It seems I never can quite decide on an official title for myself. Web designer, interaction designer, front-end engineer, UI developer—the list of possible labels is seemingly endless. However, none of them feel quite right (though I am partial to “design hacker”). But to be honest, the title doesn't really matter. In essence, I'm a coder who designs and a designer who codes.
My designer half loves building elegant, sensible interfaces, and I'm a vocal advocate for the user. I'm comfortable in every stage of the design process, from initial concept to wireframing, rapid prototyping, and usability testing. In summer 2012, I completed my BFA in Graphic Design at Colorado State University. At CSU, I took (and loved) classes in branding and identity, layout, color theory, and many other studio arts. During that time, I discovered a particular passion and penchant for typography. Of course, I also became extremely proficient with the tools of the trade: InDesign, Illustrator, and Photoshop. Because of my passion for the web, I also pursued my own studies in interaction design and user experience, gobbling up books like Don't Make Me Think, Designed for Use, Getting Real, and more.
In early 2009, I decided to take time off from school to work full time at Linden, a local marketing firm. There, I built a web department from the ground up at a firm that already excelled in so many areas. As is so often the case in small businesses, I wore more hats than I could count. My responsibilities ranged from design, development (primarily with Drupal), writing proposals, project planning, content strategy, client training... The list was endless, and I loved it. We later hired a second web developer, and the two of us worked together to continue the growth of the department and the company. By the time I returned to school in spring 2011, I'd built websites for over 20 clients.
In April 2013, just to shake things up a bit, I uprooted and moved to Berlin. Today, I work as a front-end engineer and interaction designer at a pretty nifty company called ResearchGate. There, I spend my days building interfaces that enable over 4 million scientists (whoa!) to solve big problems together.