In the most simplistic sense, I design websites and other digital experiences, but I consider myself a designer in the broadest sense of the word. I work with people from many kinds of organizations to help them solve problems that are holding them back.
Through strategic thinking and pragmatic design, I aim to amplify the impact of people doing good work in the world. Some examples:
- Rethinking how journalists produce their work (The Washington Post)
- Enrolling millions of people in health coverage (HealthCare.gov)
- Evolving a global humanitarian information resource (UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs’ ReliefWeb.int)
- Helping innovators create a move sustainable built environment (Terrapin)
I am based in Jersey City, NJ (near NYC).
My projects often entail investigating an organization’s needs and objectives, defining a strategy to meet the objectives, developing tactics and methods for implementing the strategic vision, and finally building something that translates conceptual tactics into actual, positive experiences for people—clients, customers, or constituents. When everything goes right there is also a larger shift in the organization’s offline practices to align with the digital strategy.
From 2006-2015, I practiced design independently. It provided me with the flexibility to work on a wide variety of projects I cared about, from massive government projects to small community groups in my city. I built ad hoc teams to deliver a full suite of design and development services and love working with great collaborators.
In February 2016, I joined 18F. The studio is on hold for the time being.
Areas of Interest
There are a number of ideas that I return to over and over and am eager to explore further:
- Big, messy challenges - I’m drawn to large, complicated challenges, where an initial need is recognized, but the way forward is unknown.
- Context & connected information - I’ve been intrigued with finding meaningful ways to connect information, provide greater context, and produce greater understanding for some time. Mixtrail was an attempt at this. Also see this and this.
- Increasing the reach of deep institutional knowledge - This has been a theme in a number of projects such as the most recent Terrapin work and Stone Barns, both organizations who deliver deep wisdom directly to some, but are eager to broaden the reach to much larger numbers.
- Deep content, longform, features - Finding methods and forms for presenting deep, rich information online is a very interesting issue. Some of the [ReliefWeb] work dealt with this, and the upcoming [Terrapin] work leans heavily it.
In late 2001, Anthony Del Monte founded Squeaky Wheel Media and Mailet Lopez and I joined him as Partners. We had worked together at the recently defunct Vizy Interactive. I was the Creative Director. Our fledgling, NYC-based boutique agency served a variety of clients—MasterCard International, SoBe Beverages, Blue Buffalo, and others—and grew steadily through some tough New York City years.
I grew up in Livonia, Michigan in a wonderful, loving family, and enjoyed all the benefits that come with such an environment. First I was a Lego kid, then I was an art kid. I studied at the excellent Cleveland Institute of Art, an historic school with an institutional appreciation for hard work and craftsmanship, and the Lacoste School of Art in Lacoste, France. In France, I met a beautiful girl from New York City who loved to laugh. She put me under a trance and drew me to New York. In order to make the move possible, I started designing websites. Both the girl and the profession stuck. We now live in Jersey City, New Jersey with our amazing little girl.