Product Design

Where design and mobile tech intersect - that's where I live. In particular, I'm quick to generate new ideas and then bring the most promising to life - right on your device!

UX PRACTICE

When beginning a new project  I often conduct user research and/or interpret 3rd party data. I create personas, flow charts, pencil sketches, storyboards, wireframes, visual mockups, and rapid prototypes in order to communicate design thinking. As we complete a design cycle, I also like to participate in usability studies: designing, conducting, observing, as needed.

VISUAL DESIGN

Although I’m a lead designer, I still like to roll up my sleeves and lay my hand to the Wacom Tablet. I’m well versed in the leading tools such as Photoshop, FireWorks, InDesign, and Illustrator. Recently, I’ve used Illustrator to create an icon library which I’ve published as both a set of PNG graphics as well as an icon font.

RAPID PROTOTYPING

If I’m ever rich or famous and the talk show host asks: “Miss Myers what do you think was the key to success?” I’ll say: “Prototyping!” In my experience this is the pivotal point where you either fail fast or forage ahead.

Currently, my favourite way to prototype is by using a two step approach. First I create a quick Flinto or FireWorks draft which yields an html page set that one can tap-thru on device. If this first draft is successful, then I like to build a more realistic model in jQuery mobile. This can be used to facilitate everything from stakeholder meetings to usability studies.

CULTURAL AWARENESS

I’ve always had a natural gift for languages: starting with German and subsequently French, Spanish, Italian –  I could always just understand. This has led to extended periods living abroad on more than one occasion.  I’m fascinated by the way location, culture, linguistics affect perception and product acceptance. This cultural awareness affords a broader perspective – one that I like to use in making quality products that improve the lives of customers across the globe.

Portfolio

select samples

Windows Mobile

 

ASSIGNMENT
Microsoft’s Windows Mobile team needed a Flash Prototyper to help the Lead Product Designer demo core features of the new OS. During the first few minutes of the interview, I knew this was going to be a fantastic project. The graphics were stunning and the animations were cool. The whole project was well constructed with Flash for desktop.

WHAT I DID
For 6 months I took over Flash prototyping and extended an Actionscript framework that started with approximately 10k lines of code and 1k+ graphic assets in the library. The MedX team was one of the best I have ever worked with – both in terms of personalities and talent. Contractors were treated as well as FT employees. I’ll never forget the day that we all (about 30 total) got new prototype phones.

Interestingly, the dimensions of the “live area” in the demo – fit the screen resolution of the new hardware perfectly. At the time Flash Lite was popular and I tried using it to run our demo on devices. Unfortunately, Flash Lite was no match for our demo. But I kept trying and kept running into brick wall after brick wall. Then I had a breakthru.

By putting our desktop demo on a diet – by optimising the Actionscript code, cutting unnecessary library elements, and further compressing assets (audio, graphics) – I finally got Flash (regular) running on the new phones. This put our rapid prototypes in the palm of everyone’s hand and we could walk around with new designs. This was very exciting and I supported the team by incorporating new designs, building out the prototype, compiling and publishing regular builds. This had significant impact on how we reviewed, discussed, and evaluated new designs.

One of the stakeholders even flew to a business meeting with my demos in his pocket. Coincidentally, he happened to be sitting next to someone from Vodafone. They were intrigued and leaned in to inquire if they could get a specially branded version of the new OS for themselves.

I’m told this is how a large new deal was formed. When the enterprising executive returned – my manager and I were focused on the “Vodafone project” for the duration of my contract. I’m not privy to exact figures – but was told that the deal was substantial and would require a new implementation team in UK. Once the project was complete, Microsoft had a new office in Reading with further business opportunities in Europe.

RESULTS
Garnered new contract for Microsoft
Facilitated regular stakeholder meetings, usability testing, and sales presentations.

2Scoops

 

GENESIS
One of the best books I’ve read on mobile design is Tapworthy by Josh Clark. In fact, I was so inspired by the in-depth analysis of iOS patterns and Josh’s observations about mobile UX overall – that I enrolled in his online course. During those 10 weeks, I wrote the creative brief, created the sketches, produced mockups, and built a working prototype for 2Scoops.


There are 3 prmary mobile use cases:

- I’m local
– I’m multi-tasking
– I’m borded

-Josh Clark

WHY GELATO?
Beyond SMS & calls, one of the most frequent uses of mobile devices is navigation. I wanted to build upon the first use case: “I’m Local – what’s nearby?”. Drawing upon previous experience living in Italy – I also wanted to build on the experience of discovering new flavors and gelato shops. For several weeks I visited local purveyors, tasting, comparing, selecting for the database.

LESSONS LEARNED
Perhaps the biggest lesson of all was that time to market is crucial and that using well honed skills in HTML, CSS, JS is the fastest way to publish an app. (This goes double for publishing cross-platform.) Initially, I published 2Scoops using Appecelerator Titanium – a very powerful JS framework. Gradually though – keeping up with the framework and APIs became more work than building the app.

If speed is the top priority, I would recommend jQuery Mobile and packaging/publishing with PhoneGap Build. If performance is paramount, then it may be worth leanring a JS framework like Appcelerator Titanium or Sencha Touch.

RESULTS
Two Scoops was a finalist in the App Circus competition held at BlackBerry JAM Orlando in 2012. It has been published to iOS and BlackBerry World app stores. Android & Windows versions are slated for late February 2014. (They will be written in jQuery Mobile and packaged using PhoneGap Build.)

Download for iOS

Download for BB10 Devices

Available September 2014

Available September 2014

RS Portal Redesign

 

ASSIGNMENT
When I first met RS they were experiencing an extraordinary degree of shopping cart abandonment. According to their analysis, this was due to products being too difficult to find. Therefore my remit was to improve the UX around search and buy. They had budgeted 30 odd days – which I thought generous considering the very limited scope of work.

WHAT I DID
Beginning with an “expert review” or first-person immersion into their site, I began shopping and buying items from RS online. There were indeed immediate improvements that could be made to the home and checkout pages as they had surmised. But the real problem, I discovered, was everything in between.


The portal site was dated and missing a lot of the functionality we take for granted today

There was only one view of search results – an endless AJAX-driven list

It was nearly impossible to identify the right parts from product titles & tiny thumbnails

Further research yielded glaring omissions like compare views and social shopping. The latter was really important because, 1/2 of the personas I had identified were junior employees. They didn’t yet have the expertise necessary to make final buying decisions on their own. They needed a way of saving product pages and sharing them with more senior staff to confirm their selections.

In sum, the project that was initially budgeted for 30 some days grew to 18 months(!), during which time I redesigned the entire portal from the ground up. In collaboration with the lead UX Designer from RS, I championed the user-centered design process -creating wireframes, visual mockups, and HTML5 prototypes. Using responsive design techniques, the site became accessible from tablet and mobile devices as well.

WHAT I DELIVERED

Led the user-centred design process

Personas, wireframes, mockups, & HTML5 prototypes

Design documentation and working front-end code

Further insights/data from usability studies

RESULTS

Dramatically increased conversion rates

Adobe

 

ASSIGNMENT
As part of the CS4 launch, I was asked to produce a series of training videos introducing Device Central – a tool for planning, testing, and packaging mobile applications.

WHAT I DID 
I broke the topics into bite size chunks (no longer than 5 min each) and wrote scripts for each of the segments. Then I rehearsed the delivery with a BBC presenter, and flew to lynda.com for final recording.

This work was such fun that I jumped at the chance to produce another series about Mobile Packaging. Additionally, I was asked to consult on the UX/UI for a new mobile packaging tool that Adobe was working on at the time.

Later I had further opportunities to write a white paper, “Taking Your Brand Mobile”, as well as articles and tutorials about popular mobile workflows. Much of this work is still relevant and online. Please see the links below for further details.

RESULTS

Adobe Device Central CS4 training videos shipped w/DVDs.
   (This series is available on Adobe TV.)

Adobe Mobile Packager Tutorials

White Paper: “Taking Your Brand Mobile”

INSPIRE Magazine: “Getting Started in Mobile”

VISA payWAVE

 

ASSIGNMENT
VISA payWAVE was a big project and the Creative Director at Icon Mobile needed help developing the signature user journeys.

MY ROLE: UX/UI Designer
I created extensive flow documents detailing both the user experience and the visual “look and feel”. Regular drafts became the foundation of client review meetings and later formed the basis of a comprehensive style guide. The detailed style guide along with a working prototype comprised the main deliverables to the implementation team at VISA, Europe.

WHAT I DELIVERED

Signature journeys

High fidelity mockups

Comprehensive style guide

Visual assets

Smooth handover to implementation team

Loyalzoo

 

WHAT IS LOYAL ZOO?
Loyalzoo is a mobile app for keeping track of your loyalty points on your phone. There’s also a corresponding app for merchants allowing them to manage marketing campaigns, grant awards, and track results.

ASSIGNMENT
Given my experience working with JS frameworks for BB10 devices, I was asked to recommend a mobile web strategy and to build the web app version for both BB10 and Windows Phones.

RESULTS
I delivered working versions of the Loyalzoo App for BB10 and Windows. In the process, I learned a ton about jQuery Mobile, REST, and JSON. I’m certain these skills will come in handy in the near future – especially when building rapid prototypes across all major platforms.

Fast Facts

Among the highlights of 2013, a few stats seem to stand out:

734

App Icons Created

1673

Developer Downloads

1

UK citizenship

88525

Code School Points

Reviews

Here are a few comments from customers and colleagues.
Further testimony available upon request - just get in touch.

  • Mark Doherty<br />
VP Product at Monitise

    “Liz has produced world class tutorial videos and marketing vehicles. We will definitely be working together again!”

    Mark Doherty
    VP Product at Monitise
  • Luca Sale<br />
Solutions Architect, Amazon

     “Working with Liz is an absolute pleasure! You can see her attention to detail and drive for excellence in the quality of the work she delivers.”

    Luca Sale
    Solutions Architect, Amazon
  • Nancy Perlman<br />
Senior UX Practitioner

    “Liz is that rare combination of designer and developer
    – the needle in the haystack… “

    Nancy Perlman
    Senior UX Practitioner
  • Tony Russell-Rose<br />
Director at UX Labs

    “Liz is one of those rare people -equally comfortable generating ideas as implementing them. If you need someone who truly thinks & works cross-platform, talk to Liz.” 

    Tony Russell-Rose
    Director at UX Labs
  • Rick Jones<br />
Head of Marketing  North America, InMobi

     ” …I could tell that her awareness of current thought and trends
    could be quite inspirational.”

    Rick Jones
    Head of Marketing North America, InMobi
  • Don Turner<br />
BlackBerry Developer Evangelist

     “Liz is an exceptional designer and a great person to work with. She is quick to understand client requirements and never fails to deliver on them.”

    Don Turner
    BlackBerry Developer Evangelist
  • Mark Doherty<br />
VP Product at Monitise

    “Liz has produced world class tutorial videos and marketing vehicles. We will definitely be working together again!”

    Mark Doherty
    VP Product at Monitise
  • Luca Sale<br />
Solutions Architect, Amazon

     “Working with Liz is an absolute pleasure! You can see her attention to detail and drive for excellence in the quality of the work she delivers.”

    Luca Sale
    Solutions Architect, Amazon
  • Nancy Perlman<br />
Senior UX Practitioner

    “Liz is that rare combination of designer and developer
    – the needle in the haystack… “

    Nancy Perlman
    Senior UX Practitioner
  • Tony Russell-Rose<br />
Director at UX Labs

    “Liz is one of those rare people -equally comfortable generating ideas as implementing them. If you need someone who truly thinks & works cross-platform, talk to Liz.” 

    Tony Russell-Rose
    Director at UX Labs
  • Rick Jones<br />
Head of Marketing  North America, InMobi

     ” …I could tell that her awareness of current thought and trends
    could be quite inspirational.”

    Rick Jones
    Head of Marketing North America, InMobi
  • Don Turner<br />
BlackBerry Developer Evangelist

     “Liz is an exceptional designer and a great person to work with. She is quick to understand client requirements and never fails to deliver on them.”

    Don Turner
    BlackBerry Developer Evangelist
Adobe
Amazon
Microsoft
Visa
Vodafone

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