Design & Think
Design & Think

About

Human factors engineer. Anthropologist. Tea enthusiast.

 

Ashley Karr

Ashley is an academically trained human factors engineer and anthropologist focusing on human computer interaction (HCI) and user experience (UX) research and design. She is passionate about organizing and tea. Currently, she works as a UX Principal for Smartsheet. Before her latest role, she taught and designed instructional material for User Experience Design Immersive courses with General Assembly. Her past students work for organizations such as Disney Interactive, Wells Fargo, Microsoft, and Amazon. 

She has her B.A. in anthropology from UCLA and M.S. in human factors and systems engineering from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Her writing has been published in a number of journals, magazines, and books, including a behavioral psychology textbook for Oxford University Press. She has worked with organizations, such as: Walmart, Frontier Communications, and The Veteran's Administration (VA). 

To learn more about Ashley's background and design philosophy, listen to her interview on the podcast, User Defenders or visit her LinkedIn page.

Management Principles

Life

Animate things are more important than inanimate. Put people before protocol, process, and products.

Reality

Be honest, objective, and authentic. Have integrity and a healthy respect for time - it is a precious, limited resource. RTFM.

Elegance

Know the goal, figure out the most direct way to get there, and get there - without sacrificing beauty or quality.

Humor

Make the hard things easier and the easy things more fun.

At Kensington Palace

At Kensington Palace

UX Process

Research

Explore & understand the design challenge. Uncover insights about the domain, organization, & user. Discover the conceptual underpinnings for multiple possible solutions.

Plan

Create a strategy & plan of attack for the design based on the data collected in the Research & Understanding phase. The first “tangible” design elements emerge. This phase is chalk-full of rapid iteration & exploring multiple possible design solutions.

Prototype & Test

Build a prototype, which is a representation of a design created for the purpose of testing and drawing from those tests real-world specifications. Then, run a usability test, which is an evaluation method where representative users interact with a design (or a representation of that design) for the purpose of learning how usable that design actually is.

Specify

Good visual design can make emotional connections that communicate the brand and instill trust. We specify the look, feel, and behavior of our designs so they can be turned into releasable products.

Evolve

We continue to track the performance of our designed solution, as well as continue to improve how we work as teams.

To learn more, read Ashley's deck on human-centered design.

Recommended Reading

Let My People Go Surfing: The Education of a Reluctant Businessman

by Yvon Chouinard to learn excellent leadership

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less

by Greg McKeown to learn how to make sense

About Face: The Essentials of Interaction Design

by Alan Cooper to learn the industry version of UX

Interaction Design: Beyond Human Computer Interaction

by Rogers, Sharp, & Preece to learn the academic version of UX

Designing Together: The collaboration and conflict management handbook for creative professionals

by Dan M. Brown to learn to be a good person and team member