Principal User Experience Consultant
American Electric Power
June 2006 – present
Since 2006, I have been the lead user experience specialist for AEP web and mobile sites.
I’ve worked on numerous customer web initiatives, including:
- Online registration
- Bill payment and paperless billing
- Account summary
- Detailed AMI and real-time pricing portals
- Outage alerts by email and text
- Redesign of AEP’s customer websites, for which I won a Key Contributor Award in 2010
- Design and launch of AEP’s first mobile web sites
In addition to web work, I have worked on the new design of AEP’s printed bill and on usability evaluations of programmable thermostats as part of AEP’s gridSMART initiative. I recently finished leading the user experience activities for the responsive redesign of AEP.com — including eye tracking studies and iterative IA and A/B navigation tests.
I utilize UX techniques such as eye tracking, participatory design, user interviews, in-person and remote card sorting, information architecture, wireframe design (Axure), user research, persona development, usability testing (Morae), remote testing.
As a member of the AEP mobile domain team, I help envision the roadmap of future AEP mobile functionality.
I am experienced using Webtrends and site search analytics to understand customer traffic and behavior.
My combination of UX and utility experience allows me to frequently speak at North American utility web conferences and webinars:
- EUCI Mobile Technologies for Utilities Conference: San Antonio, TX, January 2013.
- E Source Forum: Denver, CO, October 2012.
- Chartwell Web & Mobile Summit: Atlanta, GA, April 2012.
- EUCI Web Self-Service, Mobile Apps, and Social Media for Utilities Conference: Ottawa, ON, March 2012.
- EUCI Web Self-Service for Utilities Conference: Houston, TX, January 2012.
- Chartwell Webinar on Mobile Websites: December 2011.
- Conferences Connect Web Utility Week: San Francisco, CA, July 2011.
- Conferences Connect Web Utility Week: Ft. Lauderdale, FL, January 2009.
- EUCI Web Self-Service for Utilities: Tampa, FL, January 2008.
User Experience Manager
March 2005 – June 2006
Led the team responsible for the user experience design of a new large-scale web application for the State of Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, including user personas; scenarios; information architecture; user interface wireframe designs; user feedback plans; low- and high-fidelity usability planning, testing, and analysis; visual design; CSS stylesheets; HTML development; and user interface guidelines. Managed and mentored user experience team members, including 3 local staff and 6 staff in India. Created user experience design schedules, budgets, resource allocation. Managed usability lab. Contributed to Covansys’ usability best practices by consulting to other projects and team members.
Program Manager of User Interfaces
July 2001 – March 2005
Designed user interfaces that facilitated effective use of e-Learning software and Web applications. Planned and conducted usability testing on all applications and e-Learning products, and disseminated results to project teams. Created paper and low- to medium-fidelity mockups that communicated functionality. Led and mentored junior user experience staff. Participated in strategic design and business decisions. Championed user-centered design at all levels of the organization. Wrote and edited Web content and technical white papers.
- Led the information architecture, user interface, and usability efforts for multiple short- and long-term web application and software projects.
- Developed corporate user interface style guidelines.
- Introduced the company to usability engineering methods and helped incorporate into software development process.
- Established a process for working with graphic designers and developers to ensure aesthetic and usable user interfaces.
- Authored white paper documenting user interface changes and benefits to users in a large-scale courseware redesign.
- Received superior performance recognition, September 2002.
March 1999 – June 2001
Planned and conducted formal and informal usability tests and other user research on Web sites and applications. Analyzed test data and provided strategies to improve user interface and experience. Developed paper prototypes, user interface specifications, and site maps.
- Developed Resource Marketing’s core usability services and print marketing materials to promote them.
- Increased usability revenues from $0 to $260,000 by selling services to clients.
- Led multi-disciplinary teams, including developers, interface designers, content editors, information architects, and project managers, through the usability testing process.
- Created a series of seminars to evangelize the benefits of usability to other disciplines.
- Created standard reporting format for written usability reports.
Specific client-related accomplishments include:
- Drug Emporium — Web site received Gómez.com Number One rating for Ease of Use.
- Burton Snowboards — Results of study published in one of the discipline’s defining books, Designing Web Usability by Jakob Nielsen.
- Hewlett Packard — Grew business with HP to $100,000 per year. Saved HP $30,000 and one month of design and development by conducting usability testing.
May 1997 – February 1999
Planned, structured, and created communication materials for interactive media, retail environments, and product packaging at international design consultancy. Conducted user research. Helped improve the usability of Web, product, and CD interfaces. Contributed to in-house usability newsletter.
Specific client-related accomplishments include:
- Hush Puppies — Conducted user research and created and structured content for promotional Web site.
- Bank One — wrote positioning statement and cross-channel marketing materials for all of Bank One retail in their rebranding effort. Developed line logic and naming system for retail accounts. Recognized at Bank One awards program.
- PlumbShop — Conducted user research and structured retail merchandising system that let shoppers easily find the right small plumbing parts from among more than 500.
Web Content Manager
Carnegie Mellon University
May 1996 – October 1996
Graduate school internship managing staff who were creating content and design of computer-based training curriculum for undergraduate students.
- Created online courseware, including sequence of tutorials and exams for five-module course.
- Managed 20-person team to deliver content on time and budget.
- Integrated course content into interface design.
Black Box Corporation
May 1994 – August 1995
Wrote copy for catalogs, direct mailings, and newsletters. Assimilated technical information and translated into customer benefits. Edited corporate newsletter.
Editor, Proofreader, Contributing Writer
Westinghouse Electric Corporation
May 1993 – January 1994
Wrote, edited, and proofread a multi-volume technical proposal to run the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory. Created proposal style guide for entire staff. Trained engineers and scientists to write effectively. Created a library of technical references.
Intern and Freelance Writer
September 1992 – April 1993
Wrote a feature profile of a local musician, Joe Grushecky, and a short theatre review. Proofread copy, fact-checked articles, researched stories, transcribed interviews, and maintained a reference library.