Just in time baby gift purchase

Your friends produce offspring at a momentous rate.

Being a person who doesn’t think about babies, you don’t keep gifts on hand. It’s Saturday morning, your iPhone calendar reminds you of a “Meet the baby” event in several hours.

Decision time. a) You could run out, pay for several hours of parking, and hunt down a gift or b) go to the gym and Top Pot. You pick option b.

This leaves you without a gift. You have to drive to your friend’s house in the ‘burbs. Wouldn’t it be great to get a two for one and pick up the gift up en route?


You have to meet a friend’s new baby in three hours. You don’t want to spend your Saturday morning shopping for a baby gift. How do you get a baby gift with as little effort as possible?


Find local stores that allow one to browse local inventory online, buy online, and pick up in store.

You’re in luck Seattleite–Nordstrom.

After pulling up the site and navigating to the Gifts/Baby Gifts section, you filter to see results in your local Nordstrom. Then you see the perfect gift. Shiny and trimmed in fringe–metallic moccasins.

Yaaaaaas qween!

On the product page, you select the 1M size and add them to your bag. You’re just a few clicks away from checking off this task.

Then you notice Nordstrom wants to mail these to you. Not helping.

Current Experience

In the current experience the button to select pick up in store is below the more prominent call to action, thereby reducing its visibility.


Let’s go back to the product page. Unless you scroll down and expand the available in store information, you only see one button to add the item to your bag. After searching by items in a particular store, Nordstrom should make it easier to pick up the item. What if it was clearer to customers that they could ship or pick up?


Proposed User Experience 

Enterprise Service Management

After a large organizational change and an initiative to increase IT’s efficiency, the newly formed Workforce Enablement Program Management team was tasked with a transformative project to improve the service management platform.


Wikipedia defines a successful service design as, “user-friendly and relevant to the customers, while being sustainable and competitive for the service provider.” The design of our platform met none of these criteria.

Business users couldn’t easily request items from the product catalog (because there wasn’t one), or receive technology support.

Service providers couldn’t easily prioritize or fulfill requests.

We needed a big change.


To direct our research and next steps, we created guiding principles that aligned with our organizational goals.

Guiding Principles.
Guiding Principles.

We used these principles to narrow down the platform selection process. The selection process was visualized on a large whiteboard wall. Having the work in this format, allowed us to easily share progress and get feedback from stakeholders.

Analyzing future options by capability.
Visualizing future options by capability. The first column on the left lists the desired capabilities, the second column displays the user populations that need the capability (each represented by a different post-it color), and the other six columns display each solution option and the tools each would require to meet the capability.
Comparing each option's ability to meet the guiding principles.
Adjacent to the colorful matrix was another matrix, which synthesized the analysis of each options by summarizing the option’s ability to meet the capabilities and guiding principles.

After refining the solutions on the wall, we designed a portable version for our director to use to inform C-level executives.

Capability Matrix
Options and capabilities matrix.
Options summarized by count of tools, vendors, and future flexibility.

In addition to these slides, we also put together a summary of the current state and future state. Problem Summary

Current State
Storyboard illustrating current experience.
Future State
Storyboard illustrating future experience.

As further work on the business case and a contract progressed, I began learning more about users through contextual inquiry and semi-structured interviews. These interviews provided insight to user’s roles, goals, responsibilities, and processes.

An example of some of the data collected during interviews.
An example of some of the data collected during interviews.

Next Steps

This project is still in progress as of October 2016. Next steps will include creating personas and context scenarios.

Enterprise Search

This page is still under construction, so is any other page that's not great :) xoxo

The company intranet was built on SharePoint. Many customizations were made to apply specific styling as directed by the initial stakeholders. As a result of the customization, many out of the box features of SharePoint no longer functioned.


Heuristic Evaluation


Summary of changes








We worked with Luum to create a mobile app that encouraged a company’s employees to make sustainable transportation choices.


Growing businesses require parking for employees, which is costly. Employees who drive alone require more parking and their commute has a negative impact on the environment.


We focused on the goals Luum wanted to address for their business along with the needs of the consumer.

We began by creating a project plan. Our first research tasks were:

Surveying commuters
Competitive analysis
Generating personas

Selection of survey responses.
Creating personas.
One of our final personas. See our other persona.


The iterative design process began with the following activities:

Sketching ideation sessions
Creating paper prototypes
Usability testing

A selection of sketches.
A selection of sketches.
Testing paper prototypes.
Testing paper prototypes.

Using feedback from users we then created a wireframe and an interactive prototype.

Testing the wireframe.
Testing the wireframe.


Our final product was a high fidelity prototype for the mobile app. The app supported Luum’s mission to motivate employees to choose sustainable transportation through employer incentives and challenges. Displaying commuting habits allowed employees to make informed travel decisions.

Along with the prototype we delivered style guide and functional spec.

Style guide.
Style guide.
The commute screen.
The commute screen.

View the prototype.


We presented our work during the UW Master of Human Centered Design Capstone open house and placed 2nd in the competition.


Project Milestone 1
Project Milestone 2
Project Milestone 3
Academic Poster



“My Art*”

I’m a fine artist. My journey into UX began with visual communication.



Here’s work I did early on, which was a commentary on the contradictory visuals women receive through print media. The piece was 24″ x 190″.


The work evolved into combining the imagery into a single photo. Below is an image of the work assembled as a triptych.





Mixed Media

I spent a month in Taos, NM while attending SMU. During this time, I created hundreds of small paintings and mixed media pieces that explored the Taos landscape. These paintings were featured on the gallery show collateral.

Gallery Collateral
Work on display in Dallas, TX.
Work on display in Dallas, TX.

Upcoming Experiments…

I’ve started working on a new tactile series. Lab photography work isn’t feasible at this point in my life, and I feel I spend enough time in front of a screen. An industrial sewing machine is my newest tool. Hoping to share more in 2017.

*"My Art" is a reference to Jay Sullivan's distain for the phrase.

Shiny Stuff

I wanted to include presentation artifacts from roles I’ve had over the last 10 years. I’m happy to discuss the projects behind these artifacts in more detail.

Enterprise Social Product Manager

Yammer campaign overview for IT department cultural transformation initiative.

Yammer Campaign

The campaign posters I designed.

Enterprise Social Product Manager: Posters I designed for an IT department cultural transformation initiative.

Quarterly Report


Postcards with Yammer sign-up instructions I created for the Contact Center.

Yammer Sign-Up Postcard
Front of Postcard
Yammer Sign-up Postcard Back
Back of Postcard

Yammer Informational Presentation for Nordstrom Direct


Head of Product Design–Nordstrom People Lab

Communication guide I designed for senior IT leaders to support the cultural transformation.

Communication Guide


Site Coordination

Anniversary product ranking board I created for the beauty buyers. The board allowed the buyers to arrange their products in the category. After they were satisfied, they could pass the board to me to execute the changes. Pretty sure this sealed the deal for my All Star award in 2009 ;).


Password Reset Portal

The Self-Service Password Reset Portal was implemented to reduce calls to the Service Desk by providing employees a way to unlock their accounts and reset their passwords.


Employees accidentally lock their account or forget to reset their passwords before expiry.

Then, they can’t login. They can’t work.

To get back to work, the employee would call the Service Desk for support, which took an average of 4 minutes to resolve.

Before this project, the Nordstrom Service Desk received over 4,000 calls per month to reset employees’ primary passwords. Each call cost the company nine dollars.


A vendor was selected to provide self-service password resets. After the selection, the UX team was asked to review the application for usability.

We performed a heuristic evaluation of the employee portal and the service desk portal. The heuristic evaluation revealed styling issues that our engineers could resolve as well as others that required vendor action.

Below is an example of a change requiring the vendor:

Franken-answers: After entering a security question answer, if the user had re-entered the field, he/she could edit the answer while masked. This would create a franken-answer, which would likely be unknown to the user. We did competitive analysis to show the vendor that the application’s behavior was untraditional. As a result, the vendor put in a fix prior to our release. (As a side note, the vendor’s application was already in production for many large companies such as Kellogg’s and Starbucks)

See the complete heuristic evaluation results.

Next, we mapped out each of the user flows within the end user portal and the service desk portal to provide clarity into the system process. This revealed that the application reused screens, so in some instances the instruction text would need to be generalized.

Below is a view of the user flow.

See the Service Desk flow.

End User Process Flow: The blue, pink, and green screens are used during the enrollment and security questions flows. This meant we couldn’t say the user was successfully enrolled on the final screen because the user would see the same screen if he/she changed his/her security questions post enrollment.


Mapping the user flow made it easier to understand the copy changes that were needed.

See more copy changes.

To visualize the changes and test the new user flow, we created Axure prototypes for both portals.

Here’s a view of the end user Axure prototype. You’ll see the user receive an error specific message on the create password page for attempting to create a password that is too short. This is unlike the out of the box experience where the user would be taken to another page and then find out his/her answer failed to meet the conditions.

After creating the Axure prototypes we were able to get user feedback to ensure the deployment would be successful.


In addition to providing this service to FTEs, the portal provided contractors a way to reset his/her password or unlock his/her account. Many contractors follow the sun. Prior to this tool an unlock or password reset required the contractor to call an FTE, who was most likely sleeping. Then, the employee would conference call the service desk with the contractor, and provide the service desk a SSN, which was needed for the reset or unlock. (Yes, a simpler resolution for contractor would have been to change the standard; however, that was akin to boiling an ocean)


Since release 11/10/2015 through 9/1/2016 the application has:

reset 24,222 forgotten passwords
unlocked 28,435 accounts.


Employee Onboarding

Employee Onboarding was a high profile project under the direction of a new Nordstrom Technology Vice President. The project goal was to ensure corporate employees had essential services, as defined by the VP, on their first day.


The employee onboarding experience suffered from opacity and slowness.

  • Hiring managers had employees unable to work on day 1.
  • Employees had a bad impression of the job they just started.


We met with new hires and hiring managers to understand their experiences. A few of the things these activities revealed:

  • The majority of hiring managers hire infrequently. As a result, they are unfamiliar with the process. Resources are available to support the manager; however, they are not provided to the hiring manager when they initially engage recruiting.
  • Hiring managers didn’t know when the employee data was available in the request system. The data had to be there to submit the request.
  • For corporate employees, a positive employee onboarding experience required a manager or admin that submitted the setup form far in advance and then “baby-sat” it.

We mapped out the hiring process end to end and identified the bottlenecks in the process as well as the data flow.


Next we needed to tackle the request form. There was no reporting, so we our engineers do data queries and exports. We pulled these into Tableau. And then met our next challenge–the form was used by a lot of people and only a fraction of the requests were to setup corporate employees.


Initially we thought to make a new form. We took a look at the back of the form; it was spaghetti. The different functions couldn’t be taken apart. We also couldn’t break the existing functionality. We didn’t have enough time to do full analysis and create a new form for each process, so we had to go into the darkness.


The usage data helped us unpack the form. We printed off all the various ways the form split into different workflows, and then mapped an annotated them to see where we could rearrange. We also had to pull in the functionality of several other forms, so the hiring manager would only need to submit one request.

Here’s a view of the form before we made changes:


In addition to the form, we needed to look at how the hiring manager and new hire could have visibility into the status of the request. Existing forms offered the ability to see status; however, it looked more like a log than an order status. This was another page to design.

Here’s a view of the old status page:


Eventually we took these pages into Axure to prototype a new experience. We went through many layout iterations. Eventually taking a 4-page request form down to 1 page.

Here’s a look at the form after:


And the status page after:


We also designed and created the html and css for the emails (the dev team didn’t have experience building emails, so we made them with a hack). We created four emails:

  1. the manager notification setup the employee
  2. the submission confirmation email
  3. the manager and new hire email when the request was complete
  4. the manager and new hire email if the request wasn’t complete by the employee’s start date

Here’s a look at an old email.


And the new email.

Onboarding Email HTML
Onboarding Email CSS
New Email
New Email

We also needed to create collateral to communicate the changes to stakeholders, so they could share the changes with their teams.



One goal of these changes was to have the employee setup complete within five business days from request submission. To measure the success or failure of our changes we implemented reporting. Below are the results. Although we haven’t been at 100% complete within 5 days for corporate employees, we have improved.


As a result of this project, we were able to surface greater organizational issues that add friction to the hiring process and inhibit the ability to conduct the process efficiently. The visibility raised led to new initiatives in service management, security, and the addition of a new product manager for the employee experience.

Server Tagging

The server tagging application was created to provide engineers a way to add attributes to their servers.


At the time, approximately 12,000 production servers existed in the Nordstrom environment. Nothing was known about these servers.

When an issue arose on a server, it was impossible to know which team to contact and which applications were impacted.


We were looped in to this project after development but prior to release. The stakeholders were eager to ship and expected a thumb’s up from UX. (Note: this was the team’s first time engaging UX, so the workflow was less than ideal.)

Their app confused us. We knew without data our feedback wouldn’t interest the team. My teammate and I flipped into guerrilla usability testing mode. We created a test script, gathered 4 four engineers, ran the study, and produced a results video in under 36 hours.

Since the team was resistant to feedback, we chose to create a short video. The video was less than 6 minutes. It provided enough time to convey the results, but didn’t afford too much time for the audience to loose focus or object.

When the stakeholders saw 4 engineers fail the task to tag a server, they understood this product couldn’t release in it’s current form.

Together we prioritized 3 use cases and agreed each must be successful prior to release.

Prioritized Use Cases:

  1. An engineer searches for a single server and tags the server.
  2. An engineer searches for multiple servers and tags multiple servers.
  3. An engineer searches for a server using one or more tags.

Our second use case, we discovered during the initial usability study. Engineers can support 1 through n servers. Often they have multiple servers with a shared prefix, so they could tag these simultaneously.

Here’s a clip from the initial test that shows one participant attempting to return multiple results:

In the video, the participant tries using a wildcard * to return the results. His reaction after trying and seeing the search results, “No, that’s bad.”

Interested in seeing more from this study?
Test Script


With our prioritized use cases in hand, we returned to sketch solutions. We felt the user’s mental model had two distinct paths:

  1. Tagging server(s)
  2. Finding info about server(s)

We used these paths to redesign the application’s home page. We created tabs to separate the activity. In addition, we reduced the amount of information on the page and added instructions for clarity.

See the clip below from one of the Axure prototypes we created after refining our sketches:

Although the user in the usability test video used a wildcard *, our developers informed us that this functionality would take more time. The partial search worked without the wildcard *, which is why we also included the example text below the search box.

A couple other features we added to improve the efficiency of the server tagging experience were:

  • the ability to “Select All”
  • results pagination
  • adding another update button to the top of the results.


We tested the prototype with engineers and found the task success rate increased 100%.

Since we had worked with our developers during the refinement process, we were able to reconvene with our stakeholders and provide a timeline for the changes.

They released a week later. Within the first month, 92% of servers were tagged.

Here’s some shots from the application in production:

Search for servers to tag tab.
Search for tagged servers tab.