As a leader, I am committed to performance, transparency, and ingenuity. As a craftsperson, I am fixated on quality at scale. As a discipline leader I cultivate personal and professional growth.

Design research & strategy

Why would people use your offering? How do the details of their lives drive your strategy?

When working as a research leader, I collaborate closely with product teams to determine and evaluate the purpose, appearance, and behavior of products, features, and options. My aim is to determine the right thing to design at the outset, and measure how users and customers are responding to the product over time.

Early on I want my teams to learn how we can reach more people, more effectively. I want to know what drives engagement at key turns of experience. I do this by studying  how users and customers assess the value of an offering given their points of view given their context, their goals, and their behaviors. Some of my techniques for shedding light on new ways for product value include ethnography, qualitative interviewing, solution evaluations, and collaborative service blueprinting.

More tactical questions can be asked continuously to get at how the product is currently used and what responses customers and users have as we roll out new features or tweak existing ones.  Techniques for answering these questions include experience audits, product instrumentation and analytics, A/B testing, and usability testing. Here, the bigger the number of respondents the better, and the more frequent the sampling the more certainty we will have about or next moves.

The big wins come here, during research, where you get the insight and feedback needed to realize breakthrough strategies that serve the business, our customers, and our users.

Product and UX design

How can your digital offerings drive excitement and loyalty? How do you harmonize user needs with technical advances and market insight?

Some say that getting to great design is like capturing lightning in a bottle. But great design is neither magic nor guesswork. My approach is data-driven, collaborative, and reliable.

I lead teams in defining and designing product and service strategies that align with company key performance indicators, customer objectives, and user needs. From persona to scenario, concept to wireframe, my approach is to break down problems into patterns that drive true innovation in a timely fashion.

Whether as an individual contributor or a design director, I define the purpose, behavior, and anatomy of interfaces, while taking into account the system-level implications that ensure coherence and efficiency. I lead the definition of design principles and components across product and service portfolios that result in design systems. And I ensure the form and behavior of features are documented, and behavioral prototypes enrich feedback cycles while pushing ideas forward faster into the market. In addition to product and UX design, I also direct brand and visual design work.

Professional coaching

In my coaching practice, I help clients create vital workplaces that sustain healthy growth and measurable results. My approach is grounded in research and animated by two decades in the tech industry. I tune into your product, your team, your values.

Successful leaders in dynamic organizations exercise leadership of Self, Others, and Organizations. I use this model to help people move from a place of self-consciousness to one of self-awareness. I help people enhance their systems thinking, ignite their performance, activate their growth mindsets, and generate the insights and capabilities necessary to work with others to lead a business from wherever they sit in the organization.

Development support

How do you ensure great design is built the way you want, and makes the differences you are looking for?

I work with design managers, PMs, system architects, and developers to translate designs into effective and appealing solutions that are built to last.

I employ a variety of lean UX methods designed to be adaptable to the most agile development processes. I manage delivery of design assets and specifications that support fast-paced sprints. I also lead the development of design systems that anticipate developer needs in advance. Insights from usability testing, interactive prototypes, brand guidelines, and content strategies all come together to yield critical changes in user behavior and business outcomes.


Product and interaction design
Qualitative and quantitative research
Service blueprinting
Product leadership
Department direction
Process improvement
Talent development
Technical skills coaching and career mentoring

Digital therapeutics
Hospital patient monitoring
Radiology informatics
Remote patient monitoring
Genomic pathology
Clinical care management
Industrial process control and analytics
Professional and consumer financial technology

Visual search for the Industrial Internet

Long before the recent promotion of the Internet of Things, process industries were deploying software to depict the most complex operations. This Industrial Internet is now getting a boost from startups like Seeq Corporation, which accelerates industrial process analytics in support of more strategic and tactical business decisions.

Seeq makes vast troves of time-series data available with the click of a mouse. The primary value of Seeq’s flagship product is the grace with which it helps users tame complex, dynamic, and interdependent data landscapes. Multi-dimensional analysis is now possible in ways never before imagined.

My team helped shape Seeq’s product, with the objective of making it useful and compelling to users and potential purchasers alike. Working closely with Seeq product leaders, we framed the solution so that users have an effortless and valuable experience. We worked out interface and interaction patterns through rapid design sprints and defined a visual style that makes it easier to gain, retain, and share insights.

Additional research and design credits: Nicole Concepcion, Molly Cooper, and Eden Salisbury.

Taming a bewildering and high-stakes process

As face to face interactions are increasingly going virtual, Roostify has made a humane experience out of the most complicated processes most people ever undertake: closing a mortgage.

Roostify is a popular SaaS platform where consumers interested in mortgages work together with lenders helping them get one. I built the company’s research and design department from scratch.

I began by launching a range of research initiatives including:

  • An experience audit to assess the product’s earlier (and operational) developer-designed experience architecture
  • Instrumentation to produce ongoing usage data to reveal opportunities for keeping the business running on the initial platform
  • Ethnographic research to define contexts and needs of consumers and lenders that can shed light on how to evolve our platform
  • Service blueprinting to put our offering into a more strategic and operational context, both for ourselves and for our several dozen lending partners
  • Feature prototyping and key partner evaluations to excite market interest in–and responses to–new features
  • Usability and A/B testing to create narrow data sets about specific problem areas and proposed solutions.

As these programs progressed, I directed product design efforts and a new design system for our white label offering, including features and fixes, branding, a new design  system, and a strategic product framework. I contributed to roadmap planning and worked with developers to orchestrate continuous integration/ continuous deployment of fixes and features.

The upshot? When I started at Roostify, we were processing less than $1 billion in monthly mortgages. Today, the platform processes $11 billion per month. I can’t claim credit for this massive success which goes to an amazing team of researchers, designers, developers, and product managers. They came together to create a brilliant new experience, one built for accessibility, speed, and ease.

The bottom line: a modern and delightful experience that lowers costs, increases capacity, and leaves consumers satisfied.

Additional research and design credits: Molly Cooper, Jason Post, Diane Martinez

Taking a global software company to the next level

In the race to retain great talent and preserve staff health, today’s companies are adapting business strategies and work practices to work more effectively across timezones. Wizeline has been at the forefront of this trend for half a decade, building products with nearshore staff in San Francisco, Mexico, Spain, and Vietnam.

I served as a director in the technology organization where I inherited an amazing team of 40 researchers and designers. Once there, I formed a Product Studio to make products for education, telecommunications, online dating, event marketplaces, and energy management companies. At the same time, I formed a Brand Studio to devise and design identity systems for products and marketing campaigns. To boost the sustained efficiency and quality of our product organization, I put into motion a successful three-pronged strategy:

  • Prototype design-driven product processes and brand-driven visual design and UX strategies. Outcomes included: time-to-market improvements; more efficient development processes; and better user experiences.
  • Transforming career ladders into trellises that better reflect the breadth and depth of skills necessary for sustained success across the company’s product portfolio. Outcomes: broader design capacity, improved execution against retention and recruiting objectives, and more efficient team deployments.
  • Define Product and Brand studio OKRs, define director-level roles and candidates, mentor managers in career- and team-management techniques, and coach individual contributors in design methods. Outcomes: a more sophisticated and streamlined design department able to take on more high-impact, profitable, and satisfying product challenges.

In addition to responsibilities related to planning, recruiting, and training, I oversaw product-design projects. I also spoke at a design conference in Mexico City and lead workshops with Singularity University in Puerto Vallarta.

Special thanks to: Joel Monteon, Rodrigo Partida, and Xavier Fajardo

Catabolic/Hospital patient monitoring
Remote monitoring for providing best care everywhere

Enter care areas of any hospital to see how doctors and nurses track patient health, and the insights start flowing fast:

  • A nurse asks why the SpO2 isn’t the largest number on her display given that “babies stop breathing before their heart stops” in the NICU care area
  • A charge nurse complains about arbitrary differences between “patient vitals and historical records,” going on to explain how software de-contextualizes health and healthcare in favor of data.
  • A physician rails against memory limits that destroy potentially valuable information. “A V-tach should never be deleted.”

I heard these and other observations during an eight-hospital ethnography that served as the foundation for a multi-year design initiative I recently led for a major medical device manufacturer. Their patient-monitoring systems are used in hospitals around the world, but now they wanted to how what it would look like to liberate the data and applications from hard-wired products and put them in the cloud, so they can be accessed wherever it was needed most.

We kicked off this program with a research and strategy phase that included:

  • Nationwide ethnography in pediatric and adult hospital care areas
  • Surveys to determine user and system requirements  as well as sentiments about novel solutions (e.g., combining vitals data with trend-lines)
  • Patient and clinician journey mapping
  • Co-design of service blueprints that we facilitated with clinicians and product managers
  • Domain and business analysis
  • Subject matter and stakeholder interviews
  • Heuristic evaluations of current and competing solutions

At the same time, we were prototyping interfaces intended for clinicians to use to monitor conditions of patients across care areas and outside the walls of the hospital itself. Design work included:

  • Strategic system vision five years out
  • Product and visual design systems for mobile and stationary products that monitor both single patients and multivariate populations
  • Design evaluation sessions where clinicians provided structured feedback on designs
  • Complete interaction and visual design and specification of the first MVP
  • Usability testing to determine suitability of solutions for  specific care areas.

Federal research has show that the success of remote patient monitoring hinges on how well the technologies are designed to support clinicians in their work. By designing information and tools that satisfy the goals of care teams, we helped define a new monitoring system that makes vital data available to clinicians according to the needs of the moment, wherever they happen to be.

Additional design credits: Leslie Marticke, Molly Cooper, Eden Salisbury, Heather Bourbeau

Economic cultivation of the perfect stretch of grass

The best superintendents have a near mystical sense of the potential every moment holds for the health of their golf courses. Turf management is as much science as art, though, requiring mastery over several layers of physical and virtual technology to ensure beautiful and highly playable grass.

When Toro decided to radically improve its industrial-strength irrigation control systems, the company knew its software would have to be as intuitive as the superintendents who would use it. I was a member of a  team that researched and designed a product system that not only makes it easy to use information about past, current, and prospective conditions but also permits minute-to-minute control and “what-if” planning.

The result was a new desktop and mobile design to help turf managers lay down the right amount of water anywhere on a massive golf course through efficient use of thousands of electronic sprinklers, sensors, and other infrastructure elements. This made possible a control system that can be used to manage year-round growth of lush and resilient grass in harsh climates over varied terrain with little waste.

Research and design credit: Chris Weeldryer and Steve Calde

Lybba/Cincinnati Children's Hospital
Employing digital therapeutics to help patients stay on track

The speed and spread of medical advances today are of vital importance to us all. Researchers and clinicians are working around the globe and across disciplines to determine prognoses and protocols for individual cases and entire populations. Together they are creating learning networks that help them exchange and evaluate data, disseminate and mine documents, and capture and share insights and plans.

Learning Health Networks were first conceived about a decade ago, at the Institute of Medicine, with the aim of generating and sharing knowledge, in real time, that would improve the understanding, experience, and delivery of quality care. At the time, many saw this as an academic exercise wrapped in a pipe dream. But today, such boundary-busting networks (formal or otherwise) have become key to collaborations that save lives.

In 2009, the National Institutes of Health awarded a major TR-01 grant to fund the design and operation of one of the earliest learning networks, this one in pediatric medicine. I played a significant role in realizing the goals of the Collaborative Chronic Care Network (C3N), which is now part of the Learning Health Program at the James M Anderson Center for Health Systems Excellence at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.

As a research and design leader of this multi-year grant, I planned and led:

  • A medical ethnography of the pediatric gastroenterology healthcare ecology as experienced at hospitals and homes, where my team studied the context, goals, and values of dozens of clinicians and health seekers
  • A  data synthesis program that yielded personas, activation metrics, health journeys, intervention goals, and system requirements for the design of the network and interventions
  • Evaluation instrument design for characterizing about 100 prospective prototypes, including the dozen that were put into production
  • System design of a number digital therapeutic products.

Among other products, my team designed and built a health-tracking system to helped patients at home connect with their care teams between appointments in order to share their current condition, their concerns, and useful data. The system also included tools for clinicians and researchers to help patients stay on track and to visualize health information for the benefit of those patients as well as entire populations cared for across the nation.

I carried out this work while serving as Executive Director of an open-science nonprofit called Lybba, which was founded by Jesse Dylan of Wondros. In addition to our NIH work, Lybba teams researched and designed solutions in genomic pathology, shared decision-making, clinical care management, and care improvement networks.

In addition to NIH funds, we earned support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, The California Endowment, LifeTech, Cedars-Sinai Hospital, and others. In the end, I co-wrote influential peer-reviewed papers on research and prototyping methods. published by Journal of Medical Internet Research, here and here.

We also worked with Wondros to co-produce short science documentaries, including a film on how the Centers for Disease Control uses molecular biology to stop outbreaks of contagious diseases. Watch “CDC 24/7” here.

“If we don’t want fear to be contagious–in the same way we don’t want a disease to be contagious–we have to break the transmission.” -Barbara Reynolds, PhD.

Additional research and design credit: Anubhav Jain, Eden Salisbury, Leslie Marticke, and Molly Cooper


Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
DePuy Medical

Environmental Defense Fund
General Electric
Hewlett Packard



I work with teams to scale the impact of their research and design work, mature their design/development processes, and grow technical and management skills. I also offer leadership coaching to help professionals deepen their wisdom about the potential of research and design, activating new possibilities for themselves, their teams, and their communities.

My approach is informed by decades as a design director, interaction designer, and ethnographer; by my academic work in anthropology and psychology; by my scholarly work in clinical research; by my training the foundations of coaching; and by my experiences as a yoga teacher.

I started out at Cooper, where I played a key role introducing human-centered research and design techniques into mainstream enterprise and consumer software companies. I went on to lead a Los Angeles-based healthcare nonprofit where I led teams doing ground-breaking work in collaborative chronic-illness care. I served as head of research and design at a financial technology startup in San Francisco. And I headed research and design at a global technology firm based in Mexico.

My technology career has been driven by my passion for improving the lives of people and the health of corporate cultures. This passion has played out in the ethnographic studies I have led in with the purpose of revealing how technology can succeed by reframing solutions around the context, goals, and values of the people they are designed to serve. This passion shows up in my human-centered approach to improving the features, the experience, and the market value of products and services I help to build. And it informs how I guide professionals as they carve out careers of meaning and purpose so they are prepared to lead at pivotal moments.

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