I was born and raised in Germany until age 29. My father is american and served in the US Military. He met my mother overseas and decided to stay.
The unique perspective I bring to your business is based on the lens through which I see the world: because I'm a mix of very disparate cultures, I have a natural ability to connect subjects that other designers aren't able to connect as easily. This leads to seeing opportunities that would stay undiscovered if you worked with someone who does not have this perspective.
I graduated with a Master's Degree in Human Computer Interaction. Over the last decade, I've been applying human centered design principles to ever larger projects. I've worked in all aspects of the design process at some point: frontend dev, engineering, visual design, prototyping/interaction/UX, product.
Core Strengths (natural gifts I further developed):
- UX Strategy, aka "What's the problem diagnosis, what's the guiding policy, and what are concrete steps for action"
- Interaction design, aka "How should the site behave when people click on things"
- Presenting / teaching / speaking, aka "how to present ideas in a way that it really hits home for the audience"
Strengths (skills I acquired)
- Visual design, aka "How do we make this site look really hot"
- UX Research, aka "Gather qualitative and quantitative data about what people do and want"
- Marketing, aka "How do we make more people aware of what we have to offer"
- Content Strategy, aka "How do we get the right content to the right person at the right time in the right context"
What I can't do:
- Coding/Programming/Development, aka "Write custom modules for your WordPress site".
- Production, aka " We need this image changed / there's a typo / we need to update this block of text"
My Design Principles
I've noticed that a few big principles guide all of my design projects:
Start with the people first
The first thing I do on any project, is get a clear idea of the people we're serving. There's many techniques to do this, but what it boils down to is to either ask them, or watch them. Watching people interact with a product I'm tasked with working on, gives me insights that people may not be conciously aware of. I firmly believe that if you focus on serving the people first, your business goals will be met.
Co-create with the business partners
I like to involve all the key people in a project early, and get information and feedback often. Modern design, in my view, isn't King Designer pulling grand ideas out of the ether. Design is more like a puzzle that we are all trying to solve together, and the designer facilitates and synthesizes the information into a potential vision.
Build interactive prototypes ASAP
Designers have lots of tools to understand what the problem is and who the people are that we're serving. But in my experience, the only thing that non-designers really understand, is a prototype. As soon as you show them a prototype, and people see it, you get the feedback you really need.
Stay in the lowest possible fidelity, for as long as possible
What this means is that I keep my prototypes very very basic, for as long as possible. They often look like this:
At this stage, I'm not trying to win design awards, just nailing down the basic structure and flow. And these prototypes are so fast and easy to build, that we can make adjustmens very often, which in the long run, leads to faster results -- even though for a while, it seems like I'm moving slowly, because there's no pretty visuals.