Hey. You found me.
I left Shopify in June of 2021 to focus on some personal interests. Since then, I've advised businesses of all sizes on experience design strategy, design leadership, scaling experience teams, and all sorts of other stuff. If that sounds interesting to you, please reach out. I'm also open to full time employment with the right team on the right problem.
The best way to get a hold of me is email. If you're looking for me in other places, I'm an infrequent Twitter user and a much less frequent LinkedIn user. If you're into crosswords, though, I'm a much more frequent NYTimes Daily Mini player and I'd love to you have you on my leaderboard.
Previously, I was the Head of Design and Senior Director of User Experience for Shopify's core product. I did a few things while I was there:
I evolved the design team into a cross-functional UX discipline. That involved designing a new organizational model for User Experience which blended Research, Content Design, Front-End Development, and Product Design. I believe that the intersection of those four disciplines is the root of great product experiences. Great UX leadership is understanding how to bring those disciplines together along with Engineering and Product to build towards the best outcome.
I built an Experience leadership model focused on true partnerships with Engineering and Product. I care a lot about building opinionated teams with real ownership and the best way to do that is to put leaders in places where they can think deeply about problems alongside partners in engineering and product. This model fundamentally shaped how Shopify's UX team evolved. You can learn more about my thoughts on leadership in this interview.
I helped scale that team from 30 to over 450 individuals. The previous points meant we needed to grow. And we grew quickly. We built a team that embodied our experience values so well that we were able to rapidly onboard new UXers and scale up the team to meet Shopify's growth pace. I am a humanist leader and I believe in building diverse, sustainable teams that are empowered to own and solve problems. Scaling is about much more than hiring and I learned a lot about how to scale well through this growth.
I led the creation of Polaris, an industry standard for design systems. Polaris became a large rallying point for Shopify and the design and front-end development community at large. Internally, it helped us galvanize what good looks like across a team at our scale. You can learn more about Polaris from this blog post or my talks at Rethink.
I went deep and wide on product experience. My goal as an experience leader is always to build the best product. I do that by focusing on the right problems at the right level. If that means granular design work, I'll join my teams in the weeds. If that means unlocking the team through organizational work, I'll work there. My sweet spot is sharing my time working with executive leadership on experience strategy and working directly with design teams on considering all the details.
I helped Canada build a privacy-preserving exposure notification app. In 2020, Apple and Google came together to propose a privacy-preserving exposure notification framework. I helped lead a small focused team that built an open-source implementation of that framework for everyone to use. It was called COVID Shield and it became the groundwork for the Government of Canada's COVID Alert as well as informing the work of other countries. Researchers at McGill concluded that, even with the moderate adoption the app saw, it may have helped save between 50-100 lives. I'm pretty proud of that.
If you've read this far, you might be curious about who I am as a human. I love crosswords, word games, riddles, and puzzles of all kinds. I play a lot of video games. I watch a lot of TV. I just started bouldering and kayaking. I'm really into the considered goods space and I have a lot of opinions on headphones, mechanical keyboards, and coffee. I know I sound like I might be but I promise I'm not insufferable. I just like that stuff and I like to talk about it.
So let's talk about it.