D2L Incorporated (Desire2Learn)
November 2014 - Present (2 years) Kitchener, Ontario
I was hired by the director of Enterprise initiatives to work on D2L's new enterprise learning product offering. My first project was to revisit the D2L's Course Catalog prototype and work with a small remote team based out of Newfoundland to bring it to the general availability. My startup background was utilized by the team as a way to streamline our design process, put together a holistic product design, and to improve and simplify the overall product's user experience. The end result was praised for being simple and easy to use.
Once D2L invested in its design culture, I was transitioned to be a part of our core design team. As a member of the design team my role was to evangelize good design practices, rapid iteration, and doing enough up front design. I continued to work directly with the Enterprise dev teams. My main priority was to create good designs that will be implemented and shipped, but to also influence the dev culture through educating them about mobile-first design, design thinking, and doing enough up front design prior to attempting a technical solution.
Since the transition, I have worked on the complete re-design of D2L's Capture video solution using D2L's new Daylight visual design language. I was the first one to have a product shipped with the new Daylight system, and Capture 9.0 was received very positively by existing clients. We continued work until the recent Capture 9.2 release, ensuring that the product was solid on mobile devices.
Lead User Experience Designer
InsightNG Solutions Limited - Co-founder
January 2012 – November 2014 (2 years 11 months) Kitchener, Ontario
The InsightNG platform is a web-based learning tool that combines semantic web technologies with serendipity in order to enable more frequent "Aha!" moments during periods of complex research. The platform pulls published content from the web and the user's social network and works on understanding the context or meaning behind the problem that the user is attempting to solve.
My responsibility is to lead the implementation of a highly experimental user experience design that overcomes limitations of computed search results by creating a meaningful dialogue between the user and the artificial intelligence back-end.
I work with a distributed world-class team and my role is to make sure the front end empowers the users during their "Aha!" journey. My daily work includes design, mockups, functional prototypes, user testing and HTML5 implementation in our web-based front end.
Lead Product Developer
PhilanthroKidz Inc. - Contract
March 2012 – November 2012 (9 months) Kitchener, Ontario
Worked as the lead Product Developer on the PhilanthroKidz online gaming portal. The PlayTakara.com gaming portal was aimed at the tween demographic and the goal was to bridge the gap between online play and real-world philanthropic activities.
Kids would play games on the website, like they were already used to doing, and they would earn a virtual currency for their play. The virtual currency can then be used towards building our corporate-sponsored projects in the real world that include schools, hospitals, and parks. The end result of the beta-testing period was a school park built in Cabarete, Dominican Republic.
Responsibilities as the lead Product Developer were primarily oriented around re-designing the user-facing product experience from the lessons learned during the beta testing. We had to rebuild the entire technology stack (and product for that matter), and ensure that the product can scale with demand. The technology stack was based around ASP.NET MVC deployed on Amazon AWS and included an API endpoint for generation of the virtual currency.
Other responsibilities include managing the project workflow from concept to commercial release. The entire project time-frame was 9 months which we met on time and budget.
Product Manager, President
Footloose Games - Co-founder
March 2008 – December 2011 (3 years 10 months) Kitchener, Ontario
At Footloose Games we made casual games for people of all ages to enjoy together. We released our commercial offering, Munchies' Lunch, a puzzle-adventure game based on a real family's experience and featuring a mom as a protagonist hero. The game is available on PC, iPhone and iPad and was published by Big Fish Games.
As Product Manager, I was responsible for establishing a vision and guiding our team through the conceptualization, prototyping, and full production stages. My daily duties included mockups, prototyping work, working closely with our programmers and artists, and seeking out creative resources for our team to work with. A large chunk of my time was spent testing our builds with users, one a weekly basis and modifying our design based on feedback in an agile development environment.
As president and co-founder, my daily activities included fund-raising and pitching, networking, strategic planning and team-building.
Interesting technologies we used include Microsoft XNA Framework and Unity3D game engine.
EggUp.com - Contract
July 2007 – February 2008 (8 months) Honolulu, Hawaii
Worked remotely for an early-stage startup whose product was geared towards changing how digital film distribution model works. The goal was to deliver a secure, affordable and globally-accessible distribution medium for independent film producers.
The project involved market research about distribution technologies and building of a prototype video player/media container know as the "Egg". The end result was that the secure video could be distributed between users via P2P sharing without infringing copyright laws. The Egg still protected the video so only authorized people could view it but did not result in sharing of the video content being illegal.
Atlantis Cyberspace Inc. - Co-op
January 2007 – May 2007 (5 months) Honolulu, Hawaii
Developed a face-mapping tool to be used to increase immersion and sense of presence in the VR simulation. Soldiers would have their photo taken from the front and the side of the head, and the face mapping tool would process the face and insert it in the simulation.
The end result is that during the simulation, soldiers would recognize one another in the field. This would cause them to be more deeply immersed due to the simulation being more life-like.
Received the highest Co-op rating of "Outstanding"
Atlantis Cyberspace Inc. - Co-op
January 2006 – September 2006 (9 months) Honolulu, Hawaii
Responsible for building an automated 3D format conversion tool to convert between OpenFlight and Unreal Engine data formats. Up to this point the conversion was done by 3D artists by hand and took weeks of manual labour.
The end result was that a large area satellite 3D scan would be converted directly into the simulation format within minutes.
Received highest Co-op rating of "Outstanding"