A little about me

black and white photo of Kelsey with ocean in the background

I'm a UI and UX designer with experience in end-to-end digital product design, from research to branding, mockups to front-end coding. Projects that excite me the most involve distilling information into slick visuals and pleasing micro-interactions.

The backstory

I grew up in Alaska, on an island, in a town wrapped in mossy rainforest on one side and ocean on the other.

As a kid, I spent free time poking at anemones and catching tiny fish in tidepools. I watched the sea lions tousle and humpback whales spout offshore.

At the same time, I loved art. When the Tempera paints came out, I created blobby, smiling sea creatures. When I wasn't at the beach, I meticulously filled in ever more complicated coloring books.

My mind was geared to be a designer, but at the time I wasn't aware of the field of digital product design.

So, I followed my other passion and studied ocean resource management. College and graduate school were rich with natural and social sciences, I had a stint on Capitol hill, and for five years I was a consultant at a small firm, helping conservation groups set strong strategies.

This all made sense on the surface - after all, the natural environment, and especially the ocean, is important to me and I was helping conserve it.

My career in conservation just didn’t feel right.

The undercurrent

Over the years, the reality bubbled up.

While I love the natural environment, I don’t love the work of a traditional environmental professional.

In the office and classroom, what I enjoyed most was problem-solving the best way to convey information visually.

Here’s what was happening under the surface:

At college -- Alongside environmental studies, I completed a minor in art. My favorite assignment was to create a series of miniature pencil drawings. Naturally, I drew a collection of sea creatures. I then expanded the collection and ran a little business selling prints.

In graduate school -- For my group master’s thesis, one of my roles was designer of our public-facing work. You could find me up late adjusting colors, creating custom animations, and geeking out whenever I landed on a data visualization that clicked.

As a consultant -- The most exciting thing was figuring out how to display our research findings with graphs, infographics, and writing. (I also managed to design a few company holiday cards along the way.)

So, I decided to do more of what I like best: design.

I quit my job and entered a digital product design program through Bloc.

“Wow that’s a big change - environmental consultant to designer!”

Yes, you could say that. But there’s more crossover than I expected.

Here are a few of the similarities I’ve found:

Take the research process. As a consultant, I led numerous online surveys and stakeholder interviews, analyzed the data, and drew out key findings to act on. Sounds pretty familiar to a UX research process, right?

Also, working with clients. There’s a lot to be said about delivering for clients, whether internal or external to the company. Designers and consultants both do a lot of this.

And you’ve got to be good at learning on the fly and working cross-functionally. Consultants and designers wear many hats, from researcher to facilitator to liaison.

In the end, the goal of a consultant and a designer is to find a solution to a problem.

We both package the solution in a way that the target audience can understand and use. Designers just get to have more fun making it look and feel good.

Whether for an environmental cause or not, I want to design experiences that make sense, look good, and convey valuable information.
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things I do
when I have the chance

Run in the East Bay hills

Swim in outdoor pools

Backpack in the Sierras

Scuba dive

Invent recipes with farmers market vegetables

Explore a new country - mostly in the southern hemisphere to date

Wait, really?

I have a cat who plays fetch.
“I Love Lucy” has forever been my favorite TV show.
Eons ago I was a competitive jump-roper.