A musical blog
I'm a Product Designer and Design Systems Lead at GitHub.
Formerly at Etsy. Based in Brooklyn, NY.
My interests and passions are in user-centric design, scalable CSS, design facilitation, and team collaboration.
Check out my (somewhat out-of-date) Portfolio for past work.
Hear me talk about my journey to Etsy, the startup bus, why Git is a valuable tool for designers, and onboarding designers at Etsy.
For many designers the best way to learn front-end development is on the job. Many companies want to attract designers who code, but may fall short of providing enough support.
How we redesigned the seller-facing web app, and built a new style guide in the process. Written for Etsy's Code as Craft blog, in collaboration with coworkers from the shop management team.
The biggest challenges you face in a workplace are often not in how to build the product, but in how to build a healthy work environment.
I spent the majority of my first trip to America looking at a computer screen, while sat on a bus that traveled from San Francisco to Austin. It turned out to be a life-changing experience.
Awwwards NYC, June 2016
Learning to code is a journey, and the first milestone for designers is often learning HTML and CSS. A great style guide can really propel a designer on their journey to becoming a key contributor. The same attributes that make a style guides great for designing in the browser also help with CSS maintainability, scalability, performance, and can even make it enjoyable to work with CSS again. This talk delves into what makes a great style guide for designers and everyone else, with some tips on the process of building style guides.
Clarity conference after party, March 2016
I've learned a lot about the hard and soft skills you need to build style guides from my experiences at Etsy and GitHub. This doesn't cover all the things I know, but this quick and fun lightning talk covers some of the most useful and practical things I've learned over the years.
If you're a designer who wants to code, you can learn a lot from online tutorials, side-projects, and contributing to Open Source. However, unless you get to work on something with a significant user base, you're unlikely to get exposed to the experiences that will help you write production-level code. For most designers the best way to learn serious front-end development is on the job. Many companies want to attract designer-coders, but they need to back this up with a culture that embraces them, and supports designers with training, tooling, and documentation.
This talk shows you how you and your team can build a designer-friendly coding environment to improve design workflows, team collaboration, and product design decisions.
Design Driven NYC, November 2014
In early 2014 the Seller Services team at Etsy began work on building better shop management tools for sellers; one of the goals being to improve the mobile web experience. The existing Etsy style guide did not lend itself well to responsive layouts, styles had become outdated, documentation was missing, and designers and developers often had to write a lot of CSS for experiments and new features.
As part of the shop tools project, myself and 3 fellow designers embarked on building a new "living" style guide. This talk covers some of the lessons we learned along the way.
Metis, November 2014
Designing for people is at the heart of my design process, as is collaboration with my coworkers. At Etsy designers are informed by user research and analytics, and work closely with engineers and product managers to build the right experience for our audience.
This talk covers how people-centric design and team collaboration are at the core of how we design and build Etsy.
Asbury Agile, October 2014
One of the hardest things to get right in any company is building a healthy work environment, and maintaining it as a company grows and faces new challenges. As a product designer and project manager I've often found myself in the position of the facilitator — encouraging team collaboration and helping keep that collaboration. This means adapting as change happens, and evolving a process that helps us recognize when change is needed. At Etsy this doesn't just mean retrospectives, it filters into many aspects of our workflow.
This talk covers what's important to building and maintaining a healthy product work environment.
Rails Girls SF, January 2013
Design is about solving problems, and it can feel daunting when you're at the start of unravelling those problems. Defining goals, use cases, and principles can help you make sense of the mess.
This talk gives an introduction to product design with tips and tricks for aspiring Ruby on Rails programmers.
Ignite Sydney, May 2011
Learning the Scrum framework gave me some great tools in my role as a project manager. I was so inspired by what I learned that I started thinking Scrum was the right way to solve every problem. It wasn't.
This talk gives an honest and humorous reflection of how I learned some hard lessons after taking the ScrumMaster certification.