THE SHORT STORY
The DesigNinja is largely a one-woman shop, but is aided by other talented designers with focused expertise in the areas of user research, interaction design, and visual design. Through a long and circuitous path, I found myself in the world of high-tech design. I studied Education, Anthropology and Visual Arts. While earning my Education degree, I spent a good deal of time learning about childhood and adult psychology, cognition in general, and how we learn. This area of study is fundamental to my applied methods of design – it’s what makes me an expert when it comes to predicting how people will respond cognitively to a given product, and what gives me the ability to really get into a customer’s head.
THE LONG STORY
My minor in Anthropology provided me with a wealth of knowledge of how people interact with the world around them, and how they internalize their experiences. It also gave me insights into cultures around the world, as well as a deep understanding of how context, culture, subculture, and other factors influence the way that people respond to a particular thing or experience. This knowledge is applied everyday that I do design work, when creating experiences that will be enjoyed by different customer segments, world regions, age groups, and so on.
My passion for Visual Arts led me to study illustration, color theory (and how color impacts learning and retention experiences), clay sculpting, and more. These studies built a sensitivity for how form, texture and color evoke certain emotional reactions in people. When you combine my educational background with a lifelong history of being a genuine computer nerd, you get someone with the equivalent of an HCI degree and much more.
While working as an Editor, I found myself making channels for what I was passionate about. I wanted to improve all the internal systems I used at work; I wanted to make it easier for new hires to find what they were looking for and learn their new tools; I wanted to redesign those tools. This led to a focus in Content Management, and eventually Web Design. I began designing and building Websites for fun, for anyone who needed one. When I officially made the switch from Editor to Designer, I handled everything from designing book covers to Intranet sites to creating & implementing content management systems and defining UI for apps alongside my clients.