Bio

I've been fascinated by language systems since I was seven.

Beginning with Native American hieroglyphs, I would soon venture into Farsi and C/C++, later extending into Japanese, sheet music, Arabic, CSS, JavaScript, PHP, and Python before entering college.

Only after years of reflection would I realize what drove this fascination: the ability to visually communicate the unseen world around us.

In many ways, this is what led me to Design—a word which, for me, captures the magic of bringing the unseen into the realm of human intuition.

Designing Systems

Now, as a UX and systems designer, the unseen has come to mean information, emotion, and experience. I focus not just on understanding the unseen, but using it to improve the world.

As a teammate I tend to wear the hat of the Navigator. Navigation requires servitude to crew and mission. In this role, my goal is to facilitate a clear path for our crew to sail together with autonomy, mastery, and purpose. And embodying a deep sense of wonder that pulls us forward into unknown waters.

Approach

I approach any problem using the standard d.School method, but reframed through the lens of the scientific method. Along with this, three principles guide myself and my teams toward achieving our full potential:

  1. Foundation
    Managing a vivid and shared foundation of assumptions and timelines.
  2. Facilitation
    Visual, collaborative, reusable thinking as whiteboards, spreadsheets, and models, at the right level of fidelity to answer key questions.
  3. Breadth
    Rapid, lo-fi, soulful concept ideation. Explore all corners and possibilities.

As for tools, most of my work begins as sketches and whiteboards. Once beyond that, Sketch, Invision, and Illustrator have stood the test of time.

Humane Science

Over in my sandbox, Wittkensis Lab, I independently explore how to make scientific language and communication more intuitive. It's my nerd-hobby.

Below are some specific topics, and I'm always open to collaboration.

Chemistry for Humans

We live in a chemical world. Chemistry makes up our materials, our diets, our medicines, our fuel, and more. And while many non-scientists often discuss and Google these systems to stay informed, our communication of them needs some help.

So recently I created an open-sourced visual language for communicating chemical pathways to non-scientists. It's a start, but still needs a lot of work.

Depicting the Nanoworld

So much of science involves sub-micro systems. But as visual creatures, we rarely get a good sense of what those systems look like.

As a microscopy fanatic, I hope to bring popular excitement and clarity around the micro- and nano-scale worlds. But probably not the pico-scale... that would be bonkers.

Right now, Captain Banks (First U.S. Nanocosmonaut) is leading that charge. Wishing you luck, Capt'n!

Animal Language

A longer-term interest is in creating linguistic systems for describing animal communication, particularly birds and marine mammals. Much like was done to communicate music, and human language.

 

When not in front of a computer, I'm usually gardening or riding/fixing my motorcycle.

 That one time I made friends with an emu in wine country.

That one time I made friends with an emu in wine country.