Hi I'm Karen. I'm a design leader and user researcher obsessed with customer behavior and asking why. Empathy is my super power.
My multi-disciplinary background helped me become a better collaborator with designers and non-designers. I am driven to understand the “why” behind consumer actions to build scalable products and experiences is rooted in a deep understanding of the people and environments they’re built for.
I have over 15 years experience leading and collaborating on design and UX projects from concept through completion for clients in the financial, hospitality and e-commerce sectors. My experience has taught me that design is most impactful when it’s addressing a human need. My previous life as a psychology major taught me the importance of empathy and attention to detail, which I’ve combined with my passion for design and user experience to help companies like solve large-scale, complex problems.
I come to work because I like to spend time with people I trust, admire and share the same satisfaction of shipping great products. I’m motivated by an ambition to be part of something bigger that can make a lasting positive change.
I also have an unquenchable thirst for knowledge and you can usually find me at a class for a new coding language, continuing my pilates teacher certification training, attending 3D anatomy classes or cooking up tasty recipes.
I am currently working as a Lead User Researcher at Tock. Here I have the pleasure of working with many teams – collaborating closely with strategic leaders and product team to build the best reservations platform to meet the ever-changing needs of the hospitality industry.
I am open to grabbing tea – sometimes coffee – and always beer. Let's chat!
Photo: Me enjoying a beer at Mikkeller & Friends in Reyjavik, Iceland. Not pictured: beer.
WHAT I LOVE TO DO FOR WORK
Craft Beer 🍻
Volunteering at local cat shelter 🐈
WHAT I LOVE TO DO FOR PLAY
Tock (a Squarespace company)
Senior staff product designer and researcher
Oct 2022 – Present
Leading research and strategy for Customer business, driving new product differentiators like CRM, no-show toolkits, and variable pricing.
Scaling up a DIY research practice, empowering designers and product managers to conduct scrappy, rigorous research with an experimental mindset.
Staff product designer
May 2022 – October 2022
Enhanced Buyer Agent experience via documented processes, co-collaborative workshops, and a strategic service blueprint.
Created a Tour Assistant app, boosting in-field agent efficiency, clarity, and safety while home tours.
Tock (a Squarespace company)
staff product designer
Feb 2020 – May 2022
Led design and research for major projects enhancing restaurant operations, most notably a key product that streamlined reservation management, cutting customer onboarding from 6 weeks to 1 week.
Pioneered an end-to-end research process, promoting best practices and driving research adoption across multiple teams.
Devised a collaborative research framework, enabling product managers and engineers to prioritize roadmaps using customer journey maps.
Collaborated closely with multiple engineers to ensure quality product was delivered, measured and evolved.
SENIOR PRODUCT DESIGNER
Feb 2018 – Feb 2020
Designed end-to-end product for the iSAM product which improved item setup and maintenance for Walmart Associates and Suppliers.
Implemented a research process which improved qualitative insights and quality of design.
Created and managed a living design system empowering a team of designers and engineers to consistently deliver exceptional results.
Collaborated with product managers to ensure designs positively impacted business goals by having weekly collaborative design sessions.
Partnered with multiple Engineering teams to ensure quality product was delivered by developing QA and JIRA ticket filing and tracking processes.
SENIOR UI DESIGNER
May 2014 – Feb 2018
Responsible for design and user experience for multiple CRM projects including Sharepoint, SiteCore, Episerver and Salesforce.
Facilitated discovery sessions with clients to help shape the vision of employee intranets and e-commerce experiences.
Collaborated closely with UX and Development teams to ensure quality deliverables throughout entire project timeline.
Notable clients include, Northwestern Mutual, Deloitte and 3M.
SENIOR DIGITAL DESIGNER
Mar 2013 – Feb 0214
Led the redesign of Umpqua Bank's corporate website and the interface design of the new online banking experiences for desktop, mobile (OS and Windows)and tablet.
Worked closely with global teams on new business pitches for clients such asMSCI and Hilton Hotels.
SENIOR ART DIRECTOR
Apr 2010 – Mar 2013
Responsible for art direction, concept and execution of digital campaigns for Whirlpool.
Led design and user experience of the online Kitchen Stylist Tool.
Responsible for redesign for Whirlpool and Maytag e-commerce sites.
Online advertising including standard and rich media web banners.
Art directed 3D animated demos for new product launches.
Designed in-store POS units for P&G brands such as Pantene and Herbal Essences.
Developed shopper marketing programs and national retail promotions for Coke and Diet Coke brand
Bachelor of Arts –
Bradley University | May 2005
4.0 GPA | Minor in Art History
Gold for Personalized Global Intranet
Intranet and Digital Workplace Awards
3M GO Intranet | 3M
Best Personalized Experience
DLife Intranet | Discover Financial Services
Best Overall Intranet
iQ Intranet | QuintilesIMS
Digital Commons Intranet | Northwestern Mutual