I would tell them I manage product design and the creative process in building engaging paradigms for enterprise-level solutions. My role at Hook & Loop is very much focused on process: refining how we handle engagements—whether with Infor or external clients—by using existing tools in our toolbox within each discipline.
What did you do before joining Hook & Loop?
I was the lead UX technologist for a company called Universal Mind. There, I managed a team of technologists whose talents ranged from strategy, information architecture, design, and development for both web and mobile. When I wasn’t managing I was running a project from start to finish: figuring out the business needs and goals, requirements for prototypes, wire framing, design, and full-on development for HTML web and iOS mobile.
Did you ever think you would be working for an enterprise software company?
Yes. I’ve been doing that for the past nine years!
What do you enjoy most about being with Hook & Loop?
Since I am a little new, I’m still figuring some things out. But what’s so exciting for me here is the opportunity to come in and build a better collaborative process that capitalizes off of the different talents we have within the product team.
I’m excited at the chance to help each team member grow, design better experiences, and to figure out ways to add engagement into enterprise software. Design is one step, but engagement is where you make users excited about using your software. The goal is for people to use Infor products not because they have to, but because they want to.
What do you do when you are not working?
Simple Bots. On this site I explore design, UX, and gesture driven interactions within iOS mobile paradigms, and then develop, build, and deploy it to Apple’s app store. Honestly, my job is my fun. But my wife and I are also huge foodies. And I love snowboarding when I get the chance to do it.
What's been your greatest career challenge?
Coming to Hook & Loop into a leadership role definitely conquers my last career challenge. In terms of a challenge I’ve experienced over the course of my career, it would be repeatedly having to convince management of the importance of user validation and prototyping design concepts as being integral to deciding if something is a good solution.
How do you effectively manage your team members?
It’s all about communication. Providing better communication to different teams so there is an understanding of where we are, where we’re headed, and what we need to do to get there.
You've developed a pretty cool app. Can you tell me about it?
A friend of mine and I decided we wanted to build an iPhone app. We had our day-to-day jobs, but we wanted to explore mobile paradigms in a fun and engaging way. We sat down and tried to figure out what we wanted to do. We wanted to do something people would use on a daily basis.
We came up with the idea of an alarm clock because there are tons in the app store already, but we didn’t feel that any of them were addressing the key points of simplicity and a better UX. A lot were adding in extra features or recreating the wheel with different colors or a different menu.
And so we created Rise, an alarm clock that is true to form, simple, uses gesture driven UIs, and at its heart is fun to use. 2.5 million people have downloaded it to date.
Why do you think design is so critical to enterprise solutions?
Design brings character, beauty, interaction, movement, and engagement to an application. Character is important, especially in the enterprise. Every application should have a unique character—in terms of how it looks, feels, and its interaction paradigms, so that it becomes distinctly familiar to the user. Design is the core link between functionality and the user.
If you could do any career (astronaut, rock star, etc.) what would you do?
Perhaps in another life I would do something that involves travel and discovering how design exists in different cultures. From traffic signage to how the flow of information is different from one culture to another. Call it an Anthony Bourdain for design. Maybe it's even in the cards for me in the future. We'll see!