UX DESIGN CONSULTING
Venture Capitalists & their portfolio companies
Incubators and Accelerators
Most people make the mistake of thinking design is what it looks like... It's not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.
Design Hire Consulting
Hiring the right people is life or death for early stage companies, especially when it comes to the person who will own the product’s design. A bad hire can cost you dearly. Having hired designers to work on projects for the worlds biggest brands, I can lend an eye to whether our candidates understand the challenges your team faces, how they approach and define problems, and how they might fit in with the team’s culture and working style.
Design Sprints & Workshops
From tactical exercises like collaborative white boarding and card sorting to the 5 day immersive design sprints created by Google Ventures, we can work together to solve your team’s pressing design challenges.
Do your portfolio companies need a designer to bounce ideas off with and help solve problems? Perhaps they want to review a recent design. I can post up in a conference room for a few hours or days and let your teams stop in with any product issues they are having. I can also offer this remotely via video chat.
A UX audit can help you uncover design issues that might be hurting usability or conversions within your product, and can help determine ways to improve the experience for the end user. While this is not an adequate substitute for comprehensive research, it is a good way to quickly identify some common usability issues.
Customer Journey & Experience Mapping
Together, the product team and I can map all the touch points a user will have with your brand or experience category, identifying what customers doing, what they might be thinking and uncovering possible frustrations along the way. The team can use this map to develop context, build user empathy, and uncover insights on to how to improve the overall experience. See an example of an experience map here.
One of the most humbling yet necessary tools in the UX toolkit is the user test. This small upfront investment will save time, money, and heartbreak in the long run by validating not only the product’s design, but the concepts behind them. I can help determine the best solution for your product and budget, then design and facilitate the test accordingly.
Research can provide a team with customer validation or help them find clarity on any challenges they are facing. I can conduct and/or facilitate this research to determine not only if the team has found the right solution, but whether they are solving the right problem.
Design has become a serious competitive advantage and the most innovative companies are weaving it into their DNA. In fact, in a study by the Design Management Institute, they found that design driven organizations outperformed the S&P by 228% over 10 years. In the startup world, Venture Capital firms like Google Ventures, KPCB, and Khosla Ventures have been hiring these designers-in-residence to build a design expertise inside their firms. These DIRs can not only help identify quality design in prospective investments, but can also become a value add when bidding potential portfolio companies.
Are you interested in this capability for your organization, but aren’t ready to commit to a full time hire? Through an a la carte or retained relationship, I can be an on-call Designer in Residence, giving you all the benefits of a DIR without a full time commitment.
I love working with startups. In fact, two previous startups I worked on were acquired by Apple and AOL for about $200 million combined. (Don’t get too excited, I owned exactly 0% of either company.) I enjoy digging into a company’s core ideas – determining not only if they have an elegant solution to the problem they are trying to solve, but whether the problem truly exists in the first place.
In this role, I can start with design workshops and sprints and work all the way through concept development and testing, depending on your budget. I will help you design and validate an MVP with real users before you spend all your money developing it. Once the MVP is validated, we will design the hell out of it.
In my pre-design life, I spent time in a venture incubator at a management and strategy consulting firm. I also started one of the first digital music distributors, helping independent artists and labels distribute their music to services like iTunes. I have spent a lot of working time in and on startups, and am comfortable with the excitement and uncertainty that comes with that.
If you haven’t seen my full portfolio, check it out here.
No problem! If you are unsure, I recommend either a UX Audit or Experience Mapping session to start. These typically provide a great onboarding into the process, and we can design a solution from there.
I’ll send you a quick survey with a a few basic questions about your goals and users. Within 2 weeks of completion of the survey, I’ll reply with the audit, in PDF format. Upon completion, we’ll set up a time to discuss the audit for 30 minutes over Skype.
The activity of mapping builds knowledge and consensus across your organization, and the map helps build seamless customer experiences. This day long, in person session can happen at your office or on-site here in New York.Book Now