StartupNation utilizes Optimizely to uses real users to create data driven design decisions. In summer of 2017, StartupNation utilized Optimizely to change the color of their navbar's link to a partner site, after creating a two week Optimizely test in which 50% of users viewed one navbar, and others a second which actually drew less attention to the partner site link.
AK Rewards LLC sought to create a Family Management Tool for the 21st Century Family. That project became AKAbility, a Responsibility and Reward system for Family Members to schedule and set expectations and use positive reinforcements to encourage competition and pride in one's contribution to the family. Utilizing PHP CodeIgniter, we quickly built the bones of our application, however, as we began to understand our application better ourselves, we also thought of new features to include. In order to clearly communicate new features to investors and other members of the AK Rewards team, I created an application walkthrough using Apple Keynote.
While a student at Purdue University, I was an active member in the Purdue University Engineering Projects in Community Service (EPICS) program. Partnered with the Greater Lafayette Area Special Services Preschool (GLASS-PS), my team was responsible for the creation of educational toys which encouraged curiosity and play in special needs children in need of extra help to meet state standards.
I joined the Mouse Workshop project in 2007, which focused on teaching students to identify animals with a friendly barnyard scene where one of seven animals would make a noise. If the child clicks on the correct animal, the game applauds. If a child chooses the incorrect animal more than 3 times, one of the incorrect animals is removed to encourage the child to choose again.
Working on this project required a great deal of on-site research with the client, we frequently met with a faculty partner to discuss the physical and behavioral issues which they are tasked with addressing in the class room and what state guidelines their program has the most difficulty meeting.
Working on a computer project, I was very interested in the hardware restrictions that a game would be faced with in the GLASS-PS classroom. Our client was currently in possession of a Dell Desktop computer, however the GLASS School system was currently in the process of switching over to Apple Computers. Due to student needs, the client kept the computer's resolution at 800px by 600px. The client did however have a reliable internet connection. Not only were we worried about operating system and resource limitations, but ensuring the client had a working copy of our game on as many machines as necessary led us to develop follow up games in Adobe Flash, to ensure they could be distributed via the internet, and software updates would not require the client to spend extra time updating the game.
The first follow up game was known as the Bucket Game. The bucket game focused on teaching students to identify shapes, using positive reinforcement to make a game out of cleaning up a beach by placing items in a bucket with a corresponding logo. Correctly completing the game triggered a victor animation in which a crab scuttled out in front of the buckets and applauded the user.
Upon completion of the game we were able to meet with students and observe their interaction with the game. This led us drastically increase the size of the shapes used in the game, and encouraged us to add a soothing background audio track to keep children actively engaged in the game in an area where they would be highly vulnerable to distractions and alternative methods of play.
I'm currently working as a freelance Web Development Consultant for StartupNation, a company dedicated to providing entrepreneurs and small business owners with the best information on how to get their business off the ground, and running. Working primarily in WordPress and PHP, I develop custom solutions for our site including Widgets, menus, and landing pages. Many of my projects include prototyping, and communicating designs via Adobe Photoshop, other Adobe Creative Cloud applications, and Sketch 3.
I also provide Web Development and Design solutions for a local Comic Book company Able Ideaz. They also hired me to build a web-site for their Television show and YouTube series, 'Comics Beer & Sci-Fi'.
In 2015, I worked as a full-time Web Developer at DataStax. DataStax sells, and supports a proprietary Database management tool based off of Apache Cassandra, and is located in Santa Clara, California. This position was fully remote. While working for DataStax I worked on the DataStax Academy redesign team, to create a new face for the DataStax Academy web-site. The DataStax Academy web-site is an eLearning site built in Drupal 7, to train, and certify developers, and web administrators on the ins, and outs of Apache Cassandra, and DataStax Enterprise. I worked with our Senior Web Designer, and the DataStax marketing department to create layouts and templates of new, and existing site features, while abiding by DataStax digital brand guidelines, and maintaining the integrity of the DataStax brand maintained within our new design. Working in an Agile environment our Senior Developer and I developed new site features and deployment standards for using Git to deploy new, and revised site content.
Prior to that, I worked as a UX Designer for Nexient, in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Nexient is provides development solutions to companies such as Best Buy, and Johnson and Johnson. While there I worked on two main projects the Best Buy Geek Squad Android and iOS app, and 11Main, an eCommerce app created by Alibaba in Node.js. While working on the Best Buy Geek Squad App, I worked with the Lead UX Designer to create layouts and user workflows using Omnigraffle and Photoshop. I also designed icons for the Best Buy Geek Squad App, and worked with an Android Developer on the team to make sure the icons rendered correctly on multiple Android devices. While working on the 11Main project at Nexient I was responsible for working in an Agile environment with a team of approximately one dozen Node.js Developers to design and build Administrative Interfaces for 11Main employees.
Before that I worked as an Applications Developer at AK Rewards LLC. A start up company in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, AK Rewards hired me to develop a Family Organizational Management application using PHP CodeIgniter. The application used positive reinforcement to reward children for completing tasks and chores assigned by to them by family members. I worked with our CTO to create and modify CodeIgniter modules to create a user registration and login system, and also developed an administrative suite of tools to manage user settings. While development was my primary responsibility, I was was also responsible for Designing Interfaces, layouts and presentations, as well as mocking up potential new features using Apple Keynote. We worked in an Agile environment and I met with investors and other developers weekly to present and explain new site features.
Previously I worked for Detroit Media Partnership in Detroit, Michigan. Since I started there in 2011, I have maintained and deployed web-sites and mobile applications for some of the largest web-sites in Michigan. I have experience developing in Drupal 7, Wordpress, as well as the Smarty Templating engine, and Python.
I graduated from Purdue University in 2009 with a Bachelor's of Science in Computer Graphics Technology. My focus in the Computer Graphics Technology department was in Interactive Multimedia. I learned not only how to design interactive products, but also how to refine them and use technology to study my users, as well as my designs to create a usable and visually pleasing product. I have minors in Computer & Information Technoloy, and in Psychology. I also completed Purdue's Certificate of Entrepreneurship program.
I love to draw. Doodling and cartooning in the sides of school my notebooks growing up eventually led me into digital media and illustration courses. I began using the skills I was learning to create storyboards and work with fellow students to animate my own cartoons in Macromedia, (at the time), Flash. As I tried to distribute my cartoons to a larger audience, I began teaching myself HTML and CSS and by my freshman year of college I had started my own Freelance Web Design company. My first project: designing and developing a web-site for my high school cartoon series 'rollerskatinghippo'.