Professionally, I'm a user experience designer & prototyper

For the past 3 years, I've worked at VMware, where I design software to help people manage data centers. It's pretty fun! Data centers are really complicated and the UX design challenges we face at VMware are deep and engaging. 

I started out as a member of the UX prototyping team - a group within the larger UX team chartered with using our web development and design-sprinting skills to do quick, exploratory, highly interactive projects. As I gained domain expertise I started taking on bigger projects with larger product impact, and I recently became a UX Lead for VMware's core product, the vSphere Web Client.

I've really enjoyed this growth in my role at VMware - it's been rewarding and fulfilling to take on bigger challenges and think in new ways about how to help people around me grow and thrive.

 

I haven't posted a portfolio of my work online because so much of it is prototype-y and exploratory or is otherwise under development, but I'm happy to talk in person and show you what I can!

As part of the prototyping team, I used my design and web development skills to work in short sprints and help people explore risky ideas or think about the future of our products. The prototypes and hackathon projects I've worked on have answered big questions about product direction, demonstrated tiny interaction details, been shown at internal research conferences, and brought polish and excitement to presentations about product concepts.

Three of the hackathon projects I worked on were turned into research papers, and two of those had main stage talks at VMware's annual R&D conference - one of which I gave!

A (pre-transition) photo of me giving a talk about my research project at VMware's R&D conference!

A (pre-transition) photo of me giving a talk about my research project at VMware's R&D conference!

 

As a UX Lead, I've been doing design and research for some really exciting new work on the vSphere Web Client - an extremely powerful (and... complicated) piece of software that allows admins to build a data center from scratch, deploy virtual machines, and set up virtualized networking & storage.

IT organizations are going through a shift: more and more companies are developing custom software in-house, and IT admins need to support these development teams as they deploy, grow, and maintain these applications. The projects I'm working on now are exploring new ways to help our users support development teams in their companies. It's been really interesting to see how we can push the product in new directions, and I've been able to use my prototyping instincts to untangle these user needs and explore designs in fast, iterative cycles.

I've also been learning a lot about design leadership and how to help create a healthy, positive, collaborative work environment.

Me at my desk sometime around Pride this year

Me at my desk sometime around Pride this year

 

I'm very passionate about LGBTQ activism, and I'm a co-lead of VMware's Pride employee resource group. I've loved connecting with others at the company, planning events, and creating change for queer employees.

In this capacity I spoke on a panel about product design at Out For Undergrads in Tech 2017, attended Out & Equal 2017, and I'm helping organize a Transgender Allyship Workshop (where I'll also be speaking on a panel!) at VMware. I also marched with VMware in the Silicon Valley Pride Parade this year!

This was right before I sweated off all my makeup in the blistering heat

This was right before I sweated off all my makeup in the blistering heat

 

Most of all I love learning. I try to bring a learner's mindset to all of my projects, especially when it involves the opportunity to get experience with a new technical domain or practice a new skill. I enjoy working across the entire design process, and have a special appreciation for the way designs come to life in the hands of users. I love to teach and help others, and nothing makes me happier than to take on a crazy ambitious project in good company.