Before I told user stories, I was helping designers tell theirs. As producer and editor of a podcast at the intersection of design and healthcare, I was introduced to design disciplines that I had never considered, such as: product, service, and UX. I soon realized there are fundamental elements of the design research process that overlap with my background as an actor and teaching artist.
The approaches of design thinking and social design, in particular, converge with my work using theatre techniques to support marginalized communities. I spent much of my early career facilitating workshops structured to amplify voices and make experiences heard. To empower and uplift. Now, as a researcher, I get to translate user experiences into actionable insights for design teams to make products and services human-centered and easy to use.
I have crafted interviews with renowned design leaders and strategists, I have worked in a design studio with 4 people, and I have conducted research alongside the pros at one of the largest tech companies in the world. Regardless of the setting, one thing is clear: design research needs advocates. I believe that through data-driven, human-centered research, design is uniquely suited to bridge the gap between user needs and business needs, and is a powerful force in driving social change.
Everything is an opportunity for research. Meaning, there is always something to learn. When I’m not exploring new research methodologies or design tools, I’m editing the most current episode of Yah, No. I also like to make glossaries and I once played a serial killer on TV.