Product Design and Strategy

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Skillsets

Here are key examples of my skills which I utilize for startups and global businesses alike.

Holistic Design Skills

 

I very much believe that design should have a place at the table in the business world, and that the way to this is through thorough and varied skillsets.


 
 

Design Research

Exploratory, Generative, and evaluative

One of the hardest research challenges I faced recently was a speed design session with the healthcare company, Simple. The company approached me while I was relaxing on a Friday evening, and desperately needed a redesign of their keystone product for an investor presentation on Monday.

After a comprehensive product brief, and a few moments of timeframe-induced paralysis, I started the beginning of a 26 hour research marathon. I rushed through every secondary research method I could, and even managed to get ahold of competing products to test and distill insights from. However, as any good researcher will tell you, it takes time to yield fruit. I ended up delivering mediocre results, and a mediocre design.

After delivery of the product on Monday, and a 48 hour coffee-fueled design binge, I urged the company to come back to me after their meeting so I could complete the complex project properly. I am happy to say that they followed my advice, promptly discarded my old design, and rehired me as a venture designer for their team. We are launching soon, and intend to help people across the world.

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Virtual Reality Prototyping

Real Time remote product walkthrough

During a recent project with a D.C based virtual reality company, I came across a fascinating problem. I was in the process of designing a state-of-the-art virtual reality arcade booth, and the scale of the product made it difficult to grasp while sketching. The rough dimensions were 20 feet across, and I needed a way to comprehend the interior while remaining grounded to the design itself.

I bought a HTC Vive, downloaded the popular sketching program Gravity Sketch, and quickly learned the ropes of VR design. Over the next weeks I was able to create hundreds of room-scale prototypes, walk through them in real-time, and have my clients explore the spaces in the artificial environment. This technology was crucial to the success of the project, and it will be launching in 2019. VR sketching has now since been incorporated into almost all of my products, and is integral to the prototyping stage.

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Rendering

Hyperrealistic imagery using Keyshot

When I was still progressing through my initial design classes at SCAD, I found myself struggling with sketching and hand-rendering. No matter how hard I applied myself at the time, I couldn't seem to get good enough at sketching to be able to properly explain and display my designs. As a result, I gravitated towards other visualization methods, namely Keyshot.

I delved deep into the tutorial world of high-functioning keyshot designers, and practiced hundreds of hours in the first few weeks alone. Within a month, I was proficient, and two I was teaching hours long unoffical classes for seniors in the large presentation rooms of the ID department. I became adept at texturing, lighting, and surface imperfections, and projects I rendered went on to win 14 design awards within the year.

While my skillset has rounded out since then, I still use keyshot daily for rendering, context mockups, and animations.

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Storytelling

Facts with emotion

In 2016 I was working with an incredibly talented team that was tasked with creating a 2020 line of products for the Danish brand SKAGEN. Everyone was working incredibly collaboratively in the early stages of the research process, each bringing to the table a slue of consumer driven insights, valuable data, and new technologies.

Unfortunately, the amount of information that we were gathering turned out to be paralyzing. Few research distillation methods could touch the sheer magnitude of insights, and our team was facing an impasse. We tried everything we could, but in the end this breadth of research ended up being affinitized, forgotten, and ignored.

While the project was a technical success, and the products are being incorporated into SKAGEN's ecosystem, I was deeply disturbed by our inability to produce actionable data. As a result, I started to explore storytelling as an avenue of design management and as a way to convey mass data in ways that connect and stick with people.

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Sketching and Ideation

Rapid Sketching and Hand rendering

I worked for the kitchen brand Chefman for many months immediately following my graduation in 2017. My job there was to redesign their flagship product, a sous vide immersion cooker, and do so in a way that had never been seen before in the market.

Working remotely as the only industrial designer on their team presented signifigant challenges. At first, projects progressed slowly and methodically, held back by my inability to uniformly communicate throughout the organization. Designs would trickle through each staff level, necessitating incredibly well annotated sketches and models.

The projects were able to move much faster once I was able to organize daily conference calls where I would sketch in real time and alter designs based on immediate feedback. It was a crucial step in the process to see their ideas reflected instantly, and rapid ideation has been my primary method of idea disseminaton ever since. Three products from that project went straight from sketch to manufacturing, and will be released in 2019.

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CAD Modeling

Solidworks, Blender, Rhino, and More

For the undisclosed product of the healthcare company Simple, CAD modeling requires a Frankensteins monster approach. Every stage of the design has to be vetted through multiple lenses, from manufacturing to materials and engineering to packaging. We work usinfg the MVP platform, meaning that every time the design changes everything has to evolve to be re-run by consumer groups.

For manufacturing and materials I create the base design using Solidworks, one of my most familiar programs, which is then sent to manufacturers, 3D Printing, and engineering. After this, I import the designs into Blender to create organic geometry such as the packaging, wrappings, labels, and tags. These are meaningless to manufacturing teams, but of vital importance for rendering, packaging demonstration, and brand identity creation.

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UI + UX

Intuitive, flow-aware web and mobile design

In mid 2018 I was working with the digital platform Grpvyn to develop a strategy for their MVP launch and future product chemistry. I had never worked on a digital platform before, and was asked to be part of the team as a trial basis to see if I would be a good fit as a venture designer / equityholder.

The MVP (Minimum Viable Product) launch structure allowed for the perfect training grounds for me as a amateur Ui/Ux designer. I would create an interface, test the interface, and redesign immediately based on the feedback. The loops of actionable data were so tight that it was impossible not to gain valuable insight into customer value and flow of digital design.

While Ui and Ux is still not center of my wheelhouse, I feel comfortable using the standard development platforms, working with developer teams, and creating unified mobile/web app systems.

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Additional Skillsets

  • Sustainability, Biodegradeability, Renewability
  • Design Management and Leadership
  • Illustration
  • Graphic Design
  • Presentation
  • Animation
  • Manufacturing Processes