UX Design and Product Development
What I'm up to lately is applying my ux design, research, and leadership experience: teaching, coaching, and making products. This includes lots of writing and workshop production along with some public speaking and game development.
I'm a coach and mentor for UX, some of my mentor hours are for-pay and some are pro-bono. My current mentor volunteering is through the University of Minnesota School of Product Design program. In the past I've mentored through UXPA-MN and Target.
I facilitate and collaborate with teams and individuals for any combination of your professional, personal, business development. We use human centered design tools to investigate ideas, build strategies and co-create a path for where you are working to go next.
Studied the theory and practice of positive inquiry based coaching, I'm a Certified Coach through the Coach Training Alliance.
To learn a timeline of my UX strategy, design, and research roles my LinkedIn profile provides an excellent overview.
I have over 18 different talks and workshops I offer to groups as creative learning experiences, see my speaking page for examples and my upcoming public talks schedule.
Why do I identify as a UX designer?
I have always been a caring, independent thinker, someone with a desire to question. I have a capacity to be excited by ambiguity, curiosity, and questioning. I love to learn and connect teams with ongoing learning tools and methods.
User experience design (UX) is a systemic creative discipline that helps you find threads of feeling and data that tie together teams and the audiences they serve.
We can detect the presence or absence of UX design at the surface, the user interface. Beyond the surface we can see the systemic threads that help us make better designs. We can see what makes a system feasible to make, viable as a business, and desirable to the people it serves. If the utility and clarity of a system are only on the surface - likely the experience will have problems. By applying the tools of UX we will create systems that are well suited for everyone involved, from those that create, maintain, own, and use them every day.
UX design is systemic involvement and empowerment and I love bringing this practice anywhere I go.
Where in the world is ... Rob?
I live in the Minneapolis, Minnesota area with my wife and two kiddos, and a cat named Paper. Grew up in Cottage Grove, MN and migrated ever so slightly west. In the warm weather I'm a fan of getting out on a lake with our kayak and in any weather I am a fan of classic video gaming and guitar. Recently I learned how to solder and enjoy making with simple electronics and repairing electronic toys.
Googling your name I found you have 2 patents, what's up with that?
I'm not a lawyer, though like any entrepreneur should I've learned a little in my area of work about intellectual property, copyright, trademark. I was on a project the organization felt innovative enough to seek patents. I care deeply about being an ethical maker and collaborator and am thankful that I've worked with people and whole teams that welcome thoughtful inspection of design and policy choices. Normally the patents aren't something I'd seek, especially in the world of software. We had great conversations and also patents happened. Onward!
What about your drawing and visual design work?
It's part of my creative voice that I doodle frequently and due to working in small scrappy teams I sometimes occupy the role of visual designer. My visual portfolio shares some examples of those situations.
What about your UX work portfolio?
Examples of work I've done for clients is where you can see the kinds of work I've done as a UX Lead in a digital agency and in a few applied research teams focused mostly in the past 10 years or so.
What game are you working on?
I'm putting a few hours a week toward Guitar Fretter DX, an improved of the game guitarists and guitar teachers enjoy, now hoping to reach more platforms and add fun features I've been meaning to add for ages. Porting the game from its original technology platform to Unity.
Making any comics lately?
Not as serialized stories. I'm illustrating my articles and workshops along with occasional client commissions, sometimes that work is comics related. Most of the comics I've made are at Art Geek Zoo and in my gumroad store.