Why is there an odd picture of me trying on some funny pants? Great question, I'm glad you asked!
While I refer to myself as a "product designer," a more accurate description might be: an occasional designer-of-things, a sometimes problem solver, and a full-time people advocate.
I happen to design stuff often - websites, cushions [link], engines [link] - but I believe the magic sauce of design happens when we realize that society's most pressing problems almost always aren't going to be solved by technology (or new fancy stuff). I'm interested in using design as a toolset to surface the root of problems, and advocate for the most effective way to solve them, whether that be implementing a staple, advocating for policy change, and yes, when appropriate, designing a website.
I am also committed to working in the government and public service space. I've always wanted to use the opportunities I've been granted in life in service of others, and to me, there is no place that more desperately needs human-centered design than our government services.
Most of the spaces I've had the pleasure of being a visitor in during my government work have been complex (alphabet soup, anybody?). The least I can do to serve folks who are experts in their own experiences is learn to speak the same language as them as quickly as possible.
Which brings us back to the funny pants. During my time on GearFit [link], we were focusing on the experience of underrepresented folks in the Air Force, specifically women. Gear has historically only been designed to the specifications and requirements of white men, and women in the Air Force are currently suffering psychologically and physically as a result of wearing gear that was never built for them in the first place. Add in any slice of intersectionality to that picture, and you have a recipe for folks having a daily physical and emotional reminder that they don't belong.
I spent months trying to understand what it really must feel like to wear this gear. While trying on this G-Suit didn't turn me into a pilot overnight, sometimes you can't really understand a problem deeply until you literally walk a day in somebody else's shoes (or G-Suit).