Early in my career, I had an experience that I’ll never forget. My company was kicking off an intranet project for a client who wanted to increase knowledge transfer and communication within their organization.
The main stakeholder came to our office for a meeting. En route to the conference room, we walked through our office’s lunch room. The client said “Wow, a lunch room, that's great!” And, at that moment, I wondered if instead of building an intranet, we should recommend that our client build a lunch room to foster casual interdepartmental communication.
We actually built an intranet, but the thought stuck with me. While I love (and specialize in) designing digital experiences, I’m the first to recommend simple solves that are low in scope, non-technical or unconventional. I LOVE that type of thing. If a note printed on a packing slip has the same impact on customer contact rates as an eng-intensive, technical solution...let’s do the former, right?
I am a cheerleader for my team. As a manager, I like to figure out what my team members do best and create situations where they can shine—and where they can learn and grow. When things get complicated or challenging, I am empathic and acknowledge the difficulty, but then work with my team to find a path forward. I can find the silver lining in any cloud.
I take my work really seriously and always think about what’s best for our customers, business, organization and UI/UX team. But that doesn’t mean that we can’t joke around, do craft projects and otherwise enjoy the time we spend working together. I thrive when my team is happy and productive.
In graduate school I learned about Operation Cat Drop, a (questionably truthful) story about the World Health Organization’s use of DDT to combat malaria in Borneo in the 1950s, which led to an ecosystem collapse.
The pesticide did its job by killing mosquitos and reducing malaria, but “...the insects that died from being poisoned by DDT were eaten by gecko lizards, which were then eaten by cats. The cats started to die, the rats flourished, and the people were threatened by outbreaks of two new serious diseases carried by the rats, sylvatic plague and typhus. To cope with these problems, which it had itself created, the World Health Organization had to parachute live cats into Borneo.”
There have been a few times in my career where seemingly simple solutions have escalated into a “parachuting cat” situation. Those are bad. So, I serve as an advocate for systems thinking, and love anticipating (and reacting to) the downstream-effects of seemingly simple changes.
When I’m not designing user experiences, I enjoy making things with my hands. I’ve been doing a lot of painting recently, but I also dabble in collage, piñata making, woodcarving, etc.
It's hard for me to communicate exactly how much I love love love arts & crafts, but this might put it into perspective: I live in a two bedroom house with my husband and dog, and the master bedroom is actually the craft room, featuring a 7-ft-tall arts & craft cabinet filled with supplies. Let’s say, for example, you were interested in making a custom piñata. Np, I have a Bay Area source for French crepe paper + scissors that are built to cut fringe. Or maybe you want to gold leaf something? Happy to help.