pale blue jen

PALE BLUE JEN

Tin Foil Hat

Network culture has become the most vital of the humanities!

William Gibson said in 1993, "The future is here, it's just not evenly distributed." Since then, the distribution apparatus of the Future has gone into overdrive and innovations and understanding of everything from technology, biology, the planet, the cosmos are skyrocketing at an unprecedented rate thanks to the rise of network culture. It's brilliant, awesome, terrifying and strange, has immense power both good and evil, and it demands my full attention.

Life in the graph so far has proved it's worth in that once you've immersed, it's nearly impossible to imagine going back to an unnetworked life (who would you even be?). But it's also proved to be riddled with spies, dangers, failures, and "Norman doors." If we're to survive the coming waves of next-level disruption, we need to be intentional about what deserves preserving, collaborate on a vision for the world post-disruption, and design a path to get us all there.

Design thinking can help identify and solve the right problems. Designers can broker the relationship between humans and computers to get everyone not only participating the network, but also creating it for themselves. And designers can make sure technology and network culture support and amplify real human connections and community, instead of letting it slowly divide us. Designers have some significant power to save the world if we don't destroy it first. My mission is to devote whatever passion and skill I have for design toward making our future one of the good ones.

About

Strengths

There's an increasing amount of science that says if you're interested in happiness then you need a chance to do what you're best at every day, and if you're interested in greatness, then you need to build on your strengths rather than catching up your weaknesses. Gallup has compiled a lexicon of "talents" and a tool to help you identify yours. These are mine:

Chops

Perhaps you've read this far, and you're still wondering what I do.

  • UI/product design
  • agile/lean kool-aid
  • responsive advocacy (it's fun & futureproof!)
  • sass evangelism
    (See the sass for this site on GitHub)
  • user testing
  • information architecture
  • branding/marketing creative
  • illustration, icons, graphics
  • occasional animations
    (recovered flash designer, gif enthusiast)

Quirks

Yes...come for the chops, but stay for the quirks!

  • eau de whiteboard marker
  • team-building, cheer-leading, pep-rallying, trust-falling
  • starstuff, pseudo-science
  • design assets in version control/file naming nerdery
  • lulz and cats
  • component/pattern style-guide musings
  • non. stop. comedy.
  • contagious karaoke obsession
  • 98th percentile in clumsiness
  • Bruce Sterling & Bret Victor fangirl

Core Values

  • Care.

  • "Strong opinions, weakly held." (do the work, then do it again)

  • Give what you have to offer.

  • Seek challenges. Don't be lazy

  • Open-mindedness. atrophies if you don't actively expose it to new things

  • Breadth
    >
    Depth

  • Chummy & Friendly & Neighborly & Inviting.

  • "Good" is the enemy of "Great."
    "Perfect" is the enemy of the future (and it's gross)

  • profit is not the bottom line

  • comedy matters

  • No douchebags. *personal definition: someone who puts their image over people's feelings

  • abhor excess

  • Backlogs are bad. Now, or you risk never. Maintenance is cheaper and better.

  • transparency almost always pays off. Share all the things

  • investigate the impossible

  • make choices that enable (rather than limit) further choices

  • see it another way

  • fear is not a good reason

  • take some time to celebrate & some time to be critical but not much

  • distrust certainty. Make doubt into experimentation, not paralysis

  • Do the homework. You always learn something.

  • Invest in tools, skills & relationships

  • mind your metrics

  • be observant & alert.
    Anticipate & read minds.

  • Say it out loud.

  • Revise this list as often as necessary. But not more often

Work

View my full portfolio on Behance

Résumé

Download & view my resume pdf or visit my LinkedIn profile.

In case you're not into that stuff, here's a story instead:

Luckily, I did everything wrong.

Thirteen years ago, I dropped out of art school in Colorado, to live the rap-song cliché of making it big on the internet in New York City. Like most designers of my vintage, I started out designing flashy projects at a boutique studio, and as a contractor for big-time ad agencies. In 2007, I transitioned totally from client work to in-house web UI/product design, where I got my first taste of management and a mysterious new way of working called "agile." This amounted to ah-ha moment about approaching the way we work as a design problem, and ultimately led me to TheLadders to work with the industry's emerging experts in Lean UX. By valuing the process, we were able to completely reboot the platform in six months, and we were even able to experiment, and test-drive a number of (then) new approaches including responsive design, and an atomic-style organization of design components.

In 2013, I took a sabbatical to travel, experiment, learn, and reflect and then I distilled my values, hopes, and dreams, into this sentence:

I am seeking a lead design role on a life-changing, internet software project. With any luck, one of the lives it's been changing (or will) is mine. Ideally, this role exists on a small, cross-functional, highly-autonomous team of self-managed, chummy, curious, achievers, who move swiftly to gather and measure user feedback and behavior, which they use to plan, build, and ship interesting and useful products and features. Even more ideally, this team lives within an optimistic, and cheerful, socially and environmentally responsible company or organization, with a strong long-term vision and sense of values, who's users' success and happiness are directly linked to its subsistence.

It led me straight to Meetup, and I really couldn't have asked for a better match. We're wrapping up an amazing redesign and I cannot wait to share the results with you in the coming months.

Hello.

Thanks for visiting!

Please email me at or say hello on the internet.