My work focuses on creating delightful experiences that solve real user needs through mixed-methods research and rapid functional prototyping. I am particularly interested in experiences that promote equity and access for all.
I’m currently the Director of UX Research at Google for Material Design and a lecturer at Stanford University.
I was inspired to learn more about engineering in high school through the FIRST Robotics program, where I met amazing engineers from Motorola who opened up my mind to making things – both physical and digital. On the advice of Woodie Flowers, I applied to MIT where I became a first-generation college student. Throughout my undergraduate and graduate years I conducted research at the Media Lab and AI Lab, working on documentary films that adapted to bio-feedback of the viewers (1999) and intelligent rooms that would respond to voice commands (2001). My thesis was on vision-based perceptual interface widgets and the types of applications they could enable.
After MIT, I joined the Applications Research Lab at Motorola (as an intern starting in 1998, and full time in 2002). There we explored photo sharing, search, and location-based multimedia systems that could be created with what would become the smartphone. We explored voice-based search for personal photo collections (2002), dial-based music selection based on metadata (2004), social television (2006), social network aggregation (2007), in-stadium video experiences (2009), location-based social media (2010), and health behavior change technology (2012). We created new products based on my research including the Media Finder, MotoBlur, TuVista, and StoryPlace.me.
In 2013, I joined Yahoo Labs, conducting research on second screen TV experiences, photo search, and communications applications. During my time at Yahoo, I led UX Research for Search, Mail, Homepage, News, Identity, Video, and several new product initiatives. Our Yahoo Mail 6 app launched in 2019, focused on how people use their personal email accounts and providing rich views for Travel, Shopping, Receipt, and Personal emails and the topic-based filters on the Yahoo Homepage came from our work on news reading behaviors.
In 2021, I joined Google, as the Director of UX Research for Material Design. Since 2006, I have also taught Mobile HCI classes at MIT (2006-2014), on EdX (2013-2016), and at Stanford (2016-present).