Disney Friends DS

Disney Friends DS

As Lead Producer on Disney Friends, I owned the vision and delivery of an ambitious new game that blended four unique cinematic universes with a single, cohesive gameplay mechanic. We became one of the first Nintendo DS titles to incorporate speech recognition, but had to do so in a way that performed well, integrated seamlessly with gameplay goals, and could ship simultaneously in 7 languages. I led a cross-disciplinary team of artists, developers and game designers with a total development budget of 1.85 million dollars US to ship on-time in 2008 to extremely solid reviews for a game targeted at…
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Microsoft Teams Enablement

Microsoft Teams Enablement

The Teams Enablement project at the Gates Foundation was a yearlong effort to support the deployment of Teams to the foundation in a manner that minimized disruption and maximized employee success, launched over a year early in response to the findings from my earlier Employee Experience discovery project. I (and eventually, a Senior vendor designer on my team) embedded on the Teams Enablement project for 9 months to ensure that our delivery of Teams exceeded expectations without adding to employee stress. The Teams Enablement project was a hybrid of service design, traditional usability techniques, and content strategy. My Human Centered Design…
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Dynamics 365 settings IA: Power platform admin center

Dynamics 365 settings IA: Power platform admin center

As part of my role as the Design Lead for the launch of Microsoft's ambitious Power platform admin center, I took on several complex individual contributor projects. The largest of these projects was the migration of Dynamics app settings from the Dynamics 365 app on a legacy web client to the new Power platform admin center site, using a new information architecture and a new UI stack. Further complicating the assignment was the timeline presented for the work. Originally, the team had planned on migrating the old settings pages directly to the Dynamics UI stack, the Unified Client. This original…
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Design leadership: Power platform admin center

Design leadership: Power platform admin center

On November 1, 2017, I took on a new role at Microsoft as the Design Lead for a new and ambitious cross-product initiative, which 10 months later was released as the Power platform admin center. Read more about the site in Microsoft's words at the official press release. Problem Statement Unify four different admin centers - Dynamics 365 instance administration, Dynamics 365 app administration, admin.powerapps.com, and admin.flow.com - into a single experience on a new UI framework. 10 months later, the site moved out of private preview and into public release. The Team MY ROLE: Principal Designer and Design Lead…
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Conversational UI: Design Education

Conversational UI: Design Education

Since beginning my journey in voice user interfaces, I've been deeply passionate about the space. One of my motivations for leaving Amazon was to gain the freedom to engage with the broader community about conversational UI theory, since I was largely prevented from that kind of outreach when working on confidential products. Since that departure, I've engaged with the broader design community in a myriad of ways on this evolving topic. Cheryl teaches "Giving Voice to your Voice Designs" at UX Lisbon 2017 My book on multimodal design Conversational designs don't exist in a vacuum. Most conversational designers have to…
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Echo Look (Product and VUI Design)

Echo Look (Product and VUI Design)

I was hired to help a fledgling product team transform their initial concept lab pitch into a production-worthy multimodal design for an entirely new hardware product category at Amazon. Problem statement How might we create a completely new experience that helps customers manage their wardrobes, combining natural user interfaces with traditional user interfaces and Amazon shopping technology? At the time I was hired, a concept lab team had identified a product opportunity combining fashion with natural user interfaces, and had received funding for a small pod of full time employees to work on the concept as a secretive, "tented" project team.…
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Azure Marketplace Gallery Filter

Azure Marketplace Gallery Filter

When we launched the new Azure Marketplace in January of 2017, we initially adopted the category control from AppSource.com, both for consistency and expediency on our tight timeline. After launch, however, customer feedback via verbatims and quantitative data began to suggest that our customers had a problem with wayfinding. The issue largely stemmed from the difference in information architecture between the sites. AppSource categories correspond to products and were more rigidly hierarchical, while Azure Marketplace categories had overlap and a less rigid hierarchy. I proposed to the team that we begin an exploration of alternate filtering models, and the team…
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Azure Partner UX Guidelines

Azure Partner UX Guidelines

When I returned to Microsoft in August 2016, I joined as the Design Lead for the Azure Framework. Our team of 4 full-time designers, 2 researchers, and a content writer - along with our studio head, who worked closely with us - were responsible for improving the user experience of the entire Azure platform in two primary ways. Our first role was to work directly with developers on key features or controls. Our second role was a broader, less direct influence over the rest of the 70+ partner teams we could not work with directly. Upon joining, I immediately saw…
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Alexa Notifications and Interruption Model

Alexa Notifications and Interruption Model

Upon joining the central Alexa Voice Design team in late 2015, my first order of business was to tackle a complicated systems design problem: how could we adapt a primarily single-threaded, voice-forward, reactive experience to allow proactive notifications? There was a great deal of caution surrounding the effort, as our product has been invited into homes, and we did not want to violate that trust. Further complicating matters was the as-then-unannounced Echo Show, which completely changed the interaction paradigm. While Echo had not supported large-scale multitasking, the Echo Show introduced the concept of navigation and a sort of back stack.…
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Alexa Skill: Trainer Tips

Alexa Skill: Trainer Tips

When I joined the Alexa team, the Skills store was still in its infancy. One of my first responsibilities on the team was to perform skill submission reviews, which gave me a unique perspective on the strengths and weaknesses of the early Skills platform. Still, I wanted to learn more deeply, and the best way to do that was to dive back into coding and develop my own Alexa skill. Do you have an Alexa device? Install the Trainer Tips skill for free! I developed Trainer Tips in early 2016, and it was one of the first 1000 skills approved…
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