Watching. Listening. Asking.
Striving to neutralize the (innumerable) incentives that induce bias.
Carefully gathering evidence (from all methods and sources).
Synthesizing, presenting in relevant, timely, and actionable ways.
Clarity is my north star.
It’s a gift and a responsibility to investigate and represent people's lives and interests.
I have worked with inspiring mentors and organizations in difficult settings all over the world — conducting research in ten countries, coordinating research in ten others. I have consulted for a dozen Seattle business owners.
I want to draw on that body of experience and apply it with teammates to improve design make a difference.
High quality research. Clean writing & presentation.
Research & Communications Director Desiree Loughlin Real Estate Windermere Senior Research Analyst Technology & Social Change Group University of Washington
Researcher & Director South Asia Anti-Trafficking Program Daywalka Foundation
Trainer & Technical Support Analyst US Library Program Native American Access to Technology Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Speech Communication Instructor Assistant Director of Forensics Western Washington University
Human Centered Design, MS College of Engineering University of Washington
Masters of Public Administration Evans School of Public Affairs University of Washington
Speech Communication BA Gonzaga University
Human Centered Design & Real Estate
Principal, Desiree Loughlin Real Estate, Windermere
My life and business partner, Desiree Loughlin, and I built a highly successful real estate practice (She was the agent; I was back-end.) with design thinking baked into all of our systems. Qualitative research was bedrock: interviews, participant observation, shadowing, think-aloud website searching, focus groups, process mapping, card sorting etc. Attention to our client and team needs lead to systems that hummed. Business boomed. Information & Graphic Design
We created materials from extensive inquiry into the stories our agents wanted to tell, the information clients craved, and available data. Other priorities included: beauty, heavy content, and conversation sparks (versus artifacts to be passively consumed). Envisioning Cards for Buyers
Produced a 54 card deck and priority sorting exercises to help buyers articulate (and understand) their goals using prototyping, focus groups, and user testing. This deck was a powerful technique for winning new clients and commissions. We wire-framed an app, but ultimately decided the cards were more valuable as physical artifacts. Survey Design
We crafted a comprehensive customer satisfaction online survey. It was well written, but unsuccessful. Our agents knew their clients so well, that the surveys added little. In fact, the length detracted from the one question we really needed: a text-based testimonial. It was a great lesson in design thinking—less was more.
Personas & Client Segmentation
Client personas advanced our: customized storytelling, triggers for outreach, team efficiency, and a shorthand for business strategy and services. As our pool of clients grew, the personas took on greater variation and specificity.
We use actual names, drawn from specific clients, though these names are not helpful to outsiders. (You don't know "Andy and Margo.") Key category segments include:
• First time homebuyers • Growing families • Empty nesters • Investors (several types) • Selling family home • Luxury • Seniors Educational materials
Qualitative user research (“ride alongs” to shadow agents, interviews, focus groups, etc.) led to innumerable educational materials. The best example is our “Seller Book,” a team creation which began as a 40+ page word document and was boiled down to ~4 page doc. The writing process also helped us refine the business systems that support home buying and selling.
Technology & Social Change Group
Senior research analyst, University of Washington
Conducted research and program evaluation for Information and Communication Technology (ICT) projects in the context of International Development. In these “less developed” settings, qualitative research is the starting point. “What can be assumed” is rare. Development interventions are famously riddled with arrogance of donors and “outsiders” who do not appreciate the full context in which they are working. Primary funding came from Microsoft Community Affairs. We measured the impact of their "Unlimited Potential" grants to their worldwide network of telecenter grantees.
Methodology: Evidence Matrices
We developed matrix conceptual models to systematically track variables across diverse sites. On one axis we listed key variables; on the other axis we listed research sites, or cases. We analyzed how each variable operated in a particular setting. This inductive method was useful for identifying patterns across highly varied contexts. It was also useful for persona creation.
Much of our Microsoft work was for internal use, but here is a public facing academic paper that described our conceptual framework and our approach to evidence.
Methodology: Evidence Narratives
Our research design needed to accomplish multiple tasks: assess impact, share lessons learned across the network of grantees, and help Microsoft tell stories to internal and external audiences. In addition to formal research reports, we developed a series of “Evidence Narratives” to tell highly localized, specific stories while speaking to the larger themes (which we mapped in the evidence matrix).
I helped develop the narrative model, coordinated the researchers who conducted the site visits, edited the series of 24 articles, and authored seven of them.
Study: Technology Use in BGCA's
Lead UW researcher for two year investigation of technology-related learning opportunities for children at 38 Boys & Girls Clubs in four states. Coordinated a five person research team that considered technology within the larger context of afterschool programs and for preparing youth for the 21st-century workforce using interviews, site visits, focus groups, and surveys.
Partnered with East-West Management Institute, USAID, Mozilla Foundation, and convened leading Cambodian technologists and human rights activists to make connections, collaborate, and build civil society. The project used various “maker/doer” methods including focus groups, rapid prototyping, group brainstorming, organizational "speed dating," etc.
Storytelling for Impact: Briefs, infographics, and video
One lesson learned at UW is how attention spans are shrinking: people do not like to read extended text. Great research is often ignored because findings are buried in 400 page reports. I collaborated with researchers to create briefs, infographics, and videos to make findings more timely, digestible, and viral.
I am looking for interesting work with bright, curious people. This portfolio is a take on my history as design researcher. I'm actually more complicated, versatile, and interesting;). Let's talk!