My work previous to Etsy (3+ years ago!) ↓
Urban Compass (Now known as Compass, after their national expansion) is a full end-to-end service for helping people find a home they love. The company was founded in late 2012 and I joined the team as the first full-time product designer in early 2013, about 4 months before the public launch of the company. I began concepting the product and creating wireframes with our head of product as we flushed out the problems we were trying to solve, as well as how we were going to approach the very complex and political real estate space in New York City. By September 2013, Urban Compass received its Series A funding, valued at $150 million. Throughout the next year we tested and iterated our original ideas, basing changes on the company's evolution and research, to better the product and user experience.
The Urban Compass homepage was one project that was constantly evolving. As we updated features and adjusted our positioning we had to keep the messaging clear, and the user flow simple and to the point. The balance of new users understanding the product, while still getting them to sign up use the product, was always a main priority. A few iterations of the home pages are shown above.
An early feature that I concepted and designed was the online scheduling tool. I created a four-step process to get the required information from users to our agents. One of the challenges of working for Urban Compass was that I always had to keep three groups in mind: the user, the agent, and the landlord. All three were crucial in the end goal of renting an apartment, so it was always important that the process was simple for everyone involved.
One of the more intricate parts of the product was allowing users to search our listing inventory, and providing them with the best possible content before they got in touch with our agents. Building a template that could respond to the myriad listing variations of listings was tricky — some listings had good photos and some didn’t, some had features listed and some didn’t. To accommodate every situation we had to build a page that would withstand all of those changes while maintaining shape and hierarchy. Above are the search and listing pages we created.
An important part of the Urban Compass experience was being able to access our inventory, schedule appointments, and to see your upcoming schedule on the go. We made sure our entire product was responsive, and I worked very closely with our mobile engineers to create an iOS app.
In order to keep searches organized, we created a feature called “My Apartments,” allowing users to see all their appointments, favorites, recommendations, and historical data.
One additional feature I worked on was our neighborhood guides, spotlighting and sharing information about neighborhoods throughout the city. These were created for a large subset of our users who were moving into New York City from out of state, and needed help deciding which neighborhood was best for them.
Join was a project I started with a few friends as a way to connect with other interesting, outgoing people, and the activities they were planning in the real world. It always felt a bit strange seeing event photos from Instagram or where someone had been on Foursquare and wishing I had known about it ahead of time. That is where Join steps in. We have made it super easy to share plans with your friends, and letting them join the event or activity in a passive way. The goal was to get you away from your screen and spending quality time with friends.
One of the parts of Join that I liked the most was that for each activity or event you posted, you set how many people could join in. Have two extra tickets to a game? You would post it with two openings. Someone drop out from a dinner reservation? Post it with one. Having a party? Post it as open to as many as sign up!
With the huge amount of information that Sass included in the Eco Fashion resource, including artists and brands, previous versions of the site had been cluttered and difficulty to search. For the site update I helped her create a search experience that allowed users to quickly and seamlessly find content and information.
With the amount of information, including artists and brands, that Sass included in the Eco Fashion resource, previous versions of the site had been cluttered and difficulty to search. For the site update I helped her create a search experience that allowed users to quickly and seamlessly find content and information.
I worked with the team at Adornia to refresh their brand and create a site with the same clean and sophistcated look as their product. I created a style guide along to accompany the site, which helped them the transition.
One of my first jobs in design was with Hemmert Studio in Madison, NJ. Their specialty is letterpress printing, and I had the opportunity to learn under the creative director, Curtis Hemmert. Some of these projects were designed and printed while working there, and others are from times I was invited back to use the press.
Whether it's a project to learn a new front-end technique, or to build a product I wish existed, I've always tried to keep busy on side projects. Here is an assortment of those with many more not here.
A while back, my wife, Nicole, and I were chatting about the lack of online resource for our then-neighborhood of East Harlem. Everything we could find on the neighborhood was either extremely outdated or hard to use. We decided to build our own little platform to host small community sites, or to refer people to when they were looking for restaurants, apartments or even the history of a certain neighborhood.
The first neighborhood that we built under Sovisit was East Harlem, where we lived at the time. It gave us a chance to talk to our neighbors and local business owners and meeting them and photographing their businesses was one of my favorite parts of the project, and getting to know the people behind the "digital" side of the product made it that much more fulfilling when we started seeing them share their photos and pages with friends.
A fun ongoing project that is still evolving is one with my wife, Nicole. She is an amazing sewer and maker, and I decided it was time to give her an outlet to start selling her goods. We wanted to create a site focused on just the product.
A project that stemmed from a collaboration with the Nashville-based country music duo, Drew and Lacey. They explain the idea on their site like this: "The After Bedtime Sessions is about putting the kids to bed, gathering in the living room, and creating music. Each session will be different: a new mix of musicians, a brand new song, an old bluegrass standard that we just rediscovered, or a 10-minute long fiddle jam. No tracks, no studios, just a song the way you would hear it if you were there."
I worked as the lead designer/art director on a site update for Bae Rae, an apparel company that is focused on women's fashion. They wanted a site that was going to be very simple and flexible, and easy to update without upsetting the design or look.
Allan Glanfield is a talented fashion designer, sewer, and creator extraordinaire for whom I helped build a site. Because he blogs a lot, and wanted to focus on this medium, it gave me my first taste of building on WordPress from scratch. Though there were a few hiccups this was a good introduction for working with databases and CMS. As always, we made sure it looked and ran nice on mobile.
*** Hey, you made it. There is a lot more where that came from. I've also worked for clients like West Elm, Rockport, Etsy, and many others that I can walk you through if interested.***