I'm a designer, design leader, and educator.

As a leader, I set experience strategy and help teams ship great products. As a hands-on designer, I solve complex interface and interaction design problems. In my 20+ year career, I've led teams and built software with these great companies:

Blackboard
2U
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Lightspeed
Wonderschool
Bank of America
Atlassian
Dell
Meta
InStride
Microsoft
Neighborly
Realtor
Scholastic
SiliconLabs
USAA

These are some companies I've started, presentations I've given, and things I've written.

Narrative
Founded March, 2023
Cashing Out: A handbook for selling your creative services company, and a million reasons not to do it
Free!
Creative Clarity
Well Designed: How to use Empathy to Create Products People Love
This Chainsaw Cannot Fly
Free!
How I Teach
Free!
Wicked Problems: Problems Worth Solving
Exposing the Magic of Design
Thoughts on Interaction Design
Thoughts on Interaction Design
Modernist Studio
Acquired August, 2021
Austin Center for Design
Founded April, 2010
2019
IxDa
Stories: The Way to Our Heart, and the Key to Design Strategy20:50
Stories: The Way to Our Heart, and the Key to Design Strategy
At IxDA's interaction19 conference
2018
reaktor
Creative clarity: finding focus in the midst of ambiguity31:47
Creative clarity: finding focus in the midst of ambiguity
At Reaktor's Breakpoint 2018 conference
2015
Mind The Product
Where Do Great New Products Come From?31:01
Where Do Great New Products Come From?
At the Mind The Product 2015 conference
2015
Creative Mornings
Empathy13:50
Empathy
At Creative Mornings, 2015
2020
Modernist Studio
Design Strategy
Design Strategy: A Comprehensive Training Package
Full online course—free
Free Course!
2017
Modernist Studio
Service Design: Designing for Experience Over Time
Service Design: Designing for Experience Over Time
Online course
2017
Modernist Studio
Product Management: Building Great Products
Product Management: Building Great Products
Online course
2023
interactions magazine
Strategy Requires Execution
2021
Fast Company
Remote school doesn’t have to be terrible. Here’s how to rethink virtual learning
2020
Fast Company
The new American Dream is just as unattainable as the old one.
2019
Harvard Business Review
Jony Ive and the Myth that Only Certain People Can Design.
2019
EdSurge
The failure of fast education
2018
Fast Company
Want To Build A Culture Of Innovation? Master The Design Critique
2018
CEO Magazine
Learning to Love Creative Criticism
2017
interactions magazine
The Divisiveness of Design Thinking
2017
Fast Company
The Simple Idea That Drives Creativity At Amazon, Airbnb, And Dell: Think Small
2016
Harvard Business Review
The Problem of Bolt-On Acquisitions in a Digital World
2015
Harvard Business Review
A Process for Empathetic Product Design
2015
Harvard Business Review
Design Thinking Comes of Age.
2015
Harvard Business Review
Lean Doesn't Always Create the Best Products
2015
interactions magazine
Learning the Long, Hard Slog of Product
2015
Harvard Business Review
Make Enterprise Software People Actually Love
2015
interactions magazine
Moving on from Requirements
2015
interactions magazine
Teaching a Confidence in Process
2015
Harvard Business Review
Dysfunctional Products Come from Dysfunctional Organizations
2015
EPIC
Everything is made up and the points don't matter
2015
European Academy for Design
Leveraging Design Research to Empower Students
2014
interactions magazine
Learning Entrepreneurial Hustle
2014
UX Magazine
Why Investment in Design is the Only Way to "Win" in Education
2014
interactions magazine
Running an Entrepreneurial Pilot to Identify Value
2013
interactions magazine
From Interaction Designer to Product Manager
2013
Huffington Post
Now Hiring: The Most Liberal Art
2013
UX Magazine
Manipulation
2013
Huffington Post
The Academic Journey: Beyond MOOCS
2013
interactions magazine
The Optimism of Design
2013
interactions magazine
Trusting the Design Process
2012
interactions magazine
Changing the Career Outcomes of Design Education
2012
interactions magazine
Design, in the Big and Small
2012
Fast Company
How Do You Transform Good Research Into Great Innovations?
2012
Fast Company
How To Create Products Hand In Hand With Your Customers
2011
interactions magazine
Craftsmanship
2011
core77
Heart of Darkness
2011
interactions magazine
Endless Nights - Learning from Design Studio Critique
2011
Fast Company
Cultural Values That Will Make Your Office an Idea Factory
2011
Fast Company
When Trying to Invent, Being Objective Can Cripple Your Process
2011
UX Magazine
Stupid, Stupid Client.
2011
interactions magazine
The Conflicting Rhetoric of Design Education
2011
interactions magazine
Transformative Learning in the Design Studio
2010
Design Issues
Abductive Thinking and Sensemaking: The Drivers of Design Synthesis
2010
interactions magazine
On Academic Knowledge Production
2010
interactions magazine
On Education
2010
interactions magazine
On Language and Potential
2010
The Design Research Society
Sensemaking and Framing: A Theoretical Reflection on Perspective in Design Synthesis
2010
core77
Changing Design Education
2009
interactions magazine
On Hopelessness and Hope
2009
interactions magazine
The Authenticity Problem
2009
The New Review of Hypermedia and Multimedia
Designing in the Face of Change: The Elusive Push Towards Emotionally Resonate Experiences
2008
Artifact Magazine
The Tenuous Relationship Between Design and Innovation
2008
core77
Out of the Frying Pan, into the Fire: From Consulting to Academia, and Back Again
2007
IDSA Conference Proceedings
Information Architecture and Design Strategy: The Importance of Synthesis during the Process of Design
2005
IDSA Conference Proceedings
Design as Communication: The Increasing Case for Literacy in Academia
2005
European Academy for Design
New Techniques in Industrial Design Education
2004
interactions magazine
Mixing Disciplines in Anticipation of Convergence: A Curriculum for Teaching Interaction Design to Industrial Designers
2003
AIGA
User-Driven Brand Design: Establishing a Convergent Brand Experience
2024
Blog archive
Dark Patterns Are Immoral and Illegal
2022
Reflections
Designing a Creative Culture
2022
Reflections
Design is a Mess
2022
Reflections
Enough Design Methods
2022
Reflections
We don't need the Metaverse; everything is already fake.
2022
Reflections
Is there Too Much to Know to be an Effective designer?
2022
Reflections
No skill needed? How to win an art contest in one easy step.
2022
Reflections
Overcoming Fear
2022
Reflections
Problem Framing, Not Problem Finding
2022
Reflections
Provocation, Not Prediction
2022
Reflections
Reviving Touch: Making digital experiences tactile
2022
Reflections
Should we cancel student loans? The trap of debt is a problem of design.
2022
Reflections
Stop teaching technology. Start teaching creativity.
2022
Reflections
Stories: The Way to Our Hearts and the Key to Design Strategy
2022
Reflections
Teach Slower to Teach Better
2022
Reflections
The Corporate Culture Needed To Foster Design
2022
Reflections
The Ingredients of a Story
2022
Reflections
The Power of a Story
2022
Reflections
The Rise and Fall of Corporate Education
2022
Reflections
The Role of a Design Strategy in Humanizing Technology
2022
Reflections
The Secret Weapon of Strategy: Words
2022
Reflections
The User is Not Like Me
2022
Reflections
Your business isn't made of marble. Neither is software.
2018
Reflections
A Key to Growth: Do Something You Suck At
2016
Reflections
Simplicity on the other side of complexity
2016
Reflections
Strategic Patterns
2015
Reflections
Look, I Made a Thing: Confidence in Making
2014
Reflections
Why I Teach Theory
2013
Blog archive
Lipstick on a Pig
2013
Reflections
Stop Chasing Scale in Higher Education
2012
Blog archive
The Conditions For Flow
2012
Blog archive
Connecting Design Research to Value
2012
Blog archive
Anticipating Customer State of Mind: the Problem With "Brand Relationships"
2012
Blog archive
A Nation of Whiners: The Implications of a Service Economy
2012
Blog archive
Problems With Online Learning
2012
Blog archive
Online Learning, Part II: Designing Experiences
2012
Blog archive
Online Learning, Part III: A System Of The Future
2012
Blog archive
Observations on the relationship between government, business, and wicked problems
2012
Blog archive
Code is material: why designers must learn to code
2012
Blog archive
Inspiration and Khan Academy
2012
Blog archive
The Long Haul: Thoughts on Acceleration
2012
Blog archive
How to Use a Concept Map to Get Your Way
2012
Blog archive
Scale and Social Entrepreneurship: Is Bigger Better?
2012
Blog archive
Iteration and Variation
2012
Blog archive
Thoughts on Design Portfolios
2012
Blog archive
It's Hard, and I'm Just Not Passionate About It.
2012
Blog archive
Reimagining Market Dynamics: Market Issues Related to Design
2012
Blog archive
Discursive Design Fiction
2012
Blog archive
All companies are going to become software companies.
2012
Blog archive
Can you Change Behavior Without Having an Opinion?
2012
Blog archive
Collateral Damage: The Ethics of Lean UX
2012
Blog archive
The Ethics of Disruptive Innovation in Wicked Problems
2012
Blog archive
Unicorns Exist: A Good Designer Can Do A Lot Of Things.
2012
Blog archive
Big Education Is Not Better Education
2012
Blog archive
Leveraging Analogous Situations: Looking for Precedent In The World Around Us
2012
Blog archive
A/B Testing Ourselves To Death
2012
Blog archive
Narrow Focus, Broad Applicability: How a focus on wicked problems can benefit everyone
2012
Blog archive
Thoughts on Risk Diversification in Innovation
2012
Blog archive
Challenging The Financial Assumptions That Run The World
2012
Blog archive
Do you want critique, or a hug? How to gain valuable criticism on your design
2012
Blog archive
There's Too Much To Do, And So I Do Nothing: Regaining Momentum In Your Startup
2012
Blog archive
Fire Starter: Leveraging Collaboration To Jump-Start Your Startup
2012
Blog archive
How To Start A School In 10 "Easy" Steps
2012
Blog archive
The Difference Between Understanding and Empathy: How To Communicate Design Research
2012
Blog archive
Disrupting Higher Education: Some Observations On What To Fix
2012
Blog archive
It's Not Safe on the East Side: Perceptions of Fear
2012
Blog archive
Design is A Discipline With A Social Mission
2012
Blog archive
Reflections On The Lack Of Humanism In Air Travel
2012
Blog archive
A Unique Educational Model: Fly The Professors In
2012
Blog archive
The Ingredients of Innovation: Framing, Empathy, Play, Insights, Constraints and Synthesis
2012
Blog archive
What Does It Mean To Be Playful?
2012
Blog archive
File Management and the Pragmatics of Digital Work
2012
Blog archive
Describing The Value of Your Product
2012
Blog archive
A Focus on Scale
2012
Blog archive
Without Design Methods, I Feel Like I Am Cheating.
2012
Blog archive
Going Public, and The Pursuit of Quarterly Profits
2012
Blog archive
Thoughts on Participatory Design, Adversarial Design, and Consumerism
2012
Blog archive
What Is A Design Strategy?
2012
Blog archive
TURTLE,GREEN,RAW: Depending on External Data Feeds
2012
Blog archive
Art, Design, and Science Funding
2012
Blog archive
The Impact of Rowena Reed Kostellow
2012
Blog archive
Five Year Plans and Exit Strategies
2012
Blog archive
Advertising Is The Problem
2012
Blog archive
Understanding And Infusing Product Character Through Stance
2012
Blog archive
Challenging Precedence as Artificial Constraints
2012
Blog archive
Rejecting The Relentless Spread of Technology
2012
Blog archive
Abductive Reasoning in Airport Security and Profiling
2012
Blog archive
Learning To Teach: Some Principles For Effective Education
2012
Blog archive
To Pursue Accreditation? An Overview of Oversight
2012
Blog archive
How Designers Think: The Problem of Intramentality
2012
Blog archive
Words Matter: Design, Experience, the WSJ and the UXPA
2011
Blog archive
Minimal Viable Product and Design Research
2011
Blog archive
Bootstrapped Publishing, FTW
2009
Reflections
Our Misguided Focus on Brand and User Experience: How a pursuit of a "total user experience" has derailed the creative pursuits of the Fortune 500
2007
Reflections
Information Architecture: Synthesis Techniques for the Muddy Middle of the Design Process