I’m Jeff, a humane designer & technologist.
I’m passionate about building products that improve people’s lives. I’m currently managing the product design team at Gladly. Formerly at Optimizely.
I ’ve defined my career by riding the line between design and code. I got my start building websites in high school, back when there was no distinction between “web design” and “web development,” and CSS wasn’t a “thing” yet. I indulged these twin interests by studying graphic communication and computer science at Cal Poly.
After college I went down the programming path by joining Cityspan as a Data Warehouse Developer. Over time my design muse got restless and rescued me from the database by sending me to UC Berkeley’s School of Information. While there I cut my teeth on user-centered design, and learned a ton about sociology, law & policy, technology, research, design, behavioral economics, and more.
While in grad school I took a class applying the learnings from behavioral economics to websites via A/B testing, which led me to join Optimizely after graduating. While there I continued moving between code and design, eventually becoming the head of the design team. After 5 and half years I was ready for a change, so I joined Casetext to build modern, easy-to-use legal tech tools. Now I’m at Gladly, spreading my code and design knowledge by managing the product design team.
Outside of work I like to play tennis, music (guitar, bass, and drums, but I’m pretty rusty now), hand letter, write, and spend time with my lovely fiancée eating, drinking, and traveling.
Like most tech startups, Optimizely uses an Agile process to build software. Agile has been great at helping us plan what we’re building, coordinate across teams, and ship iteratively; however, that meant design and research were awkwardly shoehorned into the process.
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On November 18th, 2014, we publicly released Optimizely's iOS editor. This was a big release for us because it marked the end of a months-long public beta in which we received a ton of customer feedback and built a lot of missing features.
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A Few of My Beliefs About Design
- Design is not the center of the universe. Design is one function of many at an organization.
- Other departments have more customer contact than you. Listen to them.
- Design needs to be aligned to the needs of the business, and deliver measurable business value. Don't design for design's sake.
- Design doesn't own the customer experience. A great customer experience is the emergent outcome of the contributions of every department.
- Principles of Writing Well
- Sol LeWitt's Wall Drawing #273 (CodePen)
- Ellsworth Kelly – Spectrum Colors Arranged by Chance V (CodePen)
- Ellsworth Kelly – Spectrum Colors Arranged by Chance III (CodePen)
- Discovery Kanban 101: How to Integrate User-Centered Design with Agile (Skillshare class)