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

Fire Chest Apps

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CHALLENGE
– Developer apps were rejected in app store due to app-icons not being compliant
– Apps are “best of breed”, but web site is outdated and fails to show quality/popularity of products

WHAT I DID
– Created new app icons for products
– Designed/developed new responsive web site
– Added dynamic reviews carousel to showcase recent customer ratings/comments

RESULTS
Fire Chest Apps were approved immediately in BlackBerry World upon re-submission with the new app icons and marketing graphics. The new site is up and running: FireChest.com.

Maraschino App

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HOME
http://maraschino.lizmyers.webfactional.com

Genesis
“Necessity is the mother of invention” and with thousands of tiny glyphs to choose from – finding the right icons for your project can be tedious and time consuming. This was the genesis for the project – addressing these core needs:

  1. Visual tools to help browse, filter, search more efficiently
  2. Easy access to corresponding classes or code
  3. Method of refining selection set to build a cohesive family
  4. Method of SAVING selections by project
  5. Better naming conventions/consistency

WHAT I DID
– Created BB10 icon library
– Edited Font-Awesome & Glyphicons
– Added categories, keywords, and search features

BENEFITS
– Save time hunting for the right icons
– View glyphs in proximity – build cohesive family
– Save your selections and corresponding codes

WORK IN PROGRESS – NEXT STEPS
1. Implement download feature
2. Build supporting website

GITHUB
https://github.com/LizMyers/maraschino

Amazon

Guest-Blog-Post

CHALLENGE
Teaching developers how to create and produce app icons (in up to 40 different sizes) efficiently.

WHAT I DID
1. Researched automation techniques in Adobe Illustrator
2. Wrote several JavaScripts to streamline production
3. Produced 3 video tutorials (20 min total) in Premiere Pro

RESULTS
Beyond the blog post, custom templates and scripts, this experience has inspired me to write a book, appGRAFIX, slated for publication in Spring 2015.

LINKS
Read the full article on developer.amazon.com
Download the templates/scripts

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CREDITS
JS Animation inspired by CodePen:
http://codepen.io/chriscoyier/pen/Bqilj?editors=110

2Scoops App

 

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 iTunes, Google Play, and BlackBerry World app stores. A Windows versions is slated for late February 2015.

Download for Android

Download for iOS

Download for BB10 Devices

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

2014 was a very productive year! Here are some of the highlights:

12

Prototypes Built

5

Platforms Targeted 

103

Gelato Shops Reviewed

3

JS Frameworks Mastered 

 

 

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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