I am currently the User Experience Lead and Product Owner for Ontario.ca. I’ve worked for the Ontario Government for 11 years and worked as a freelance designer for 5 years for a total of more than 15 years of experience designing digital products.
Having led Ontario.ca through a relaunch in November 2012 with a new design and through a year of fast-paced new feature builds, I am open to new opportunities.
To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often. Winston Churchill
Translated agency designs into functional specs for existing content management system. Updated designs and functionality to comply with WCAG 2.0 AA accessibility.
Created a phased development plan to launch within extremely tight timelines with additional enhancements post-launch.
Converted desktop only design to mobile and led developers through implementation.
Focus on core content and functionality and progressively enhance
Rapid think, make, check cycles to build minimum viable products for testing
Considering people with varying abilities: physical, aural, visual and cognitive
One test result is worth one thousand expert opinions. Wernher von Braun
My design approach is inclusive, which means I start with the core experience and make it usable on all devices for all audiences (with physical disabilities, mental disabilities, technology limitations, etc.).
Designing mobile first involves considering users with smaller screens and less processing power first and then progressively enhancing the experience for users with larger screens and less constraints.
Combining mobile first with responsive is the only way to target all devices in a world where tablets and laptops are becoming smaller and smartphones and monitors are getting larger.
Complex information and services are often designed to suit internal organizational needs. In order to simplify them, I need to understand the core purpose and then I redesign them from scratch – rather than improving the existing experience.
Starting with what you have leads to only small improvements. To make big improvements, you need to start over.
Lean UX streamlines the traditional user experience process, with minimal documentation and faster development cycles. It allows me to test usability earlier on and validate which additional features are actually needed to support user needs.
I start by researching business and user needs, analyzing how the existing feature is used and thinking about how to transform the experience.
Next, I pull together a small team of designers and developers and we collaboratively decide what to build for the first iteration—what functionality can be built in a two week sprint. A wireframe sketch and notes on functionality in our wiki serve as the documentation.
Working closely with the developers throughout the process is important. Without detailed documentation, I need to be available for questions about the business needs and also usability, accessibility and design.
Iteration is critical to a successful digital product and improving the user experience. Waterfall UX processes only give you one chance to get it right. Lean UX lets you keep going until it is right—often within less overall time.