I’m a New York-based information architect with an art degree and a security clearance. I’ve been a web designer of some sort for the past 14 years: the past 7 as a user experience director or lead, the first 3 as the managing director of my own agency.
I was born in Manila, have lived in the suburbs of Los Angeles and the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Washington, D.C., and now call the Upper West Side of Manhattan home.
I am neither a guru nor a ninja. I will not get your page to the top of Google’s search results. I am not an “innovator” or an “idea guy.”
Instead, I learn new industries and empower businesses to have great relationships their customers online by developing usable strategies for content writing, information architecture, and interaction design.
I care deeply about how people interact with technology, space, and each other. If you care about these things too, I think we’ll work well together.
A few key beliefs
Documentation is not (strictly speaking) necessary to deliver a great digital product. Great documentation – especially wireframes – manifests a product vision and organizes teams around the work.
In product development, mental agility (and the gift of experience) enables me to be more successful than Agile ceremonies. Processes and tools provide guidelines, but they do not replace the judgment and fortitude to navigate the shifting terrain that accompanies even the most seemingly routine development process.
I believe in designing products that launch. This means balancing the mission to advocate for users, a product’s business requirements, and development costs in order to get the product live. Innovation without execution is just “thoughts and prayers.”
I attribute this aphorism to Luca Turin from The Emperor of Scent – and I use the quote that follows it to validate my approach to learning: a “chaotic accrual of information,” interdisciplinary, broad, and eternally searching for better metaphors. Metaphors are indispensable rhetorical tools for making the abstract vision I have for a digital product real and knowable for development teams, clients, and end users.
If the past decade has been a gold rush for technologists, then the evolving field of user experience – from information architecture through product design – is the study and practice of mining. Because hiring a young designer means granting a person access to this lucrative field, I believe it’s not enough to be a capable stylist. It’s important that a designer has the self-awareness to know why they want this career, and takes the responsibility to deliver great products seriously.
I invest in young UX talent because I am in this profession to make people’s lives easier through technology that is better to use – primarily websites. Websites only last a few years, but realizing the impact my mentors had throughout my career motivated me to be in a position to lead other designers.
Matthew is intelligent, insightful, professional and meticulous. He is a UX leader who seeks out new best practices and quickly recognizes smart ways to solve client challenges. Always a pleasure to work with, Matthew is also wonderful collaborator and a warm person.