WHAT I OFFER

 
Background ​
& Approach​​
"User Experience," "Interaction Design," "Information Architecture,"  "Product Design," "Customer Experience," and "Service Design" are all  sub-disciplines under the umbrella discipline of Human-Centered Design—a field in which I've worked for over 20 years. During my time at Apple and other organizations who helped bring Human-Centered Design (HCD) and design thinking into the mainstream, I was lucky enough to work for, and closely with, some pioneers in user and market research, participatory design, plain language, and usability.

My primary focus is on the strategy, psychology, research, and analysis part of design. I'm the right person for:

My process begins with end users and stakeholders—researching and analyzing behavior, needs, tasks, content, mindset, and underlying systems—and results in clear and compelling structures, refined through iteration and testing, to support user goals. I do this by focusing on end users, dissecting complex subject matter and tasks, gathering input from experts, and designing within a holistic frame of human experience that takes into consideration all touch points and impacts—not just the digital.

Focus &​
Specialties​
Design and strategy for complex systems

 

I have experience designing not just for consumer, enterprise, and nonprofit web and mobile applications and sites, but for desktop and gestural interfaces as well. And my experience is not restricted to the digital: I've worked on challenges involving policies, civic processes, service flows, packaging and industrial design, and more.

 

Content, information architecture, and instruction

 

I offer IA services and content development, or UX writing, for content-heavy sites. Supported by my roots in instructional design at Apple and work as a filmmaker, I've also designed and produced training videos, educational software UI, documentation, and instructional plans. I hold an M.A. in Professional Writing from Carnegie Mellon University.

 

Social and affective design

 

I've enjoyed the challenges of analyzing complex emotional and communication needs while working on products such as social networking platforms, human resources projects, and children's educational software.

Team direction, management, coaching

 

I've brought together and managed teams to create complex digital products, videos and films. 

Clients

UNICEF, The Restart Project, Center for Civic Media at MIT, Bloomberg, Toyota, iQuanti, Jobbatical, Planet OS, TechSoup Global, Baron Software, Wireless Generation, Zintro, AOL, Museum of the City of New York, Red Rover, Cardscan, Authentec, LeapFrog, Williams-Sonoma, Goldmine, Blue Shield, Palm, AT&T, the Marine Mammal Center, IONA Dance Company, Becton Dickinson, Caringwise, OnTimeRX, Compaq, Franklin Park Zoo, UltimateTV, Nickelodeon, Netpop, Charles Schwab, Discover Financial Services, Lending Tree, EGG UK, Internet Shopping Network, Financial Engines, ShoreTel Networks, Serena Software, DoveBid, Edify. Agencies: USWeb/CKS (marchFIRST), TBWA/ Chiat/ Day, Studio Analogous, Arcatec, Rocket Communications, ATTIK, Addis, Euro RSCG (Havas), Y&R Interactive, Fitch, 

Magnani Caruso Dutton, DesignWorks, Uplift, 

Explorics, and Clear Ink.  

  

As a writer and content strategist, I've also worked with a variety of brands such as Apple, Iomega, 3M, Compaq, Glidden, Texas Instruments, Little Earth Productions, Sipix, and Askey. 

Qualities

Clients have noted:

I'm speedy. I'm deadline-focused and often exceed timeline expectations.

I make quick sense of the fuzzy - and without a lot of hand-holding.

Systems thinking
Other systems-oriented design disciplines I've studied

 

Passionate about systems thinking as an analysis tool, as well as the intersection of environmental and human challenges, I've also formally studied the disciplines of transition design, biomimicry, and permaculture. Doing so has helped deepen my understanding of what makes systems work well naturally, and how design and research can play a critical role. (Here's my favorite film currently about systems and the environment!)

I'm a "connector" - like a welcoming bridge between disciplines and ideas.

Global experience
Deliverables
Please enquire if you're looking for something specific you don't see in my online samples, such as: DISCOVERY + STRATEGY - proposals • stakeholder interviews and goals mapping • heuristic analyses • interviews and focus groups • analytics synthesis • systems diagrams • contextual inquiries • ethnographic research • workshops • user journey mapping • personas • user stories/ use cases • research protocols • user diaries • surveys DESIGN - requirements documents • conceptual + interaction design • storyboards • application flows • IA site maps • content inventories and hierarchies • wireframes • rapid prototypes • videos • specifications • copywriting • instructional design deliverables 

 

Originally from rural Pennsylvania (near Philadelphia), I'm an explorer who has also lived in Maryland, Ohio, the Silicon Valley, NYC, Boston, and Florida. I've worked with international clients and on many products used globally. And I've spent what amounts to years abroad between Europe, Central and South America, Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia and Southeast Asia. Getting to know people, cultures, and places around the world has helped to keep my perspective fresh and grounded in the diversity of lived human experience.

Passion project

I'm on the advisory board of
Footprints to Wings, a participatory design and democracy game to help break the gridlock around climate change conversations, so we can win the race to zero carbon.

Social

© 2020 by Susan Stuart,
Stuart Design Research

 

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