Mike is an experienced designer whose expertise includes product design, UI/UX, branding and marketing. Blends creativity with exceptional management and communication skills.
Pattern Library and Design System
Realm is a rapidly expanding product, currently composed of approximately 500+ pages and will quickly grow to over 800. While some things were fairly consistent due to shared CSS (buttons, text, components), there was no defined usage (much less rules for combining them into more complex layouts). This created inconsistency throughout the Realm experience.
The solution was to create a Pattern Library and a Design System Process. The Pattern Library site is the source of truth for all styles, pattern usage, and other user experience related documentation. Content on the back-end is structured so it is all highly searchable and the site is build on a CMS that allows everyone to author and update content. On the front-end, patterns and components are organized in a customized approach to Brad Frost’s Atomic Design. This site was the fruit of leading a highly collaborative process across our design team.
Making the user experience both consistent and excellent is an ongoing process. The Pattern Library site has become that place where we document solutions to inconsistencies as we find and solve these things. Designers, product owners, and testers use it to make our product better. I also designed and implemented the process by which this system is maintained and lead our DesignOps committee.
A Unique Problem: How do we make patterns easy to find?
Some components are their own thing. For Realm, that would include our search component and filter panel. Some components have many flavors and variety. For us, that would include select lists (regular, multi-select, multi-level, and many more) and data grids (regular, compact, sub grids, etc.). So the challenge is making it easy to find the exact component without digging. We solved this by integrating a plugin into our pattern library site that allows us to search not only by page level component titles, but also by secondary titles that we use to document all the various flavors of each component.
Custom navigation and interface
Fully searchable base of knowledge
Authoreable and shared source of truth
Key support for the broader Design System Process
Led collaborative process across team
Created pattern inventory
Designed pattern library site (UI and UX)
Documented and authored majority of content
Designed broader Design System Process
Multi-channel, Cross-app Communications
The Realm product is massive in scope (500 pages+) and growing with every sprint release. It has had a smattering of tools that send emails, notifications, posts and chats. How we handled communication was a bit of a gnarly mess and this feature was the #1 biggest request by our users.
Partnering with product management and leading a collaborative process across design and development, I led the process to design a robust and modern communication system that spans the entire product. The first phase of this design solution has been validated through user testing and is currently in production. It will be released by the end of 2018. We are currently designing phase 2.
A Unique Challenge: How do we create a robust communication tool that doesn’t disrupt the existing experience?
This new communications tool had demanding requirements. It had to integrate with email and text (or neither). It had to work across the entire product. It had to play nice with our existing chat and newsfeed tools. It had to be built and released in phases. And not everyone has access to it, so we had to design a tool that could be there for some, but not for others.
We solved this by creating a landing page that presented all communication tools in one place (and gave us the opportunity to provide a little more context to help them choose the right tool). That allowed us to dovetail into the existing chat and newsfeed tools but not move them for existing users.
User Experience Design (journey map, task map, and wireframing)
Design Workshop Facilitator
Church Volunteer Management
Many churches rely heavily on volunteers so keeping them engaged and organized is no small task. Some of these teams serve only once, while some serve on a recurring basis. Some are related to an existing event, but some are their own event. All consist of people who serve in many different roles.
We designed a system to engage them via their skills and interests and organize them into teams. The result is a roster of people who are interested in volunteering for a specific role at a specific time and will lead into the next feature (scheduling volunteers).
A Unique Challenge: Designing a system with the right balance of structure and flexibility.
Every church is different. They structure leadership differently and they structure their organization and teams differently. This presents a challenge designing a system that provides an intuitive and helpful structure, but allowing enough flexibility to accommodate their unique needs.
We created a global bucket of roles built on skills and interests (fully customizable of course). Then used a team structure to group people. These teams could be associated with an existing event (and inherit those dates/times). This approach gives us enough structure to intuitively create a simple team, but allows for a wide degree of customization. This project has completed user validation and is scheduled to be released by the end of 2018.
Full responsive solution
First use of the new “trowser” pattern
Fully validated with user testing
User Experience Design (journey map, task map, and wireframing)
Built Prototype in InVision
Attend, assist in testing analysis
Mobile Health Benefits
Recognizing that seniors are the fastest growing segment of mobile users, M&R/AARP realized they needed an app tailored to this group of users. The existing site was not optimized for small screens and particularly not this demographic of users.
I lead the UX team to create and launch a responsive (smartphone and tablet) benefits site. To make sure we were using patterns and conventions that these users understood, we used guerrilla testing during design and two days of intense user testing (and iterative redesign) before launch. The plan info was color coded to match corresponding print materials and we paid special attention to make sure the app meet accessibility standards.
On release, mobile traffic was redirected to the new experience. Site usage via these sources increased exponentially. A big surprise to the product team was that they saw new members signing up via mobile. This was a delighter as there were very low expectation that this market would attempt a more complex task on a smaller screen.
A Unique Challenge: How do we keep our visitors from getting lost in the site?
Research indicates that older users don’t typically visually directory structure while navigating a site. Which means that they are easily lost within a site. To address this, we kept the site to only two levels deep, added a back button (typical in apps, but not mobile web) and a menu button that all rely on written labels rather than symbols.
Mobile site, responsive for small and medium size screens
Accessible patterns and content
Designs validated through in-person user testing
Partnered with Product Owner to manage project
Validation session analysis
Collaborate with development to build and release
UHG Cirrus Portal
Rules and Logic Engine
The Cirrus Portal is the next generation brain of health insurance management systems. It had been first designed (by default) by the developers who were building it. This created a whole world of usability issues as it resembled the legacy system it was meant to replace.
Working alongside their team of developers, I first conducted an heuristic analysis. Then, based on those findings, I worked through a critical part of this extremely technical portal making large revisions to the flow, user experience and interface design. These updates were then applied back through the entire Cirrus Portal. I also fleshed out the Cirrus brand into something more substantial, giving it a sense of substance and location, unlike most portal sites.
The result was a robust set of UI that was both visually pleasing and easier to use. It supported power users who depended on keyboard entry and improved rules for error handling and feedback. Due to the nature of the development process at the company, I delivered UI comps for the development team to implement and for security reasons, was unable to validate the design integrity of the implementation.
A Unique Challenge: How do we make a highly complex rules engine intuitive to use?
The rules and logic that go into defining how insurance plans handle care and reimbursement are highly complex. This means that the conditional logic could go many levels deep. To make this process more intuitive, I provided designs to embed tables within tables as rules were embedded within other rules. We also color coded the table row with the row type (initiated by matching button) to make the table itself more information rich and scannable.
Keyboard interface support
Complex logic builder tools
Improved error messaging
Improved visual hierarchy
UX analysis (Heuristic evaluation)
United HealthGroup Benefits
Working with United Health's IDS division, I contributed to a major redesign of their Claims and Benefit management app. All designs were optimized for responsive coding and 508 compliance. Working in a Lean UX workflow, I helped brainstorm new creative approaches to navigation and the presentation of account information.
While working through this project, I helped the benefits team develop and implement a customized Lean UX workflow.
United Health Group is America's largest health insurance provider. Working in their Interactive Design Services division, I contributed user interface designs to their cutting edge health and wellness application. All designs were optimized for responsive coding and 508 compliance. Working in an Agile workflow, I was involved in UI, UX, and content architecture.
For Optum Technology, I contributed UX and Creative Direction to the Healthcare Cost Institute's cutting edge price transparency tool. This tool allows the user to compare cost and quality data across geographic areas. The information was presented in a user centered and responsive format.
This site is currently under development.
• User Experience • Site Architecture • User Flows • Material Design • Creative Direction
Life is hard for farmers. Their product has a shelf life that they need to sell for a premium before its value expires. They also have relatively few outlets to sell their products, usually limited to a farmer’s market and perhaps the farm itself.
To solve this need, I designed and produced a digital marketplace where farmers can post, sell and fulfill orders direct from customers. This provides farmers with new customers, an opportunity to brand themselves, differentiate their product, and optimize sales within that narrow window.
The product platform was built on user interviews and the end product functioned very well. However, adoption was too slow to achieve business viability and the product has been shelved. As the broader digital marketplace and product delivery options expand, the concept may relaunch and attempt viability again. The existing product (even after five years) remains a solid platform to build on.
A Special Challenge: How do we increase product scanability?
When shopping for produce, we use color to scan for the product we are looking for? Besides allowing the farmer to upload a photo, we also allowed them to select a custom color for the post that displayed on the far left of the product title. This resulted in a scalable row of colors that helped indicate the products in season and available at that time.
Branding and Corporate Identity
Email Marketing and Print Design
End to end design (concept to release)
Product Research and Testing
Publicity and spokesperson
Branding, Integrated Marketing campaign
When real estate crashed with the Great Depression in 2008, Avalon was taken with it. The community sat neglected, only partially complete, with a negative reputation as a “dead community.”
Working with their sales and marketing firm, I rebranded the community to give them an opportunity to disassociate from the past and to tell a new story, that of an elite destination. This effort spanned across all digital, print and traditional media. It also included all on-site signage and marketing. We implemented a campaign strategy and created a sales funnel to tracks all leads into a CRM tool.
From the period of 2007 through 2016, Avalon had no real estate sales. In 2017 and 2018, Avalon had 8 sales for a total of 1.5 million dollars. It was an exponential return on the marketing investment and sets them up to continue to benefit from their premium brand and ongoing conversation with potential new customers.
A Unique Challenge: Discovering our unique selling proposition
Situated at 8,000 feet, Avalon is a truly unique property but doesn’t have some of the high-end amenities that many competing properties have. This led me to focus on the magical nature of the property as indicated by the tagline and fern leaf in the logo. It seems like a stretch, but upon visiting the property, experiencing the breathtaking views and the mountain top’s magical fauna, it clicks for people in a special way.
Complete rebrand of community
Signage and trade show booth design
Designed all print and collateral
Designed all digital marketing materials
Established partnerships with vendors who provide SEO, copywriting, research, direct marketing, and display ad marketing.
Email marketing and CRM integration
Managing vendors to develop, write, and provide photography, social media, SEO and digital display advertising
While serving as Creative Director over all Web/Interactive and Social Media for Gibbons | Peck Marketing Communications, I managed a complete web redesign for the HomeTrust Banking Partnership.
My responsibilities included meeting with the client to define the scope and features of their desired site. Working with a development team, we reviewed existing analytics, created a plan, hit deadlines, and produced a site the client loves. I defined all user types, feature sets, crafted wireframes & flowcharts, wrote documentation and designed the site. Features include integration with online banking modules, custom CMS application, and a dynamic system to manage bank news and promotions. The back-end is custom php.
• Web Strategy and Planning • UI/UX Design • Project Management
Baptist Easley Hospital
As part of a branding and awareness intiative, I led a team to design and build branded websites for all physicians’ practices in the Baptist Easley network. The hub of this network of sites is: www.CaringIsOurCalling.com. These sites worked to achieve the objectives of unified branding and a sharp increase in SEO. This network of sites was built on WordPress. The primary site was optimized for mobile devices. Facebook Connect was integrated thoughout everything. My responsibilies included coming up with the strategy, plan and implementation. I also managed the design and development team to deliver the project on time and within budget.
• Strategy and Planning • Creative Direction • Project Management • Mobile Web Version • Social Media Integration
Canyon Ridge is a beautiful hi-end residential development in the northern corner of New Mexico. Working alongside their sales and marketing firm, I refined their logo, created an award-winning viewbook, and was responsible for email marketing and all other signage and collateral.
During my time as Creative Director at Gibbons | Peck, I oversaw a whole lot of advertising for the Peace Center. It was my responsibility to make sure it was done on strategy and delivered on time. And I designed just about all of it. Here are a few brochures. In addition there were tons of ads, billboards, direct mail, stationery, and little stuff. And I managed their website. It was a busy few years.
• Rebranded Organization • Logo Refresh • Website Management • Stationery and Form Layout • Collateral Design • Print Advertising • Email Marketing • Signage and Banners