I really care about each and every piece of work I have a role in creating, no matter how big or small. I have pride of ownership, and I sweat the details. I believe that design is visual problem solving, and I approach all of my work with a critical eye. Saul Bass said it perfectly in one of my favorite quotes, "Design is thinking made visual." I focus on the "thinking" part before, during and after a project. Sure it needs to look great and have excellent usability, but does it achieve the business goals? That's one key question I'm always asking myself through my design process. If I wanted to be a fine artist, I would've been. Instead, I thrive working within defined business objectives. I love the challenge of making complicated processes seem easy.
We are so incredibly lucky to work in this exciting and ever-evolving field. But since there are so many moving parts, and it's changing by the second, to be successful you have to be dedicated to constantly learning. And I am. I utilize all the tools I can from books to conferences to online training, as well as lots of practice. I doesn't hurt that here in Austin there is a great event going on just about every week. But besides formal events, for the price of a beer you can hit up an amazing array of talent, from developers to entrepreneurs, to teach you a little about their work. My dad was an incredibly dedicated engineer, and he always told me. "Shari, if you're not learning something new at work every day, you're not trying." He was a smart man.
Not to be trite, but I am nice. Not sugary-sweet nice, but still-smiling-while-we're-working-at-2am-on-a-tight-deadline nice. I'm proud that so many of my co-workers and clients become good friends. Basically, I treat people how I want to be treated. We spend more time with the people at work than we do with our loved ones, so I think it's important to be professional and respectful at all times. Not to say that I won't strongly debate my point or take a firm stand when I feel my design decisions are valid. These debates are key to getting to great ideas and the development of innovative work. But they should be conducted with tact, and even humor. I'm lucky enough to do what I love, so being happy at work comes naturally.
As a core team member of Dell's in-house design agency, I worked to improve the user experience on almost every area of Dell.com. I spent 2014 as part of the eSupport team focused on redesigning the vast and complicated support section of the website, which gets more than 50% of the visits to Dell.com. Our team focused on creating a simple, intuitive and responsive site that allows users to achieve their support tasks easily and seamlessly across devices.
The key properties I worked on were ArmedForcesEyewear.com, FramesDirect.com and proprietary b-to-b and b-to-c projects. My work encompassed a wide range of duties for the company, from UI/UX/Visual design to developing brand identity to designing and managing email marketing, as well as day to day updates, graphics and production on the various sites.
At the core of my work was a dedication for improving the user experience on all the sites. To this end, I spearheaded and single-handedly ran the company's first usability testing program to demonstrate to the company's executives the validity of data-driven design.
I worked with Hoovers' ad agency to develop this microsite for their new Iphone App, Near Here.
I worked as Pango Network's contract designer for several years, working on a wide range of projects, including interactive design, print design, presentations and trade show graphics, including developing a company-wide style guide.
I was hired by MVROP (a vocational school in the Bay Area of California) to teach Photoshop and Web Design to high school students. While at this position, they also comissioned me to do a complete redesign of the school's website.
Served as a key member on the team responsible for developing Swatch watches initial online store. Our goal was to make the shopping experience clear and easy, but still honor the playful Swatch brand.
Osea is a natural skin-care brand, which is made of products from the ocean. The owners wanted their web presence to reflect this. I developed this design, and also carried it across all their printed marketing materials.
Style365 was an online luxury retailer. I was a key part of the creative team responsible for developing the brand and designing their entire website, including e-commerce capability.