First principles UX designer and champion of the end-user with decades of experience
in the home improvement, do-it-yourself, and commercial construction industries.
Innovative – Creative – Adaptive
If you’ve landed here, you’re likely looking for a UX designer who doesn’t just follow the playbook but writes a new one. You’re in the right place. My approach is deeply rooted in ‘First Principles’ thinking, where I dissect problems to their core elements and then craft solutions that are not just incremental but truly innovative.
So how do I tackle design challenges? My first step is dissecting the user experience to its foundational components. This allows me to understand the intrinsic needs of your users and how each element of the interface can streamline their digital journey. This isn’t just about surface-level improvements; it’s about crafting elegant and efficient solutions that remove unnecessary clutter and elevate the user experience across your products.
Industry standards? Useful, but they’re merely a starting point for me. I scrutinize each element and interaction to make sure it actually serves a purpose and enhances the user experience for your products. Questioning the “tried and true” allows me to push the design boundaries and offer you something genuinely innovative.
When issues arise—and let’s be real, they always do—I focus on identifying the root causes rather than applying quick fixes. This comprehensive understanding informs a more holistic solution, ensuring that your users aren’t just satisfied, but delighted. And the work doesn’t stop once a solution is implemented; I continuously iterate and refine, optimizing the experience even further.
I don’t just pull from the UX design toolbox; I also integrate insights from fields like psychology and engineering. This multidisciplinary approach enables me to solve problems from multiple angles, adding layers of depth and effectiveness to your products and enhancing the user experience.
Ethics and business objectives are not mutually exclusive in my design philosophy. Every decision I make aims to strike a balance between the well-being of your users and your business goals. I ensure that my solutions are not just user-friendly but also aligned with your strategic objectives. And to keep us on the right path, I utilize data analytics and real-world feedback as essential tools for validation.
Flexibility is another cornerstone of my approach. While planning is important, the digital landscape is ever-changing, and adaptability is key. If new data or fundamental issues suggest a pivot is in order, rest assured I’m agile enough to make it happen.
In summary, if you’re in search of a UX designer who combines a unique, principles-driven approach with extensive industry experience, you’ve found your match.
RECENT WORK EXPERIENCE
WTS Paradigm, “myBLDR.com” Residential Construction Materials Fulfillment & Management Software – Denver Colorado
2022 – Present
Rooted in first principles UX design thinking, I excel in transforming intricate systems into user-friendly processes.
My work involves real-time collaboration, catalyzing the birth of innovative ideas, and bringing arm-waving concepts down to Earth.
I am committed to sculpting the long-term visions of integrated design systems and crafting seamless user experiences.
Continually uncovering core truths, I construct solutions from scratch, thereby ensuring an authentically designed perspective from the ground up.
Always ready to adapt to new directions and test new hypotheses, I cultivate relationships and foster collaboration with diverse teams across the organization.
In the dynamic environments where I thrive, I provide innovative, comprehensive design solutions.
My keen eye for detail enables me to identify and rectify imperfections, contributing to enduring relationships with colleagues and a thorough understanding of user needs fueled by my innate curiosity and empathy.
Senior UX Designer
MiTek Industries, New Market Growth & Global Commercial Software – Denver Colorado
2017 – 2022
Conducted all UX research and created all UI/UX designs for multiple New Market Growth software products.
Invented novel methods to automate and improve volumetric modular construction practices.
Conducted all UX research, UX strategy, and created all UI/UX design for multiple commercial and New Market Growth software products.
Pioneered MiMezz, a new cloud-based software product that simplified the specification and design of large-scale steel frame mezzanines for Amazon.
Led an international Make-It-Happen-Team for 11 weeks to research and determine how to incorporate UX Design into legacy software development processes.
Mentored MiTek’s UI/UX designers and UI developers located in North America, Europe, and Australia.
Awarded most popular and informative keynote speaker for MiTek’s 2019 Annual Global Software Summit.
Creative Director & UI/UX Designer
DIY Technologies (Acquired by MiTek Industries) – Tucson, Arizona
1998 – 2005, 2009 – 2017
Led a five-person creative team to develop online design tools and websites for the DIY community.
Provided UX and UI/UX for the Lowes Home Center 3D Deck Designer.
Created and maintained multiple private-label versions of online 3D Deck Designer products and various product configurators.
Invented a gesture-based intuitive menu system and geometry manipulation system for tablet-based 3D deck designer products.
Improved time-to-market by paper prototyping and wireframing our software product concepts before committing to development.
Adjunct Faculty Instructor & OPEAC Faculty Advisor
Pima Community College, College of Arts – Tucson, Arizona
2004 – 2009, 2010 – 2020
Instructed students in 2D and 3D visual communications software, graphic design, advertising, and digital art.
Recognized for improving student attendance and grades by providing individualized tutoring during lab hours.
External strategist and curriculum advisor to the College of Arts Occupational Program External Advisory Committee.
LoveSmack Studios – Tucson, Arizona
2012 – 2015
Successfully launched and managed Tucson’s first fashion photography studio that doubled as a social hub for the industry.
Planned and managed all studio events such as live fashion shoots, industry meet & greets, model training, studio photography training, portfolio building photoshoots, and clothing designer fashion shows.
Published in BMW Motorcycle Magazine, Vogue Magazine, Arizona Daily Star, Tucson Woman Magazine, and multiple photographic works used in advertising campaigns.
Principal Designer / Owner
Sturm Design, LLC. – St. Louis, Missouri and Tucson, Arizona
1996 – 2009
Provided an array of creative services including graphic design, web design, 2D & 3D animations, and virtual world development.
Designed and developed multiple dynamic database-driven websites.
Prior to being acquired, created brand makeovers for Gain Technology and Gain Communications.
Collaborated with the University of Chicago’s School of Medicine to create a digital twin of their hospital used for medical personnel crisis training.
Cavalry Scout & Border Operations Trainer
United States Army 2/1 Cav and 1/11th ACR – Ft. Hood, Texas and Fulda, Germany
1985 – 1989
Assigned to the OP Alpha Border Operations Center in Fulda, Germany, where I served as Border Operations Trainer, Border Photographer, and Visiting Unit Photography Trainer.
Developed the Army’s first relational database program used to track East German and Russian military activity for 72 miles of the East/West German border.
Defined new methods and practices for the operations center and visiting units that improved the quality and efficiency of border activity reporting.
Honorable discharge with multiple awards and recognitions.