Hello.

I'm a digital product and graphics designer. I love device responsive web standards, functional user interfaces and branding — especially if there's a new product or service involved.

That's pretty specific, though. Deep down I really love designing all sorts of things. I geek out on physically interactive spaces and objects, data art, computational aesthetics, as well as bio-design.

I studied visual communication and art history at The George Washington University and I'm a graduate of New York University's innovative design and technology master's program, ITP.

I live, work and ride bikes in sunny Brooklyn, NY.

Contact

Academic Experience

2010.09 — 2012.05

Master of Professional Studies
Interactive Telecommunication Program (ITP) Tisch School of the Arts, New York University

2000.09 — 2004.05

BA Visual Communications with minor in Art History
The George Washington University
Graduated Cum Laude
National Society of Collegiate Scholars
Spring 2003 semester at Sydney University, AU

Professional Experience

2012.08 — present

UX Designer, Microsoft, New York, NY

I'm only just getting started.

2012.01 — 2012.05

Interaction Designer, SumAll, New York, NY

Worked with a small team of designers and developers to release the front-end of an analytics web application. Integrating an impressive array of data sources into a smart and charming experience, the application allows ecommerce business owners to save time and make better decisions.

2011.06 — 2011.09

UX Designer, Microsoft Bing, Bellevue, WA

Worked with design, editorial, dev and program management teams to scope, design and develop prototypes for a soon-to-be-released Bing.com feature during a summer internship. The internship culminated in two presentations of the feature prototypes to senior leadership at Microsoft as well as the Bing design team.

2007.02 — 2010.08

Graphic & Interaction Designer, Empax, Inc., New York, NY

Created a range of environmental, print and interactive materials to promote nonprofit clients and their causes. responsible for designing and presenting brand strategies, identities, print collateral, environmental signage, animation, user experience and interface, content management system setup and third party plug-in and data integration, search engine optimization, user analytics and testing.

2006.12 — 2011.08

Freelance Graphic & Interaction Design Consultant, New York, NY

Worked as a sole proprietor with various clients from retail, music, film, nonprofit, real estate and technology industries to create and improve existing brand and user experiences across many platforms and media, although mostly print and web.

2004.04 — 2006.01

Graphic Designer, The George Washington University Communication & Creative Services, Washington, DC

Worked with project management and external production vendors to deliver a range of print and interactive material related to university publications and communications initiatives. responsibilities included design and implementation of print collateral, posters, animation, environmental signage, web publication and press checks.

Other Experience

2011.11 — 2012.02

Vibrant Technology Researcher, Intel Research, NYC
Grant recipient working with NYU faculty, Intel researchers and student collaborators to design and develop a prototype for a location-based interactive organism that explores what happens when technologies are re-envisioned as peers instead of tools.

2006.01 — 2006.12

English Teacher, NOVA Japan, Kure-shi, Hiroshima-ken, Japan
Taught and mentored students of all ages and abilities in small to medium-sized classes to improve proficiency in english linguistics and conversation.

Selected Press & Publications

2012.05

Project: #BKME
Creative Applications (Web)
“BKME.ORG – A Web Platform for Reclaiming Bike Lanes”
by Greg J. Smith

2012.03

Project: #BKME
Laughing Squid (Web)
“BKME, Web Platform For Recording Bicycle Lane Violations”
by Edw Lynch

2011.07

Project: Budget Climb
Freakonomics (Web)
“What Would it Be Like to Climb 26 Years of Federal Spending?”

2011.04

Project: Budget Climb
Flowingdata (Web)
“Physically climb over budget data with Kinect”
by Nathan Yau

2011.02

Project: Gedenk Logo
Logo Lounge 6 (Book)
by Catharine Fishel and Bill Gardner, Rockport Publishers

2010.12

Project: Pousse Cafe
Gizmodo (Web)
“A Bartender That Pours The Perfect Shot, Every Shot” by Matt Buchanan

2009.11

Project: The 2007 Gotham Awards Logo
Basic Logos (Book)
by Index Book

2008.10

The Alliance for Climate Protection Website
Print Magazine
“Dialogue: Martin Kace”
by Steven Heller

Selected Exhibitions

2011.12

ITP Winter Show 2011, NYC

2011.05

ITP Spring Show 2011, NYC

2011.04

Data Viz Challenge Party, hosted by Eyebeam and Google, NYC

2010.12

ITP Winter show 2010, NYC

Quality. Precision. Relevance?

April 5, 2011

Google's challenge

If Google’s search algorithm has always executed for precision and quality, it seems to have been struggling with personalization and social relevance as a third parameter since the very beginning. Having never figured this out is now jeopardizing Google’s dominance on search.

What can I possibly say about Google’s PageRank that hasn’t been said before? What a great idea. It’s served us so well. I’m not kidding (of course I’m not). Although it’s laid out in crazy looking summation notation, the simplicity of its origin is quite nice. To determine a page’s PageRank, you just look at the ranks of all the pages linking in, dividing each by the number of total links they contain respectively and adding these all up. Coupled with title search for precision, PageRank got most of us and our web searches through the latter half of the nineties with nothing short of quality. Especially compared to what we were doing before. Despite The Anatomy of a Large-Scale Hypertextual Web Search Engine‘s appendix A funny business about advertisements and motives I even think Google has done a remarkable job providing a service free of obstructions and trickery.

What’s more remarkable than the simplicity of the concepts outlined by Mr. Brin and Mr. Page back in 1998 that lead to Google’s success, was that their identification of search personalization as an area for future work seemed to have taken a backseat for such an extended period of time. Now they may find themselves scrambling. From section 6 from Mr. Page’s 1998 publication The PageRank Citation Ranking: Bringing Order to the Web,

Such personalized page ranks may have a number of applications, including personal search engines. These search engines could save users a great deal of trouble by efficiently guessing a large part of their interests given simple input such as their bookmarks or homepage.

We didn’t have social networks back in 1998 (not really), so the relevance of “a homepage or bookmarks” was really all they had to go on in terms of developing a taste profile but why didn’t Google ever try to figure this out further? How could they possibly make search more personal? How could they make it personal at all? Solving for this mysterious social relevance parameter requires data about your users, and building this data requires active engagement from your users. It turns out Google has tried to solve this active engagement problem, and they’ve been trying pretty hard. Remember Google Wave? Buzz? Starring items on your results page? Blocking sites on your results page? They’ve been stumbling on this, for sure. They’re now trying to implement +1 as a means to develop this kind of data.

+1 has a lot of UX issues, like why would you search for something and then +1 it on the results page? If you haven’t even visited the page yet, how do you know if you… errr… “like” it? You certainly wouldn’t go to the page and then return to the results page just to +1 it, would you?

I suppose there is a fundamental disconnect between the act of searching and being actively engaged, and some are suggesting that Google is too concerned with leveraging engagement rather than creating engagement. It’s true, some of these efforts have seemed desperate. I read an interesting piece on the subject by A.J. Kohn where he suggests introducing game mechanics into the equation as a possible avenue to explore in creating search engagement. This is just a suggestion, but he bases it on ideas from leading thinkers in the field of human-computer information retrieval which encourages continuous human intelligence in the search process.

Whichever approach seems most promising, there remains the problem of active engagement which Google has yet to solve and no amount of fiddling with PageRank will help this process. It’s glaringly obvious, at least from my perspective, that this is Google’s biggest current challenge. Facebook is sitting on a mountain of data related to all aspects of our personality and when you start with the relevance parameter it seems that we naturally build quality filters into our browsing habits. There is a distinct advantage here for others like facebook, and I’m not so sure Google can crack this egg without relying on a third party for their data.