melissa ness: resume

Summary of Qualifications

  • Over 10 years professional web and user interface experience
  • Over 8 years experience as interaction designer and project manager with a focus on web applications and high traffic web sites
  • Highly developed business analysis, product management, and usability testing skills

Employment History

April 2009–Present
Vision Critical

Senior Interaction Designer & Usability Specialist

Core Responsibilities


Interaction design and usability
  • Designing interactions and interfaces, working with internal and external resources to make them happen
  • User research, including creation of a formal, cheap and useful usability testing plan and framework

August 2008–March 2009
ACL Services Ltd.

User Experience Specialist

Core Responsibilities


User experience and interaction design
  • Designing interactions and interfaces, working with internal and external resources to make them happen
  • User research, including creation of a formal, cheap and useful usability testing plan and framework

July 2007–April 2008
Socialtext

Interaction Designer
Product Manager

Core Responsibilities


Product management with specific focus on usability and user experience
  • Working with customers, sales, and other customer-facing roles to define customer needs and user needs
  • Working with developers, QA, and other resources to plan, execute, test, and release
  • Working with leadership team, dev leaders, and others to prioritise and ensure work fulfills business needs
User experience and interaction design
  • Designing interactions and interfaces and working with others to make them happen
  • Testing assumptions, building an understanding of our users and the will to serve them

Key Achievements

User awareness, user advocacy, usability testing
  • Creation of a formal, on-going user awareness program that takes UX/Product Management and Dev resources to customer sites to meet users, do anthropological research and usability testing
  • This work has transformed the product and development approach for 2008
Product management, user experience/interaction design
  • Developed product vision, focused vision on specific quarterly goals, worked with senior management to get their buy-in, evoked enthusiasm and a will to accomplish the goals in dev
  • Focused resources and worked through issues that had prevented the company from releasing any significant UI changes in over a year, resulting in significant UI changes in Q1 2008
  • Was primary user experience/interaction resource for forward-looking development, including two new large components that were released formally in the month after I left

2003–2007
ActiveState / Sophos

User Experience Specialist
Project Manager

Core Responsibilities


IT project manager and Ux specialist for internal systems and applications
  • Developing project requirements
  • Designing user interface and user interaction (wireframes, interaction and application flow diagrams, visual models for showing inheritance, content, template, and design requirements), developing information architecture, conducting usability testing
  • Developing optimised graphics and elegantly compliant XHTML and CSS
  • Managing development and deployment
  • Training users and iteratively developing based on their feedback
  • Budgeting, managing vendor relationships, reporting on project success
Internal consultant to other departments in Ux, business analysis, and other capacities
  • Bringing logical, (hopefully) Tufteian techniques to visualisation of business workflows and to visually representing solutions to business problems
  • Establishing and conducting meaningful reporting on new business processes and targets; designing user interface and user interaction for browser-based software
  • Defining UI and interaction standards and working with developers to make them reality, developing and integrating mark-up and styling
  • Advising developers on best practices and methodologies for browser-based applications
  • Evolving application identity, developing in-application icons
  • Providing design guidance on hardware bezel and chassis design
Project manager, designer and UI lead for ActiveState web properties (2003–2005)
  • Developing project and ongoing requirements
  • Designing user interface and user interaction, developing information architecture, conducting usability testing, developing templates
  • Leading front- and back-end web teams in efforts
  • Training content owners and actively supporting their interaction with Zope and Perl-based frameworks

Key Achievements

  • Transformed enterprise knowledge management infrastructure with introduction of enterprise search and upcoming internal knowledge framework redesign
  • Assumed a leadership role in plotting business processes for Sophos’ entry into the appliance/hardware market; created novel visual diagramming of business flow/user interaction/system actions that made business decisions comprehensible for the 30 person cross-functional team that spearheaded the evolution of Sophos into a hardware provider; developed and fed interim framework for reporting on hardware business in the absence of inventory control systems and formal Business Intelligence reporting
  • Internal UI and interaction designer (and user advocate) for PureMessage versions 3.x to 5.x

2001–2003
Global Market Insite

Associate Director of User Interface

Core Responsibilities

  • Design, usability analysis, interaction design, and managing implementation of Java and web-based application user interfaces
  • Coordinating & supervising UI implementation by development teams in Bulgaria, Hungary, and Seattle
  • Assumed additional roles as head of documentation (2001), head of QA (2003)

Key Achievements

  • Planned and managed implementation of user interface and interaction for new software modules in web-based and Java sister applications
  • Created and managed implementation of UI and interaction standards for all applications
  • Coordinated & supervised UI implementation by development teams in Bulgaria, Hungary, and Seattle
  • As head of documentation, moved GMI from Word format documentation to web-based documentation framework for Help and FAQ systems, designed and implemented this framework, created and publicised internal standards for documentation

2001
ActiveState

Web / UI Designer
Project Manager
Technical Lead

Core Responsibilities

  • Developing project requirements, sitemaps and interaction diagrams, wireframes and templates
  • Designing user interfaces and defining user interaction; developing information architecture
  • Creating compliant and flexible templates; mastering integration in a variety of frameworks
  • Conducting ad hoc usability testing and integrating results thereof into the web properties

Key Achievements

  • Led creation of first generation of ActiveState Programmer Network (ASPN) in three month timeframe
  • Introduced usability engineering, user advocacy, user experience and user interaction design into the company's core development and web development frameworks

1999–2001
Mindquake Software

Web / UI Designer
Project Manager

Core Responsibilities

  • Assisting clients in defining their business problems
  • Developing and codifying project requirements
  • Scheduling projects and resources
  • Creating logical and user-informed information architecture and interaction
  • Working with Art Direction to meet client requirements with web-ready designs, producing compliant HTML and CSS templates
  • Advising and supporting junior staff

Key Achievements

  • Developed the processes and templates that were used by the company to determine and codify project requirements (including requirements specifications, wireframes, and interaction diagrams)
  • Successfully planned and implemented UI for numerous web applications and websites

1998–1999
ACL Services

Web & Multimedia Producer

Core Responsibilities

  • Maintaining ACL's web presence and coordinating postings on external partner sites
  • Designing print and multimedia pieces, managing contractors
  • Conducting HTTP log analysis for statistics and for unique events (such as security breaches)

Key Achievements

  • Transformed ACL.com from a simple, brochure-ware site to consistent, quality, high-availability, content-provider maintainable, multilingual web presence
  • Introduced web-specific job tracking processes and document tracking procedures

Education History

Post-Secondary Education

  • University of Alberta, German, Italian (double major, highest honours, academic awards)
  • University of Victoria, Creative Writing
  • UWC Adriatic, Italy, International Baccalaureate Diploma (two-year scholarship)

Applicable Conferences and Training

  • Omniture Site Catalyst Core and Advanced User Training, 2008
  • OSCON, 2007
  • ASIS&T IA Summit, 2006
  • ITIL Certification, 2006
  • Presenting Data and Information, Edward Tufte, 2004
  • HF/CHI/HCI/Usability Conference and Advanced Usability Testing Workshop, Nielsen Norman Group, 2001
  • Essentials of Marketing, BCIT, 1999

Melissa Ness