Side Projects

User Interview Process

As Unself grew its user research program following our first full study, I worked with the team to capture every touch point we have with users prior to an interview or test session. The result of these efforts and analyzing/iterating on my own research process led to this scalable template of our Interview Process.

Some of the items were truly born from practice, like our thank you email template and even down to suggestions on where to sit when waiting for a participant.

The most valuable parts of this exercise for me were to 1) justify to myself and the team why we would ask certain questions in ethnographic interviews and 2) watch another team mate interview someone after having this toolkit!

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Food Allergy Cards

After spending some time paper prototyping and getting feedback from restaurant waiters and managers, I’ve validated a scaleable format for medical allergy cards to hand out in restaurants.

This process has been an awesome exercise in editing info down and ensuring that this it’s communicated clearly throughout the kitchen. Each piece of data is there to help staff identify the customer and allergens they need to watch out for, with room for special considerations like cross-contamination. The cards will work with up to 15 allergens, which exceeds the max amount from my test user pool.

I’m so excited to get these printed and use them in real life – and make some for my friends with allergies who helped me with feedback along the way!

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Imagine! Impact Report

Unself’s main goal is to measure philanthropy. We do that primarily through tracking volunteer hours in our webapp, but we’ve also been prototyping another way to do that called Impact Reports.

These reports take a time-bound event or program and tell the story of its impact through photos, graphics, and cause-based metrics. The reports take into account everything that went into putting on the event (the inputs), what was accomplished that day (the outputs), what came from this event over time (the outcome), and how it affected wider change (the impact). They are designed to be shared internally within a nonprofit or company to showcase their efforts to improve the community.

Our team made 3 reports by hand for local nonprofits before designing a Keynote template that exported PDFs for the organizations.

I organized a team volunteering event at Imagine!, the nonprofit I volunteer with weekly with their adult Out & About program. It was the perfect opportunity for us to try out our new template!

Surprisingly, every organization shared our reports not only internally but also shared via Instagram or Twitter. Our next report will need to be changed up a bit to fit that format better!

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Unself Blank State Illustrations

Found some hidden treasure recently – a set of 3 blank state illustrations I made for our alpha webapp, before we had a brand in place!

Each friendly illustration was meant to welcome volunteers to our hour tracking app and encourage them to get started, paired with copy.

While these didn’t last too long in our app, they still bring me a lot of joy and remind me I’d like to bring more illustrations into UI projects in the future.

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Christmas Cards 2017

For this holiday season, I wanted to focus on more informal, illustration-heavy designs. I wanted the cards to feel warm, like something I’d doodle by hand in a note to my closest friends.

I started first with some visual research on Instagram and Dribbble, deciding to pursue (and lifting a bit from) Eight Hour Day and Jay Fletcher’s packaging work.

The resulting 2 card designs I think are my best yet – each has a distinct mood, but they feel like they belong as a set. Best of all, I got to see the big smiles on the face of my coworkers as they opened them!

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Unself Global Error Illustration

The Unself team’s got a great sense of humor, and this concept was a collaboration between engineering, design, and our copywriter to make a fun Easter egg-style global error. We re-branded soon after, but really enjoyed working on this sketch in down time at the end of the day.

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Unself Onboarding

Unself is the most unique company I’ve every worked for – it’s very philanthropic in nature, but it’s also hi-tech that’s designed and branded for a younger target market. Sometimes the hardest thing to describe to new users is what all they can do on Unself. Most volunteers aren’t used to tracking their hours – yet alone having a robust app to build a service resume for school or job applications! In this project, my task was to introduce new users to Unself and its value in a short onboarding takeover flow sequence. I had a ton of fun designing these vignettes and pairing with our UXE to animate them!

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Christmas Cards 2016

This year, especially the latter half, has felt very tumultuous – which is why I chose the universal, and timely, need for peace for my cards this year.

The entire card was hand-drawn and lettered, translated into vector. I had a ton of fun trying a new style of illustration with the dove; usually I go for head on totally flat illustrations. The lettering was a real challenge still, but I feel happy with how it turned out!

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Food Allergen Icons

As someone who suffers with several life-threatening food allergies, I am constantly amazed at the number of daily pain points I experience related to these medical needs. A few of my side projects right now are tackling these, and as a part of those efforts, I wanted to try my hand at making some simple allergen warning icons using the Material Design icon grid. Can't wait to build out the whole spectrum of allergen families; this is only the tip of the iceberg!

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AIGA Cause-Related Poster Exhibition

When I first heard about the AIGA poster show focused on social injustice, I couldn't wait to sign up. Much of my work has a social bent, and I was extra excited about this show given that the proceeds of poster sales benefitted a Denver VSA gallery for special needs artists (amazing). Below's my poster for the show – completed in about 2 weeks.

With the rise of China as a global superpower, the government has tightened its grip on national censorship – infamously detaining numerous artists and activists in recent years, such as Ai Wei Wei. The Chinese national bird, the Red-Crowned Crane, represents individuals forced into militaristic conformity, each with its beak tied shut.

The characteristic unique crown patterning each bird has been altered to mimic the same star pattern seen on the Chinese flag. The poster's vertical format and type is meant to reference ancient scrolls, while the message is both a statement of fact and a call to action. 

Poster is 11x23, with type set in Knockout. Featured in AIGA Colorado's Cause Related poster exhibition.

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Christmas Cards 2015

Each holiday season, I like to make my own Christmas or New Years cards for family, friends and mentors. But this year, I wanted to challenge myself to trying out some hand > digital lettering for two designs (one religious and one secular).

It was much harder than I thought! Probably the greatest hurdle was translating my fluid mark-making into a vector-based tool. I am now even more in awe of all you Midas Touch typographers out there. That being said, I had a blast and I think I'll try it again in 2016!

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GDP Interactive Data Visualization

Center of Power

This project was a data visualization exercise in creating an interactive narrative from a dense spreadsheet of decades of global GDP sum and growth data for 5 sample nations. 

The story I chose to tell was that of competition, with each nation striving to earn more and thus obtain more world economic power. Countries ideally become more powerful and therefore move closer to the center over time. The interesting moments happen when roles reverse. 

Users could zoom in and out of the chart to see more detailed relationships between power & GDP changes. A fixed timeline scrub bar allows them to manipulate the progressive animation at any level of zoom.

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