In 2009, I founded Normal Modes UX, a Texas-based company that specializes in user research and training. I believe the best way to do user experience outside a large organization was to be a consultant with a fresh perspective and a joie de vivre that gets organizations excited about practicing user centered design. Our services include UX design, research, and training for organizations of all sizes with one common goal: delivering a great user experience. Some of our clients have included:
From 2014-2017, I was the Executive Director of the Houston chapter of the User Experience Professionals’ Association (HUXPA.) In 2015, I joined the adjunct faculty in the Master of User Experience Design program in the School of Information at Kent State University, where I continue to teach today. I love teaching, my students, and the program.
After just a few years in the business, I began to experience a steady stream of people contacting me for career advice. I noticed some themes:
Finding qualified UX candidates is tough. And then after I get them hired, I’m not really sure how to develop their skills. What else do you think they need to know?
There are others. But these are the most common ones.
As a result, in recent years, I've become really passionate about preparing the next generation of UX professionals. In 2016, rebranded Normal Modes training as UX.training. It’s the same participant-centered, evidence-based training methods we used at Normal Modes, but kicked up a notch through with our research-based YouX™ Competency Model.
I began my career as a subject matter expert at a financial services company during the early days of putting information online. Later I joined Continental Airlines during a pivotal time in the travel industry. During my time there, we were able to leverage a major redesign with a focus on the user experience to change the entire travel industry from one dominated by travel agents to one where travelers go directly to the airline/hotel/car company to make reservations. That experience changed the way I viewed UX; it was no longer a "nice to have" but a competitive advantage and a game changer for business. It's worth noting the UX team consisted of 3 people, so you don't need large teams to accomplish HUGE things. I'm still an advocate of small, nimble teams.
I put myself through college as a UX professional, first at the University of St. Thomas where I majored in International Studies and minored in Religion and Philosophy. After that, I matriculated Rice University to complete my MLS with a thesis that included ethnographic research in mainland China.
I love creating applications to automate truly atrocious manual processes (my kryptonite), watching people interact with the world around them, and cooking. In my (limited) spare time I love to playing board games and taking my kids to do things that will blow their little minds. After a 30ish year break, I recently picked up string instruments again and started playing violin. I'm terrible, but I'm having fun! I live with my husband and two young children in Houston, the most diverse city in the United States.