EMAIL : alexandrascott (at) gmail.com | PHONE: +1 202 277 7679 | LINKEDIN: linkedin.com/in/alexandrascott

What I do

I use the skills and experience I've developed over 20 years in the field of information and experience design to help clients develop products and processes that satisfy and delight the people who use them.

Why I love it

I am a natural investigator, organizer, and optimizer — I love to figure out how things work and find ways to make them work better. I am motivated by a deep curiosity about how people and information fit together, and I love the thrill of exploring a problem deeply in order to find novel ways to solve it. I simply relish every opportunity I find to bring more harmony to an environment through good experience.

My Key Skills

  • audience research & definition
  • heuristic evaluation
  • strategy definition & development
  • content auditing & taxonomy
  • workflow evaluation & planning
  • wireframing & storyboarding
  • information design & knowldedge management
  • visual design & prototyping
  • usability testing
  • documentation & communication design

PROFESSIONAL OVERVIEW

THE INCREDIBLE PEAR

2006 - present

Chief Strategy & UX Officer, Managing Partner

I consult with a variety of organizations, bringing my expertise to their project teams. Projects under NDA or currently in progress are described here in the abstract. I can provide additional detail in offline discussion.

Companies and organizations I've worked with include: National Academies of Science, PBS, NCES, United Way, NIH, NYCCSC, World Bank Group, Epilepsy Foundation, Gate Gourmet, Freedom House, Undergear, SnapOn Tools

  • {IN PROGRESS} Developing structural and functional design for a climate change micro-content library that turns a strategic vision into a functioning prototype...
    • interview stakeholders, synthesize & document requirements
    • develop audience personas and needs assessment models;
    • create content taxonomies, content type definitions, and metadata models;
    • apply iterative development techniques to generate a user-friendly relational database that maximizes content utility and intuitiveness;
    • develop product prototypes to test with internal stakeholders;
    • validate, communicate, and document progress with stakeholders at all organizational levels
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  • {IN PROGRESS} Designing a workflow, inventory, and accounting system for a startup bakery business that removes guesswork, simplifies processes, and frees up time for the fun of baking...
    • define standard operating procedures;
    • evaluate kitchen and accounting input and output workflows;
    • develop a relevant knowledge management taxonomy;
    • develop a set of user-friendly relational database tables using Airtable software;
    • create automations and custom scripts to manage key workflows;
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  • Guided evaluation and development of strategy and operations approaches to support roadmap planning for an enterprise-level childrens' media organization...
    • interviewed a wide variety of stakeholders and developed insights into challenges and requirements;
    • codified team structures and evaluated workflows;
    • provided models for shared vocabulary and language, workflow type definitions and metadata models for documenting tasks and products;
    • developed system and process visualizations to guide work with both executive- and functional-level stakeholders.
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  • Managed planning, collaboration, and execution for a learning analytics grant proposal to build capacity for a childrens' media organization...
    • led a large, diverse, multi-party team through requirements and process analysis;
    • developed system and process visualizations to guide work with internal stakeholders;
    • planned, moderated, and analyzed group strategy, task brainstorming, and development sessions;
    • communicated with stakeholders at all organizational levels across a year-long development cycle.
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  • Conceptualized and prototyped a new user experience design of a complex data research tool to help a leading educational testing organization improve its value and reach to multiple audiences...
    • quickly learned the existing tool’s complex functions;
    • collaborated with a complex, multi-party team to document and validate product requirements and priorities;
    • designed research- and heuristics-based upgrades to the user experience;
    • developed detailed storyboards and interactive wireframes to test with internal stakeholders, developers and end users;
    • applied iterative design techniques to create a flexible, multi-stage user workflow that increased utility, intuitiveness, and overall user enjoyment of a complex product across multiple platforms;
    • documented and communicated progress at multiple organizational levels;
    • integrated updated branding and design to improve usability and overall user experience.
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  • Defined and designed the user experience for a product prototype that allowed parents to explore, track and guide their kids' learning through educational games...
    • collaborated closely with product stakeholders and developers to develop product strategy;
    • designed and built front-end product prototypes
    • designed and supported end-user testing;
    • proof-of-concept prototype helped secure upwards of $5 million in continuing development funding from the U.S. Department of Education.
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  • Provided strategy and design for the overhaul of the user experience for a kids media site for Parents...
    • evaluated content strategy and site heuristics;
    • worked closely with internal stakeholders to redefine audience requirements and evaluate related products and initiatives across the organization;
    • built consensus among related stakeholder groups for strategic cooperation across multiple teams;
    • spearheaded collaboration that resulted in organizational realignment and increased relevance for the business segment;
    • developed interactive wireframes as a guide to implementing new strategies.
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  • Led product and design teams through user experience strategy development for a new set of classroom management tools...
    • evaluated existing site and product analytics;
    • reviewed heuristics and user workflows for current tools;
    • designed and moderated user testing of new product features;
    • presented recommendations to, and built consensus among, executive stakeholders;
    • developed a comprehensive product narrative and road map to help shape a cohesive strategy across multiple products, teams and initiatives moving forward.
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  • Designed user experience strategy for an intranet focused on enhanced knowledge-sharing for one of the country’s largest global advocacy organizations ...
    • collaborated with internal knowledge management, branding, technology and web teams to understand organizational structures and culture;
    • interviewed functional department heads;
    • provided templates and guidance for content analysis across enterprise-sized organization, and distilled a global content strategy into a single, multi-tiered site architecture;
    • integrated multiple, disparate taxonomies into a master taxonomy;
    • designed and moderated individual and group usability tests.
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  • Conceived, designed, and built the front-end interface for a service and knowledge-sharing intranet that allowed users to customize and manage a library of web resources and tools...
    • worked closely with internal and external stakeholders to gather requirements;
    • designed online workflows that allowed end users to discover, implement and maintain a custom set of functional components for their independent websites;
    • improved the model for internal maintenance and publishing;
    • developed content types and information architecture;
    • designed and built the front-end interface.
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  • Researched, designed, and developed customizable front-end templates for an enterprise-class set of plug-and-play TV-schedule tools that revolutionized TV data management for 175+ affiliate stations, minimizing support costs for the system.

EDUCATION "SABBATICAL"

2006 - 2012

BS, Physics, George Mason University

  • Started an LLC consulting partnership in order to have the flexibility to return to university to pursue a degree in physics; worked full time for 4+ years managing projects, writing contracts, designing and developing online products for a variety of clients while earning the degree, and eventually took on an undergraduate research internship at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland before completing the degree with honors.

OGILVY CREATIVE STUDIO

2005 - 2006

Art Director & UX Lead

  • Managed a team of four designers and collaborated with account management and technology teams to provide successful user experience and design leadership across a variety of projects from Fortune-500 companies to government, NGO and advocacy organizations including Johnson & Johnson, SnapOn Tools, National Institutes of Health, the Epilepsy Foundation and others.

PBS INTERACTIVE

1999 - 2005

Director, Information Architecture & Design / Creative Director

  • Hired and managed a team of four designers; spearheaded creation of a UX/IA/Design practice; modernized production and project management practices; collaborated as senior team leader with editorial, technology, marketing and member services directors; acted as brand management ambassador for interactive; created design and UX guidelines shared with 170+ member stations; designed Webby-award winning PBS.org and related sites.

TOOLS AND METHODS

The UX Toolbox is a descriptive overview of the practices and methods that I have used in my work over the past 15+ years, which includes audience research & definition; content auditing & strategy; information architecture (wireframing, taxonomy building, storyboarding, etc.); interactive prototyping; designing, moderating and analyzing user testing; visual interface design, and front-end development (HTML, CSS, Javascript).

UX toolbox

NOTE: The majority of work I perform as a UX strategy consultant contains the protected business information of my clients and partners. In order to respect this confidentiality, I do not share UX development deliverables publicly. I am able to provide real-time online or in-person walkthroughs of product deliverables.

I am a proficient user of the Adobe Creative Suite, an experienced developer in HTML/CSS markup and front-end Javascript, and I currently work with tools such as UXPin and Moqups to develop clickable prototypes. I have worked with various programming languages over the past 15 years (Perl, Python, C++, Java) in a variety of environments, and while I am not a programmer, I am reasonably capable in minor development and am knowledgeable in collaboration with technologists. This experience allows me to adapt quickly to new tools and methods.

I also have experience with development under section 508 and general W3C accessibility guidelines.

ADDITIONAL EXPERIENCE

EDUCATION