Making the world more useful, usable, desirable, valuable, findable, accessible, and credible, one project at a time. Making the world more useful, usable, desirable, valuable, findable, accessible, and credible, one project at a time.

A Look into My Approach

With my love for psychology, a passion for design, and a desire for solving problems, I have spent my entire 20+year career building a toolkit of various skills to help make the world more usable, one project at a time.

While most people focus on one area of User Research, User Experience (UX) Design, or User Interface (UI) Development, I have taken on various contracts to learn as much about everything I can to provide the most efficient and effective, end-to-end solutions.

Using my comprehensive knowledge and extensive, hands-on experience across all 3 disciplines, I have developed a streamlined process of generating insights from targeted user types or Personas, converting them into innovative and feasible design solutions, as interactive and responsive HTML prototypes, testing with end users, revising and re-testing, all before handing off the same code that can be directly implemented in the final build.

My process eliminates the costly gaps too commonly found in handoffs between researchers, designers, and developers; maximizing efficiencies, saving countless hours of time in clarification meetings, development re-work and millions of dollars in wasted spending.

User Research, User Experience (UX) Designs & User Interface (UI) Highlights

  • Created and implemented various Introduction to Human-Centered Design (HCD) presentations and workshops using a hands-on approach to learning each phase of the HCD process with the goal of inspiring everyone to be advocates for the end users; received overwhelmingly positive feedback.
  • Compiled one of the largest sources of curated user research methods, books, articles, templates, examples and micro-learning videos from around the globe as an interactive library that I utilize on every project.
  • Conducted User Research to gain empathy and understand the root cause of the problems to create innovative solutions for multiple multi-million dollar projects at CareFirst Blue Cross Blue Shield, T Rowe Price, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) projects, and Social Security Administration (SSA), just to name a few.
  • Utilize data-driven design solutions, usability best practices and heuristics to generate useful, intuitive, desirable and usable experiences.
  • Since designs are only as feasible as the developer who can code it, I don’t present any concepts without knowing 100% they can be implemented. After developers told me that my designs couldn’t be coded, I learned how to code, and now create HTML prototypes which I use as a proof of concept for developers.
  • Can quickly make updates to HTML prototypes when presenting to Stakeholders and get immediate feedback on their suggested changes within the same meeting.
  • Being able to “Design In Code”, evaluate capabilities and limitations of available technologies, finding ways to expand on technologies for added capabilities, and teach other designers how to do the same, opens a world of more intuitive solutions that wouldn’t be achievable without that capability.
    • Providing inline, interactive help features to keep the users on tasks vs having to leave the interface to access documentation or videos removes inefficiencies that lead to wasted time on task.
    • Inline training videos allow the user to follow the instructions while implementing the steps, in the same interface, on the same screen – no need for toggling between 2 windows.
    • Was able to implement a Learning Management Solution to generate corporate trainings by expanding the capabilities of programs we already owned including Sharepoint, PowerPoint and HTML, CSS, JavaScript to create a process a non-technical person can use to create new training content.
    • Created an interface that stakeholders can comment directly on any HTML prototypes or fully developed pages simultaneously, seamlessly and effectively.
    • All while making and testing everything as 508 compliant / accessible for those with disabilities.

Relevant Experience:

Sparksoft Corp – (09/2019 to Present); Director of Human-Centered Design

  • Created and conducted HCD Training for Sparksoft to inspire HCD Advocates and help Sparksoft understand the process and immense business value of HCD
  • Developed a process to implement a Learning Management System (LMS) within Sharepoint for employees to take training courses created in-house or viewing SCORM content with customization in a way that a non-technical person can create and maintain new training materials
  • Helped form the content and training interface for SAS, Cognos and CMS MIDAS Gateway to gain understanding of data available in MIDAS and how to utilize it.
  • Created and conducted training for Scaled Agile Framework to get the entire project teams up to speed on Scaled Agile, the value, process, ceremonies, and technologies required to implement.
  • Filmed, directed and produced videos for Sparksoft to submit to CMS to win new work as part of the latest Request for Proposals (RFP) processes.
  • Designed, created, tested and maintained websites and content that enrich and optimize the exchange of information and produce effective communications for Center for Medicare / Medicaid Services &

eSimplicity - (01/2019 to 08/2019); Director of Human-Centered Design

Conducted User Research, designed prototypes, tested MACPro website redesign and content to enrich and optimize the exchange of information and produce effective communications for Center for Medicare / Medicaid Services and the States that participated in Medicare State Plans.

Tantus Technologies (07/2018 to 01/2019) Senior UX Designer

Co-designed and led Human-Centered Design (HCD) Workshops for CMS CCSQ Staff to inspire HCD Advocates to help CMS understand the process and immense business value of HCD

Leidos - (02/2018 to 07/2018); Lead UI Developer for Social Security Administration (SSA) projects

  • Updated components on a User Experience Framework design system, removed  dependencies on jQuery so they can be implemented in any application.
  • Helped developers with customized components to optimize the user flow in various  applications
  • Provided heuristic evaluations on existing applications to initiate future enhancements
  • Developed all content to meet Section 508 compliance / accessibility

Softrams – (09/2016 to 02/2018); Lead UX Designer / UI Developer for CMS Projects

  • Worked as a bridge between design and development to help convert existing mockups into  Angular builds when the existing developers weren’t able to.
  • Realized Angular was “complexity for the sake of complexity” for this implementation of a CMS  project called Quality Payment Program (QPP) and worked with a lead developer to convert the  entire website into Pug.
  • Created HTML Bootstrap responsive prototypes for usability testing;
  • Collaborated with developers to propose and implement content from my HTML prototypes  into backend solutions;
  • Worked directly with the client in an Agile environment to get the best type of information and  innovative ideas in expressing complex content.

Lockheed Martin / Leidos (09/2015 to 09/2016); Lead UX Designer/UI Developer

  • Reviewed the clients’ needs for a new portal interface and other redesign requirements to  remain Section 508-compliant.
  • Conducted heuristic evaluations of the existing reporting system and made optimization  recommendations
  • Created wireframes with Adobe Illustrator/Photoshop CC and enhanced the requirements  process by building HTML Bootstrap prototypes with HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript, and jQuery.
  • Created new training modules using Adobe Cativate based on the new concept designs I created  and incorporated them into the user interface to keep users from having to leave the interface  or having to toggle multiple windows at one time.

T Rowe Price – (12/2014 to 04/2015); Lead UX Designer / UI Dveloper

  • Conducted a full usability study of an outdated decision support tool
  • Observed and interviewed existing users to learn what was needed in the redesign.
  • Created wireframes with Adobe Illustrator / Photoshop CC and interactive HTML  prototypes with HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript, and jQuery
  • Presented a comprehensive usability report to stakeholders providing support for the  design decisions made in the prototypes

CareFirst Blue Cross Blue Shield – 04/2013 to 11/2014; Lead UX Designer / UI Dveloper

  • Brought on to lead the conversion of an external design agency’s proposed design  through development
  • Led the requirements discussions and usability best practices with management teams  during the redesign of and its four post-login environments: Member,  Employer, Provider, and Broker
  • Conducted user research and usability testing, converted mockup designs or  design-in-code HTML prototypes to walk users through flows
  • Worked with developers to implement the new designs and modify HTML prototypes for  implementing into a new Angular framework
  • Helped troubleshoot technology issues and worked with business owners to determine  the best course of action

Stokes Studio @ Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) 04/2003 to 04/2007; Founder / Studio Manager

  • Saw the need, wrote a business plan, started and led creative services design studio for CHOP to  provide full graphic, web and multimedia production assistance for hospital researchers to help  raise money•and support their work – which saved $100k+ per year
  • Designed medical collateral materials, including posters, brochures, print advertisements,  illustrations, Flash-animated interactive education modules, presentations and websites
  • Oversaw all photography, audio recording, video filming, editing and production, • as well as all print design projects
  • Managed relationships with print vendors, including variable digital print providers
  • Supervised up to 15 projects at one time utilizing two full-time employees and • freelance designers

Education/Training Background

  • Co-created and Conducted Human-Centered Design (HCD) Workshops for CMS CCSQ Staff to inspire HCD Advocates to help CMS understand the process and immense business value of HCD
  • SAFe 4.5 Agilist, trained a whole project on Scaled Agile
  • Human Computer Interaction Certification Course – Stanford University Online
  • Certificate, Graphic Design - University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA
  • BA, Psychology Minor, Education - Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Indiana, PA

Various Skills