Location: San Francisco, CA, originally from Columbus, OH
Current Role: Designer Advocate at Figma
In 2015, at age 23, I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes (view my current blood sugar), and while the disease has made me feel lost in ways I never would have imagined, it’s also given me a tremendous amount of clarity into what drives me most.
I believe experiences for users should be logical, methodical, and most of all, predictable. I believe in the power of patterns, but also am continuously learning when it’s appropriate to break them. I think it’s this that allowed for me to fall in love with design system work.
I’ve learned that I’m so deeply interested in exploring and learning all I can in the spaces of human connection, health, and the tooling we use to see many of our dreams through. I take pride in the craft of interface design and find so much joy in both getting things out there quickly and in sweating the smallest details projects—especially the ones users may never notice.
I’m now a Design Advocate at Figma, which has been such an exciting and new position for me to explore. What encouraged me to take on this, admittedly, different role was simply my belief in the tool itself, in the team behind its development, and finally, in our community. The opportunity to meet, learn from, and to connect with so many new teams and designers was one that I had to take. I spend my days creating content, resources, and templates for all-things Figma, including organizational approaches, design systems, developer handoff, and everything in between.
I fell in love with design system work early on in my career and my time at Figma has led me to be able to learn how companies of all sizes approach this work within the design tool. In my role, I’m able to learn from, provide guidance, and collaborate closely with the talented teams at various companies such as Spotify, Microsoft, Google, Autodesk, Stitch Fix, and many others. It’s an experience unlike any other that I’ve had.
After learning about my diagnosis, I wanted to do everything I could to enter the healthcare space and I was fortunate enough to land at Virta Health, where the team’s mission is focused on the reversal of type 2 diabetes. In my time there, I led design for our Clinical Experience team, where our focus was on making the best internal tools possible for our many in-house physicians and clinicians. I also was a part of the team that lead our efforts in the creation, maintenance, and scaling of Virta’s very first design system, which we named Substrate. You can read more about that here.
At Virta, I found myself continuously inspired by the challenge of designing for (hypothetical) moments of crisis or emergency situations. It was so important for our team to think about creating positive experiences that allowed our clinical staff to safely and accurately address serious safety concerns with as few taps and in as little time as possible. That was a design challenge that I loved.
When I first came to San Francisco, I joined Scoot, as the company’s first and only designer. What a fun, scary, and fast-paced adventure that was. Phew. Years later, I’m now convinced that nothing could have taught me more about what working in the real world was like than that job did.