The name's Joe.

I like making useful things.

Turns out that I've been doing this crazy hoopla called design for about 8 years now. Big time.

I'm better at it than I used to be, but still looking to improve my prowess as a professional UX designer.

What a ride it's been.

This is not about problem solving. design is about problem setting.

Design is an action that always addresses a need. I believe that we really can use design as an action to help others. What greater need exists in this world than to help people?

I want to make user experiences elegant, engaging, interesting, and maybe even educational.

Good designs are useful to the people who need them, are usable, communicate deeper messages, and create awesome experiences.

"Design is the ability to imagine that-which-does-not-yet-exist, to make it appear in concrete form as a new, purposeful addition to the real world." - E. Stolterman

I want to create people-centered experiences, systems, services, and even everyday things.

3 things I do when I design...

  • Feature 1
  • Feature 2
  • Feature 3
  • Feature 4
  • Feature 5
  • Feature 6

User Centered View

Having deep empathy for a specific group of people is key to addressing user's needs, and creating useful solutions. Understanding the people you are designing for will help to uncover their lifeworld, and will reveal the problem space that needs to be addressed.


Sketching is thinking. Sketching is collaborative. Sketching is expressive. Whether I'm sketching out thumbnail ideas on post-its, or sketching an entire UI in detail on a whiteboard, this is always the fastest and easiest form of expression when coming up with new ideas and concepts.

Big Thinking

Artifacts we design affect the lifeworlds of the people who use them. Understanding systems and eco-systems in companies, in nature, and even in culture, is key to creating successful designs that will positively impact people, society, and organizations.

Design for a startup: Aver, Inc.


Sketching is often something that happens either in the moment or reflectively. This could be before, after, or during a conversation with teammates, business, or other stakeholders. Sketching out ideas, and expressing them on paper or a whiteboard is a collaborative way to bring an idea to life, and often serves as the spark from which new and innovative products are born.


Wireframes are an artifact that helps to digitize ideas or concepts, and often serves as the beginning of the fine tuning part of design iteration. I find that my first attempt at wireframing out concepts is rarely ever my last. Iteration happens early and often, and wireframes can help guide team discussions and visualize the UI and interaction design flows.

User Research

Good user research is the foundation of good design. Organizations big and small can be quick to make decisions about products with little or no insight from their users or customers. User research can help design teams, engineering teams, business, and even ceo level leadership to learn new and exciting insights, and empathy for the customers they serve.

Rapid Prototyping & Testing

Prototyping is a technique to quickly bring an idea to frutition, and to put it in front of an intended audience. Many dev teams do not have the time, patience, and resources for full-blown front end usability testing. Low fidelity paper prototyping is a way to rapidly bring a teams' ideas to life, and to quickly get feedback from users or customers through testing.

Design for Corporate

Nationwide: My Time

This internal web tool allows Nationwide employees to see how much time off they have stored in their "My Time" accounts. A seemingly simple idea, it became suprisingly complex very quickly. This is probably my most impactful design in my years of work at Nationwide, and has so far been well received by users, stakeholders, and the business client.

NW: Cross-Channel Experience Maps

At a large organization such as Nationwide, customers access insurance services with numerous devices and with numerous forms of communication. Sometimes a customer will start in one channel, then 'jump' to another. In six months of user research, we uncovered happiness and pain, for both our employees and customers, in the NW cross-channel customer experience.

NW: Needs Assessment Tool

Insurance is complex and no one wants to deal with it. For this project we were asked to brainstorm and generate concepts for a tool that would help customers identify various types of insurance available to them based on their needs and lifestyle. After much sketching, discussion, iteration, and synthesis, we took the 3 best and showed them to customers.

NW: Customer Experience Storyboards

Sometimes just telling a story is enough to give people a new perspective. This time, our team was trying to help business better understand the pain that Nationwide customers would go through when changing agents. What started out as just initial SME interviews and fun sketching eventually took shape as digital storyboards for part of our final report.

Pfizer: Online Job Training

When Pfizer Inc. acquired Wyeth in 2009, a great deal of changes were abound on the horizon. Employees at both organizations would be challenged with the synthesis of systems and processes into one. This project was the design and development of interactive training for new Pfizer employees on the 'why' and 'how' of performing role-specific duties.

Bank of America: Search Tool

The primary job of bank associates is to help their customers. Often, changes will take place to customer's accounts, and customers are updated in the mail with various BOA letters. The (PPL) tool was designed to allow associates to search for product information, and perform on the job faster and more efficiently, for a better overall customer experience.

Design for HCI/d Master's Degree

Capstone Thesis: Job Beacon

Unemployment is currently a significant problem for U.S. veterans returning home from overseas. Many of them were not well prepared for finding jobs as civilians. An alarming number of veterans are jobless. The final design was named the 'Job Beacon'. I wanted it to do just what the name implied--help guide its users to a job or career, and act as a beacon.

Weight Watchers iPhone App

For this course project, we were to design an iPhone app for our clients, and make the application 'sticky', meaning, people would continue using it over time, and not quickly lose interest. This project wasn't about problem solving, it was about 'problem setting' and 'innovation'--two aspects that are very characteristic of design practice.

Design for Water Sustainablity

This was a project for the CHI 2009 Student Design Competition. Our goal was to design a device to be sustainable, and to support the utilization of local water supplies. Considering our user group, we wanted our design to allow water preservation with little or no effort on the part of our users.

HCI Theory Project

This project lays out a theory for a design process model meant to inspire design of any company's physical work environment. How can the design of the physical work environment affect people in a way that can afford valuable and desired work performances/attitudes/motivation, etc.? Does your company's culture cultivate design, or hinder innovation?

Job Task Analysis Flows

This is a process map of a complex work task flow: an instructional consultant's (IC) client interactions at the Teaching and Learning Technologies Center at Indiana University, Bloomington labs. One of the main work tasks of the IC is to help clients solve any problems using or integrating learning technology into their university environments.

Icon Design

100 icons hand drawn with pencil, then retraced and colored in Adobe Illustrator. The theme of this collection of icons was "100 things you might find in a Japanese house." This project was a lot of hands on work as an intro to graphic design. I also put a lot of hours in learning how to use Illustrator. Knowing Photoshop served as quite an asset as well.

Ready to make something?

Gimme a call. Let's talk about big ideas and captivating, elegant design.