HEATHER WAUGH

UX / BRAND / DESIGN CONSULTANT

EDUCATION

I have more than twenty years experience in Graphic Design and Art Direction, with an additional background in Art History and Studio Art. I received my undergraduate degree in Painting and Printmaking and Art History from Virginia Commonwealth University located in Richmond, VA—where I studied directly with Professor Phil Meggs, author of "The History of Graphic Design".

In 2021, I completed my Master of Professional Studies (MPS) degree in User Experience Design from Maryland Institute College of Art. This offered the opportunity to collaborate with many intelligent and creative instructors and colleagues from diverse professional backgrounds. I was one of five contributors in a project called Mira, a conversational-AI personal coach and life-planning virtual assistant. This project was selected out of 30+ applicants in Round 1 of MICA 2022 UP/Start Venture Competition. I also published my Capstone thesis project called AstroCompass on UX Collective Bootcamp via Medium.

EXPERIENCE

I have worked as a Graphic Designer and Art Director for organizations and businesses in DC, Maryland and Virginia over the past two decades. The first half of my career was focused in magazine, publication and branding design.

Over the past ten years, I have focused on marketing, promotions and events. This transition has made me increasingly aware of the need for strategic planning, project management and business skills.

I bring this synthesis of experience to my current work as a UX and Brand Design specialist. It provides a holistic framework that better serves the client and the end user. Better design with even better results.

MY PROCESS

Empathize

I always ask my clients first, "How do you want the solution or design to make yourself or the user feel?" It is through feeling that we first identify with a product or experience. Feeling evokes empathy and opens up dialogue with the user. This is a collaboration and is at the heart of the identifying the problem or challenge to be solved.

Discover

Next, I start the journey of discovery and identifying your wants, pain points, intentions, assumptions and expectations. Research into the subject and competitors will prepare the ground for developing a design strategy. This is the most important step in the process of choosing a direction. It is at this juncture that the problem will be defined and a path will be chosen.

Vision + Planning

After careful assessment of surveying and understanding the lay of the land—it is now time to develop a vision for synthesizing and articulating the problem and select an opportunity for creating a plan. This is where the story emerges and the vision can start to take form.

Explore

Once a plan is defined and opportunity identified, then the fun begins with exploring options for visualizing the product or experience. Reaching out for user and expert perspectives can help to create constraints that will encourage an efficient selection of platform, medium or aesthetic.

Create

The final stage is where the theory and objective takes form and can be tested. User feedback from usability tests will help to tighten the gaps in the experience to fully solve the initial problem needs. The iterative process might take us back to earlier research and statements to better improve the final deliverable.

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