I am a user-centered design leader with 17+ years of experience using research and agile design methodology to reimagine complex data-driven systems
Story-based process for complex data solutions

I always strive to make complicated information understandable. That was my core objective studying visual communications as long as I've worked as a designer. Making complex data accessible in the context of a team involves collaborative brainstorming. My training at LUMA Institute and in Apple design sprints emphasizes the user's "day-in-the-life" narrative. I know many techniques that help create a story out of the user's daily task flow, including pain points. Methods that help with importance and difficulty can prioritize the return on investment so that effort is focused painlessly.

Boeing / Jeppesen, experience diagram displays the pilot's journey from preflight to landing

As an active listener, I invite remote or co-located users to share their stories to learn how I may help improve their digital work environment. Users are encouraged to influence product design through in-person or virtual meetings where I am a sponge for qualitative and quantitative feedback.

Microsoft, Buzz whiteboard sketches for internal project performance evaluation

I have cross-industry experience from eCommerce and entertainment to finance and procurement, gaming and sports statistics, not to mention digital aviation. I have mobile-first perspective and have created industrial websites for enterprise. I intuitively understand scalability and deliberation requirements.

Microsoft, Buzz dashboard concept
Microsoft, Buzz query results matrix

I have contractor, agency and client-side experience. My strategy is rapid iterative test and evaluation. I know it is important to consider options quickly to manage time efficiently.

Work highlights
Boeing  / Jeppesen Aviator
aviation workflow & logistics

No more paper in the cockpit. Gone are the flight plan factories that printed reams of single-use documents for airlines. iPads allow us to modernize the cabin of jetliners, ensure updated briefing and provide situational awareness. 

I led a team of designers to realize the potential of paperless flight. I gained pilots' trust via interviews to prove that the UX team could represent Aviator's business interests. We conducted pilot usability tests to validate solutions for loading new flights, dashboard designs, navigation logging, and other high-profile features. Aviator has innovated through integration of many different applications and new operations with my help. Digital aviation is here.

 
Aviator dashboard UI depicting weather and workflow tiles
Microsoft ContractWeb
cohesive branded contract request,
search and status 

ContractWeb is a resource for attorneys at Microsoft. Once an order for goods or services is approved, that is just the beginning. Microsoft's global portal solutions for requisition, search, and status lived in archaic silos.

I interviewed content managers, attorneys, admins, and accountants at Microsoft. I captured everyone's feedback over Skype for analysis and presented findings to leadership.

I worked with contracting managers to brand experience and refine the portal's information architecture and content. We groomed navigation to eliminate overgrowth. I collaborated with content managers to quickly trim outdated copy. I worked with production managers to further refine design and development. Together we integrated contracting services.

HomeA.png
ContractWeb concept landing page concept
ContractWeb research study findings
Microsoft MyOrder
procurement requisition with approver oversight
user test.png
Usability test variations
MyOrder-sketch.png
Whiteboard review 

Enterprise-level buying complexity. Historic interfaces developed in isolation. Obscured or missing error status. Everyone struggles with resource procurement at scale when using out-dated technology.

I updated Microsoft's piece-meal procurement system from requisition to approvals. I worked with buyers to improve the purchase order process with status at each step. The dynamic task flow we made presents only necessary content when needed with at-a-glance awareness to ensure administrators and assistants know where things stand.

Edit state of multiple form sections
My Skills

User-centered philosophy, training, &  experience design

  • LUMA Institute user-centered design certified practitioner with awareness of other methodologies and 10+ years of evidence-based design exercise

  • Commitment to quality design and client experience with adaptability to most cultures

  • True believer in agile with training in scalable Agile, and well-versed in lean UX methodology

  • Broad user-centered curiosity for integrations across disciplines with research tools for observing, outlining, and creating solutions for complex problems

  • Skilled composer and moderator of usability test scripts as well as unbiased scribe and analyst

Communication and empathy

  • Privileged to work in a role with empathy for user struggles and skills for change

  • Amature cognition enthusiast with genuine curiosity for alternate interpretation of events or language

  • Driven to education when deficiency of experience or knowledge become a barrier to understanding others

  • Prone to analogies when the constraints of language fail to convey meaning adequately

  • Easy-handed contributor in team meetings with the ability to read the room as a considerate diplomat

Leadership and vision

  • Accessible, friendly, example-setting mentor with intuition developed over years of coaching product designers

  • 15 years of Director level design experience leading projects in addition to solo design practice

  • Research pioneer on large projects, directing prototype, test, and customer evaluation while remaining open

  • Advocate of incremental progress since overcommitment is risky and a roadmap with validation prevents rework

  • Constructive team player focused on inclusion

  • Emphatic about diverse perspectives at work and building team equity in the end product

What people say about working with me

"Aaron is a top-notch designer. I have worked with him at several companies and he balances great design skills with complex problem-solving. He starts with gaining a solid understanding of business requirements and translates them into elegant and effective designs. He is a great partner with product management and development teams; he cares deeply about products and services that work well for customers. He's a collaborative and creative teammate, and he's a dedicated business partner. I hope to work with Aaron again!"

Paulé Wood

Founder
Transparent Path

"I worked with Aaron on a market segment leading Aviation solution aimed at the pilot persona. Over the course of my career, I’ve worked with dozens of UX designers while Aaron was by far the best. His quality of work, speed, ownership, and communication are beyond reproach. It was a pleasure to work with him and hoping to work with him again in the future."

Benjamin Monnig

Program Manager – Flight Deck Solutions

Boeing

"I've been fortunate to know Aaron since he was in high school, during which his creative talents were already boldly evident. Working with him during the very early days of the Foresight Design Initiative provided me not only with compelling design, but also stretched me creatively in an effort to keep up. Watching him grow and develop since then, not just creatively and technically, but also personally and emotionally, has been edifying and inspiring. There is no "light touch" in Aaron's vocabulary, he fully engages and challenges himself to exceed even his own expectations whether it's a logo or complex user-interface that he's collaborating on crafting. Technically proficient in more ways and on more platforms than I can comprehend, he's also, more importantly, ambitious while still being tactful, generous, thoughtful and kind."

Peter Nicholson

Founding Principal

Foresight Design Initiative