I’m Ellen. I’m an experience designer and strategist, with a bit of a coding addiction.
I’m currently a Senior Designer at Emergent Order, a creative agency in Austin, TX, where I work on digital products and cross-platform campaigns. When I’m not at my computer, you might find me on the trails in Austin hiking with my dog, scouting a new taco joint, or testing out a new recipe.
I’ve been designing, writing, and coding things since I first got my hands on a computer (in case you’re wondering, that was back when Geocities was still a thing). In college, I studied evolutionary biology and the human mind, and became fascinated with how the mind works, what makes people happy, and how humans are wired to behave. Those questions eventually led me back to the design world, where I’ve been for the last 4 years.
This is my dog, Gunner. He’s not as enthusiastic about design, or high-fives, as I am, but he’s still great.
I get excited about solving tiny but ubiquitous problems. One of my favorite talks of all time is Hans Rosling’s Ted Talk about “magic” washing machines. If you haven’t seen it, it’s short and delightful (like everything Hans Rosling did) and absolutely worth watching:
He makes a lot of interesting points, but the one that’s always stuck with me is that the washing machine — an invention that isn’t particularly exciting or sexy — is amazing because it creates time. Time to read, time to work, time to become a world-renowned humanitarian and statistician. Really, time to do anything other than wash clothes.
I often joke with my friends that design is only sometimes about saving the world; the rest of the time, it’s about saving 10 minutes a day for the people who’re going to figure out how to save the world 10 minutes a day faster. I really love the idea that great design, no matter how small, can have a huge impact on the world.
Senior Designer, Emergent Order (2017 — Present)
Led the interactive design and strategy of client projects. Spearheaded the integration of user research into all company initiatives, including video production and advertising campaigns.
Researched, designed, and launched flagship products for national non-profit organizations and startups. Managed teams of designers and developers to create user-centered designs on tight budgets. Produced interactive prototypes, creative and strategic briefs, design research reports, and client presentations.
Junior Designer, Emergent Order (2014 — 2017)
Designed, built, and managed interactive digital experiences for in-house and client projects. Worked on virtual reality apps, media websites, branding & logo designs, and graphic design deliverables for marketing campaigns. Created our in-house web design and development vertical.
Communications Associate, Texas Public Policy Foundation (2013 — 2014)
Designed graphics, documents, presentations, and posters. Managed and art-directed the website and social media. Founded the in-house analytics program, and project managed the client side of an award-winning website redesign.
User research, concept ideation, product strategy, information architecture, UX/UI design, interaction design, prototyping, front-end web development, user testing, interviews, client presentations
University of California, Santa Barbara @ The College of Creative Studies
BA in Evolutionary Biology, BA in Literature
Visual Design Coursee