I'm a helper. I build stuff and teach things that makes my coworkers' jobs easier. I make tedium give way to joy.

I'll build you ❖ Figma components that drive like little freakin' Miatas. Write pub. notes that make accepting changes easy.

I'll elevate onboarding, tool admin. & education, measuring UX's impact and efficiency, and ritual facilitation.

I can build self-serve findings repos. I'll craft handsome deck templates. I can measure UXR impact and efficiency gains.

I am
actively seeking
a
full-time role
where I can
work remotely
from
Washington, DC.

I handcrafted the Figma side of Gartner Digital Market's first ever multi-brand design system.

I led the architecture and construction of a Figma component library ecosystem comprised of 7 interconnected files. Our main design system crew was as lean as it gets: me and one engineer. Along the way we've had bursts of help from a QA analyst and other engineers to support our build of v1. Going from nothing to that first big release took us about 8 months. And of course the work doesn't stop there. We continue to make enhancements, like adding variables on the Figma side of the house, squash bugs, and improve our documentation.

Greatest challenges

  • Earning leadership's trust that the shared UI elements wouldn't mean sacrificing visual design fidelity of any of our four brands.
  • Developing processes and system guardrails that balanced 1) making progress with 2) ensuring designers felt included and in the driver's seat when it came to visual design.
  • Flexing with shifts in business priorities to ensure the system can serve the largest population of consumers possible.

What consumers are saying

"Instead of spending weeks on a design... I could spend days." - Ryan Weisser

See what I learnedWriting in progress...

I cranked our team onboarding experience up to eleven, helping new teammates get comfy and build confidence fast.

What was once a bulleted to-do list in a google doc has now become a feature-rich, highly personalizeable interactive checklist. Over the course of 2 years our team exploded from 2 researchers and a product designer to 6 researchers, 16 designers, and me. Now don't get me wrong, the onboaridng to-do list google doc my team gave me was great, but I knew we could take it to the next level. It was critical to me that we had a strong first impression with new teammates from day 1. I wanted the onboarding doc to help convey parts of our team culture, like always taking care of each other, and giving great attention to detail.

Onboarding doc features:

  • A master-checklist for new UXers: everything from filling out tax forms, compliance trainings, to pro tips for optimizing their tools and workstations, who they should meet (and in what order), and reviewing recent user research.
  • A workflow specifically for the new teammate's manager, buddy, and design ops partner (that's me) for quick and efficient personalization of the document for the new teammate.
  • A new-teammate workflow that guides them through their 86 checklist items at a steady pace, grouping and ordering items by importance and timeliness.
  • 30/60/90 day milestones for new teammates to reflect on and discuss in 1-1s with their manager.
Behold the glow upWriting in progress...

I home-brewed a research repo for our UXR team so they could better store, organize, and share their findings.

Our UX research team needed a way to let non-researchers browse through their growing collection of key findings and recommendations. Until our repo, this information was trapped in static presentation decks. Rather than everyone DMing our researchers for help digging up insights from past studies, we could make that experience entirely self-serve. This benefits everyone, including our researchers! They too need to reference past work. This repo became a bustling hub, seeing multiple visitors every single day. The top average session time on the "key findings" area of the repo is 14m!

I built this repo using Coda.io so we could have 100% control over the information architecture. By leveraging Coda's buttons, automations, and inline controls the doc took on an app-like feel.

Custom repo features:

  • Filterable findings and recommendations all with key metadata on display: author, date created, associated study, and a link to the original findings deck.
  • A "copy to clipboard" button so consumers could easily grab insights and use them in other tools like Confluence, Quantive, ProductBoard, Miro, etc.
  • A "my favorites" space for each user to save findings and recommendations for future reference. 94 insights have been saved by 9 unique users!
  • Data entry and auditing workflows for the research team.
  • "UXR by the numbers" dashboard, displaying data on the team's performance by quarter and year. E.g.: time spent listening to user feedback, count of findings and recommendations produced, studies completed, and count of participants met with.
Come back later for detailsWriting in progress...

🔥 Takes and tenents

🧰 Craftspeople deserve good tools.

Having to use crappy software that holds you back feels like throwing money and morale down the drain. My teammates and I deserve tools that make us feel in control, empowered, and beyond capable of doing our best work.

🧽 Digital hygiene = respect.

I don't name my layers, organize my canvases, and keep tidy pages and files for myself. I do it for my future self and my colleagues. I care about them. This is no different than keeping spare batteries and first-aid kits around the house.

🏔 Long games or bust.

Obsessing over numbers, especially the ones you can't control, is what you do when you lack creativity and heart. Not me. I know how to produce the thing you might know as "luck."

🔗 Public deep-linking for the win.

Tools like Slack can be a context-rich gold mine if used properly. I cross-link messages whenever possible, am thoughtful with keywords to aid with discoverability in search results, and I post in public channels over private ones whenever I can.

2️⃣ Good / Fast / Cheap.

They say you can only have two. I always reach for "good", or the most "good" I can get. After "good", I go for "cheap" because it sometimes comes with a surprise side of "fast" you weren't counting on (nice). I forgo speed because "fast" can come with hidden expenses.

🧩 "Puzzles" not "problems."

Framing things as "problems" can cause unneeded stress. I prefer to call them puzzles. Learning is better when I'm having fun.

🧰 An opinionated tool stack

Figma logo

Figma

How I get the most out of my license

Obviously it gets heavy use for creating and maintaining UI component libraries (check out my portfolio project on building a multi-brand library ecosystem), but it can be more than that: I also advocate for my teammates to create presentation decks using Figma.

Not just designers, but UX researchers too. The fact that you can embed Figma prototypes and create richly interactive elements gives you infintely more options for storytelling than something like Google Slides.

Why not Framer, Axure, or Sketch?

I haven't used Framer since 2018 and its evolved a lot since then. I see it less as a Figma alternative and more as a Webflow competitor with its publication capabilities.

Axure kicks ass and I'd be happy to use it. But it being more sophisticated makes for a higher learning curve, which can be hard to get a whole team on board with. However, if a team is wants to invest in robust prototype testing and can afford a few licenses, it's worth having in the stack.

Sketch's weaker implementation of auto layout and clunky multi-player experience are enough for me to discount it outright.

FigJam

How I get the most out of my license

Design crit, retrospectives, workshops, fun and games, and lo-fi goal and project planning are all activities I find FigJam is well suited to host.

FigJam content can be easily turned into structured data using the Coda Figma plugin. From Coda you can send that data almost anywhere else in your tool stack.

Why not Miro?

For a collaboration tool, Miro's board and user management experience has really disappointed me. What's worse is that once I'm in a board and jamming on something, I find it freezes up way more often than it should.

There's also not an analogous plugin between Coda and Miro like there is for Figma and FigJam. Not a deal breaker, but it creates info silos and I don't like that.

Coda

How I get the most out of my license

Oh how I wish I had tracked the amount of money I've saved my teams by building Coda docs that can do the same things a bunch of bespoke off the shelf SaaS apps do...

I've been enjoying Coda since 2019. I've built all kinds of docs:

  • UX Research findings and recommendations repository doc. Coda gave us total flexibility rather than using Dovetail's opinionated built-in solution. More details above.
  • Retrospective doc. Replacement for Retirum.
  • Figma component library publication history tracker doc. This fills gaps in Figma's analytics and gives us a "free" space to store design documentation. Take it for a drive!
  • UX team onboarding doc. See the portfolio project.
  • UX team culture doc. Where we get real about meeting culture, documenting lore and inside jokes, and other "insider" knowledge.
  • Name randomizer. No more "I can go nex—oh no, you go. Sorry. I didn't see you come off mu—oh fine fine, haha I'll go."
  • Tool stack best practices & tooling budget tracker doc. For every tool in our stack we allowed folks to write "articles" about how to get the most out of it. We could also link to external knowledge. The budget tracker helped me bring clarity to leadership about our license usage.
  • UX Research process and study timeline calculator. This calculator aided researchers in providing rough estimates to their stakeholders. It was especially appreciated by our greener researchers who were still getting a feel for the time and effort they needed per study.
Why not Notion, Airtable, or Confluence?

Notion's formula language, compared to Coda's, is very unintuitive and difficult to work with. Coda's formulas read more like English sentences, allowing folks to level up to "power user" faster and get more value out of the tool.

Airtable's constricted interface is too limiting, and so far their filters. When it comes to formulas, I found the same problem as Notion: learning curve was just too high.

Confluence doesn't let me work with structured data so it gets an automatic 👎.

Coda's pricing model remains one of the most realistic (and affordable) I've seen of any SaaS product in this space.

Could I be... *gasp*... the one?

See if we're a match