The vastness of curiosity

I have been thinking deeply about this quote from the author of one of my favorite books, The Little Prince.

"If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea."

— Antoine de Saint Exupéry

Though this also applies to my personal life, I often reflect on this in the work setting and with design teams. This quote always finds me looking back at Kimber Lockhart's post about fostering a sense of purpose. Everyone has a different drive and motivation, and when you can find people who are purpose-driven, there is an infinite amount of energy because it is their human need to explore and be curious.

If you can find people who are in love with the process and are curious, they will lead you all over the ends of the earth.


OK to disconnect: The death of my iPod classic after 14 years

It was Saturday night and I was at my San Francisco apartment listening to BT's new album "_" on my iPod classic. I was trying to get the mood right to explore some prototypes I have been wanting to finish up. Suddenly I heard the sound all-too-familiar with other devices. The hard drive was trying to spin up…quickly, and then fading away.

I knew what it this meant but was in denial. Suddenly, it locked up. I frantically plugged my iPod into the nearly-obselete 32-pin adapter and into my iMac. I tried restoring. iTunes couldn’t read it. I checked disk utility to give it another try…even tried to format it. Didn’t work. My iPod gave it’s last spin attempt…and failed.

I was devastated. It felt crazy to feel so hurt by the loss of an inanimate object. However, it hit me. My iPod represented more than what it physically was, but more than 14 years of my life. To put it in a bit of perspective, my iPod is the same age as my cat Wilson, both I received while in college.

I still had my papers and art projects from college on the hard drive. These iPods were ones that you could use as an external drive as well. So many memories of art history papers about Caravaggio sketches of explorations.

And of course, there was the music and podcasts. All the playlist I had on it was curated carefully by me. Looking at the playlists, I can remember the reason it was created, whether it was in honor of the death of a friend, parties, or especially created for

In an age of streaming, shuffle, remixing, reboots, adapters, and annual upgrades, the iPod classic represented intention, focus, and longetivy. It was just your hand on the wheel, turning, and exploring.

Now that they are discontinued, I'm not sure if I ever will own an iPod classic again, but I am so thankful for more than a decade of experience with something that was quite literally the soundtrack to my life.

Ask Me Anything: Why is the time set to 2:14 AM on all of your designs?

We couldn't afford to rent movies when I was a kid, so my mom would take my brother and I to the public library. Though there was a huge list of options for films, we would always pick the same one—Terminator 2: Judgment Day. In the film, the computer AI Skynet is the antagonist that becomes self-aware and begins targeting humans as a threat causing the nuclear nightmare, known as "Judgment Day". In the 1991 film prior to the new re-boots, Skynet became self-aware a 2:14 am Eastern Time.

In any static design I do, the time is set to that.

Have other questions? Ask Me Anything.

The best team white elephant party ever

As I was organizing my Vimeo page I stumbled upon this gem...our White Elephant Christmas party from 7 years ago when I worked at ExactTarget. It's amazing that these group of people have grown up to now have their own families, elevate in their career to be directors and beyond.

Vowch iPhone App

Role: Lead Designer

Featured by Apple

I met the co-founders of Vowch after they initially had work done on the iOS app with a digital agency in New York, who by the way, did some tremendous work. I worked on the iPhone app in the transition of iOS 6 to 7 which introduced a new visual style, in addition to working on the Android app.img_portfolio_vowch_02



Nordstrom Anniversary Sale iPad App

The goal of this project is to create an Anniversary Lookbook solution that is easily updated by the business and more automated in time for Anniversary 2012. The Anniversary Lookbook will be used as an internal selling tool providing the Full Line Stores (FLS) and Contact Center the ability to access item information in advance of them arriving in the stores or being published on the website.

My company (Xhatch Interactive) was asked to design, develop, and deploy an iPad solution in addition to a Point of Sale (POS) solution for our client. The previous look books were printed copies (see video below) that were distributed to every FLS and would need to be re-issued every time there was an update. Since Nordstrom already had iPads as part of their operations, this project did not increase the cost but cut spending (not to mention environmental implications) of digitizing the lookbook.

My Involvement

  • Led product discovery with stakeholder to generate use cases, prioritize features, and scope project
  • Designed the Lookbook solution for the iPad and Point of Sale
  • Led the engineering team (our own at Xhatch)
  • Observed and interviewed sales staff to understand process and pain points
  • Worked with training employees and staff on rolling out the devices across stores

Success Looks Like
Increase in Pre-Select/Beauty Exclusives sales of Lookbook items for Anniversary 2012.

Who Used This
Nordstrom Employees at Full Line Stores

12 internal stakeholders from Business Integration, Store Integration, Education, and Operations

Challenges and Constraints

  • Wifi was not constant in the stores so we could not rely on internet as a means to update content
  • Point of Sale solution was optimized for a specific size

The image on the left is the POS solution built and image on the right is the original Look Book.