc. and Zaner-Bloser have given me more intimate experience with online brand strategy and user interface design.
The most valuable thing I've learned through the years is to pay attention to the bottom line. When users encounter a jumble of frustration that comes between them and the product they're trying to buy, it affects the bottom line. When you can effortlessly sell someone on a digital product because the buyer effortlessly understands what she's interacting with, and how it will improve her life, that clean design just boosted the bottom line. When stakeholders trust UI experts to make executive decisions on the creative direction of apps, avoiding needless hours spent in meetings, it affects the development department's bottom line. "No one cares whether the button is blue or green. Leave it blue. I just saved you ten man-hours and fifteen e-mails. Next item on the agenda?"
I have loved watching UI conventions evolve with the community's experience with digital devices, and watching business problems evolve with society's changing needs and expectations. In 2014, I'm glad to have a reliable set of conventions to compliment my expertise and passion for streamlining and enriching users' experience on the web.
I am ALL ABOUT better user experience, and I mean that both specifically to digital design and broadly/philosophically speaking.