The Communication Studio

FastTrack

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Here's a high-level overview of the site with direct links to the good stuff.

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This  tag cloud  provides a keyword guide to my engagements "by topic".

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Some of the contextual "framing questions" that I'm often asked about the work I do.

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Let's have an understanding about how we can work together effectively (FastTrack for Recruiters)

Quick Connections

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An Overview of this Site

Resume A webpage version of my print resume *with links*

Recommendations Who loves ya, baby

Skills What I bring to the party

Education Book Learning, Languages, Kultcha

Talents Hey - I can draw, too!

Portfolio Clients and Projects: Recent work ... and Wayback (about 100 engagements total) : Challenges, Solutions, Wireframes, Screenshots, Tasks

Showcase Slideshows of projects that you can view *by Domain Expertise* (i.e. keywords like "Portal", "Financial" or "SharePoint")

Clickable Demosites Active Wireframes: Behavior & Workflow

Tasks The "The Usual Suspects": the Deliverables of our craft (Library: 28 Items)

Videos & Blogs Insights and Opinions

Archive A bunch of papers, thoughts, and solutions from The Wayback Machine

Domain Experience

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Topic tags provide meaning to data - and shortcuts to navigation.

The Topic Tag Cloud is a quick-access overview of what I've been doing, sorted by keywords.

Click on a topic area that interests you. The InfoCloud popup appears, with a list of relevant engagements, sorted by topic. Click to view an engagement that interests you.

Showcases

I've "tagged" my Portfolio engagements with topical keywords based on domain experience and organized them into showcases. A Showcase is essentially an animated slideshow of the engagements that share a Domain Experience keyword (like "social" or "SharePoint" or "financial").

Every Showcase also gives you one-click access to relevant recent engagements in each of the the topic areas.

When you see a keyword topic that appeals ... Give it a click and see what happens.

View by Client Logos

Or you can just browse the TCS Client Logo Library. After all, a picture is worth ....

Click on a Client Logo that interests you...

FAQ's

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Anticipating Answers

Are you a programmer?

Morse Code

I have some programming "lite" (s.a. Javascript and jQuery) as a skill, but it's not really a job description.

However, I am an excellent coder - in the sense that I am proficient in the identification, definition and organization of content - the information architecture. The keywords here are taxonomy, content strategy, tagging, semantics and - yes - "keywords". The focal technology is CSS.

As an interaction designer I choreograph the content in terms of presentation, behaviors & workflow - and have the "dirt under the fingernails" skills to deliver a highly polished experience (this site, for instance) through usage of Javascript, jQuery and DHTML.

I also guide the creation of software products and I've even created a substantial, fully-featured Powerpoint-in-a-Browser product. But, ultimately I entrust the programming task itself to people who have real, solid skills in that arena.

What about Commuting?

Comuting Range

I'm about 30 miles west of New York and am not able to relocate from the NYMetro Area at this time.

I really can't accept opportunities beyond my communting range of about 1 hour travel (roughly: NYC, Newark, Jersey City in the east, White Plains NY in the North, Woodbridge NJ in the South, PeaPack NJ in the SouthWest) unless there's a Remote option as a significant part of my working schedule (i.e. 50% onsite, 50% remote).

Can you do big portal sites?

Since the early 90's I've worked on several large enterprise wide engagements.

The typical scenario is that I am brought in to address the design needs of the flagship product (often a mission-critical transactional system). Upon providing comprehensive design solutions, I'm often asked to "do the same" for other products.

The overall portal challenge is to standardize styling, behaviors, and data content, while also providing some flexibility and individuality. I've worked on a number of portal engagements:

What about mobile?

Yep. Clients have asked me to help them out on a host of challenges in this area. Topics include:

  • How to support multiple platforms (iPhone, iPad, Android, etc.)
  • Mobile Web or Mobile App?
  • Create a new dedicated site or repurpose the existing fullscreen site?
  • Responsive Design
  • Gestural interfaces

"Going Mobile" means high-level strategic analysis, as well as practical implementation issues - like modeling a "clickable" mobile demosite.

Are you virtually remote?

As a seasoned, senior professional, clients are comfortable with having me self-manage. All of my engagements since 2007 have involved at least some degree of remote work (usually ~ 25-50%) within 2 weeks of starting the engagement. My effective daily commute range is about 1 hour from my home base in zipcode 07034 (see commuting and remote, above).

I can also service long distance onsite engagements (involving air travel and overnight stay). These are negotiable based on rate, expenses and scheduling.

I've had some very successful telecommuting relationships - especially recently. The profile of a primarily remote engagement is:

Go onsite for a few days or a week, then work from home for a week or two (repeat). If you are willing to consider a remote/telecommuting relationship, please feel free to contact me. 

Practically all of my engagements over the past few years have included at least some degree of remote work.

Why is that?

Well, I'm fairly senior. Most clients look to me to self-manage, as well as to guide their development teams. So the assumption is that I know how and when to be where we need me to be. And that I'm professional (i.e. responsible) enough to do it right.

Remote

60%

Of my recent engagements have been remote

Are you familiar with newest technologies and techniques?

I've been staying current with the newest technologies and techniques for more than 30 years now. The primary challenges are (a) educating clients on capabilities & limitations and (b) implementing features that can be deployed effectively across existing platforms (the old "browser inconsistency" issue). This website employs:

  • HTML5
  • CSS3
  • jQuery
  • Javascript

Because I have a strong technical background, a broad range of skills, and the ability to integrate across boundaries, I've been doing Agile for a while now, as well.

Can you handle social networking?

Creating that personal connection has always been an underlying agenda for the User Experience Practice.

Social Media give us convenient, successful, popular models.

Leveraging lateral connections is a conscious design agenda now. I've been particularly interested in addressing the unique set of challenges surrounding "Facebook for the Enterprise", s.a. collaboration and knowledge management.

Are you open to fulltime on-staff?

I've been doing interactive design and usability advocacy since 1981. On-staff UX jobs didn't exist - heck, the terminology & titles didn't even exist - for most of my early career. The UxP Role is still evolving.

As a longstanding pioneer, I've been ahead of the curve for most of my professional life. I am motivated by passion, challenge and vision. Ultimately, I suppose that I'm here because I like being here.

Over the past couple of decades I've been on staff a few times: I've provided those companies with immediate deliverables and also offered them my leadership in the UX arena. Every year I tell myself that the industry is a little closer to catching up with The Vision Thing.

Here's a fact: The User Experience Practice is consultative by its very nature - even within the enterprise.

  • We reconcile consistency and "best practices" across the portal. We define standards, components, behaviors and terminology for multiple internal applications, platforms and sites.
  • We mentor IT, Business and Marketing on how to effectively implement UX as a part of their process.
  • We consult with corporate stakeholders and decisionmakers about the unique challenges and mysteries of this arena. After all, User Experience Practice is the competitive edge.

At this point in my career, I'm looking for an environment that welcomes the full range of the abilities I have to offer. Could that be you?

A Few Ground Rules

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How We Can Work Together

My Job

... is to get appropriate info to you so that you can get me into direct competition for an opportunity. If I succeed in winning that opportunity on the basis of my abilities, then both of us make money. My responsibility does not include filling out a form with information that is already available to you.

Your Job

... is to handle the client relationship, which includes the logistics of presentation, as well as keeping me informed of the status of the opportunity as it moves forward - voluntarily, proactively and clearly. I am not interested in doing that job for you. If you can get out there and actively market my professional skills, so much the better.

Transparency

If you won't tell me who the client is, don't expect to have my attention. We know what my rate is. We also should be clear on what your markup is. Transparency is good business.

Clarify It

I get a gazillion generic messages about jobs that all sound pretty much the same (and often are the same job) from recruiters every day. It's an organizational nightmare.

So, put this helpful info into the Subject Line of your emails:

  • Client Name (important!)
  • Job Req #
  • Location

Now I can actually keep track of our ongoing discussion. And so can you.

Confirm It

When I agree to let you represent me, send me a confirmation email that has this info in the body:

  • Client Name
  • Job Req #
  • Location
  • Rate
  • Start Date / Duration

Now I can protect our relationship especially when someone else approaches me about the same job. (If I don't get the confirmation email, chances are I'll be talking with your competitors.)

Follow Through

You're handling the client relationship. Only you know if the circumstances of the job opportunity have changed.

Drop me a Status Update every week, even (especially) if nothing is happening at the moment. It's not my job to chase you. If I have to check your pulse, I consider you dead.

I'm sure that you want me to be responsive and proactively helpful when you approach me about opportunities that might make you money. I'd appreciate the same consideration from you.