Dear Hiring Manager and IDEO.org Team,
Please accept this application for the Senior Design Lead - Amplify position. I have been following IDEO.org since its inception, all the while hoping you would eventually establish a New York City studio; I am thrilled that this moment has finally arrived. I would relish the opportunity to help establish your East Coast presence.
I believe passionately in a human-centered design process and have been practicing it actively for much of my twenty-year design career. For the last ten years, I have been in a leadership role, managing a team and responsible for all phases of the design life-cycle, from research to strategy to implementation.
Though much of my career has focused on Interactive Design, I began my career in Direct Marketing and have worked in Education Design, Brand Management, Performance-based Activism, and even Costume Design. I am well-versed in applying a human-centered design process across a range of media and disciplines.
I am also no stranger to complex challenges and wicked problems in the social sector. In my current company, we are taking on child welfare case management, with the aim of using good design and good data to create better outcomes for abused and neglected children. I've also tackled projects in maternal health in developing countries, genocide prevention, environmental sustainability, and HIV prevention, to name just a few. I am extremely passionate about using the power of design to make positive change in the world.
I've prepared a curated selection of projects from my portfolio for your review (below). While the visual design style of a couple of the projects is indicative that they are now a few years old, I've included them because I feel that the design thinking and subject matter are especially relevant to the work you are doing.
Many thanks for your kind consideration,
Casebook is an award-winning web-based application for child welfare casework.
Under my leadership, Casebook was awarded the 2014 UX Magazine Design for Experience Award for best Public Sector Application.
Our goal is to help front line workers more quickly and easily complete the extensive documentation required of them, while simultaneously providing both workers and supervisors with better tools and more timely and relevant information in order to promote objective, data-informed decisions about child safety, trauma reduction, and permanency.
The Parole Hearing Data Project aims to raise awareness of the shortcomings of the New York State Parole Review Process.
This project is in a very early stage, but my aim is to beautifully expose the nuanced humanity of people behind bars, many of whom faced terrible circumstances leading to their crimes, and many of whom have done significant work to turn their lives around during their time in prison. In doing so, I hope to raise public empathy for incarcerated people, inspire action to solve current problems with the parole review process, and move towards a future in which children's potential is no longer lost to a parent's life in prison.
Trash Dash is a serious game to educate and inspire behavior change around waste disposal.
Helping players to understand the overall impact of our consumer culture — that trash doesn't simply disappear once it leaves our hands — may be a first step in helping to reduce our culture of disposability. We hope that in making trash disposal into a fun game, we could ultimately contribute to positive real-world impacts on environmental, economic, and public health problems.
Scanana is a banana-shaped wireless medical barcode scanner.
Based upon research supporting the therapeutic benefits of humor in clinical settings, the Scanana is intended to alter the nature of clinician-patient interactions in pediatric environments.
As medical practitioners walk around with "bananas" in their pockets, they interact not only with the patients' records and lab tests, but also with the patients themselves in a whole new way. With Scanana, my hypothesis is that these interactions are more likely to be fun and funny, not simply utilitarian, thus positively altering the nature of both everyday conversations — and of the hospital environment itself.
Masivukeni is a program to support counselors at South African health clinics in helping HIV-positive adults adhere effectively to their anti-retroviral treatment regimens.
The program uses enhanced text, imagery, animations, audio, and video to teach the basics of how HIV and anti-retrovirals affect health, and to build problem solving and social support skills that patients use to overcome barriers to treatment adherence. In designing Masivukeni, we collaborated closely with research partners, community stakeholders and potential users from Cape Town on design, language, and activities to ensure that the program was culturally relevant and effective.
The Millennium Village Simulation plays out the economics of survival for one family and their village in sub-Saharan Africa.
Developed with Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Earth Institute, the Millennium Village Simulation contains much of the complexity inherent in real-life development. By making decisions regarding both village priorities and the family’s allocation of time and financial resources, players develop a greater understanding of the manifold disciplines that constitute sustainable development, as well as how those disciplines interact with one another.
Thank you again for your time and attention. I hope to hear from you soon!