I'm a multidisciplinary designer with a love for asking the right questions and uncovering the truth of what works and what needs to be improved in systems.

Testimonials

"Johnny joined at a highly stressful and highly chaotic time of Acciyo's history- right as we were going into a product launch and didn't have all the user insights we were hoping for. Johnny sprung into action, speaking with current and prospective users."

Anum Hussain, CEO at Below the Fold (formerly known as Acciyo)

"Johnny is a self-starter and always puts in 100%. His boundless energy, positivity, open-mindedness, and thoughtfulness not only ensured our user testing and interviews were as meaningful as possible, they also lifted team spirit during the pandemic."

Vivian Diep, CTO at Below the Fold (formerly known as Acciyo)
Key wins 🎉

Helped raise $147k in startup capital

User-research played a critical role in crafting a product that’s changing the way readers consume the news. We received a vote of confidence with a $147k raised in crowdfunding on Republic.

25,000 NYC families benefited with research

With over 25,000 families on the brink of foster separation, qualitative research played an essential role in improving the quality and delivery of family prevention services provided by NYC's Administration for Childrens' Services. The agency gradually shifted their approach for how to interact with families: focusing more on rehabilitation rather than trauma-inducing retribution.

Fostered the Peace Corps community of 5k members

As a former Peace Corps Volunteer, I felt the need to help digitize our collective stories and memories that span 60 years of service worldwide. All volunteers can now partake in an online community and donate to projects abroad.

My story

How I got into User Experience

To you, dear reader, I must make a confession.

I'm bereft of formal erudition in the field of UX. My classroom was not in the halls of a famed university, nor was my professor a scholar of great renown. Rather, I learned it all in the chaos of my local Starbuks, imbued with the aroma of caramel fraps and macchiatos where micro aggression and table politics reign supreme.

Coffeeshops make for convenient laboratories that will make any researcher brim with excitement at the prospect of evaluating human quirks. Consider this typical scenario:

Should I entrust this stranger with my personal belongings while using the restroom? Perhaps I'll gain favor in their eyes and establish a tacit alliance against incoming table aggressors.

or this one:

Should I pay for another Americano to justify staying an extra hour? I caught a glance from the owner... I don't want to be THAT person.

With the vast gamut of human complexity before me, I couldn't ask for a better place to learn about user-research and design. I learned from the everyday person in NYC establishments like coffeeshops, diners, pizzerias, including the Social Security building where one guy threatened to punch me in the face because I approached him with the interest of doing a guerrilla service-design study on how to decrease the wait time in government buildings. True story.

My design workflow

Today, I bring my learnings outside of my Starbuks bubble and onto the decision-making tables at startups and organizations that seek to create user-first systems. I deliver my services in end-to-end fashion, which goes something like this: 

1. Strategy

In this phase, we ask key questions to achieve the following results:

  • Attract users
  • Nurture leads
  • Convert leads into customers
  • Delight users
making use of Steve Blank's Business Model Canvas
2. Discovery

In this phase we research the space that you're in and learn about the problems that need to be solved so that we can build the right product for the right user.

Learning about the problem space through discovery
3. Synthesis

Synthesis is a fancy word for making sense of our research findings. After speaking to users and stakeholders, we begin to sort and categorize information to identify emerging themes and patterns.

Affinity mapping and card sorting to make sense of our research findings
4. Design

We translate our research findings into user-flows, wireframes, and hi-fidelity prototypes so that we can test it with users before launching.

Establishing user-flows, wireframes and styleguides
5. Analytics + Event Instrumentation

After a round of beta testing, we're ready to track events and see if users are onboarding correctly and accomplishing key tasks successfully. We'll use tools like Amplitude to help us track events like "user signed up successfully" and "checkout page loaded."

Tracking sign-up conversion on Amplitude
6. User testing

Are our users successfully accomplishing key tasks How long does it take for them to get onboarded? What are common scenarios in which users find themselves? In this phase we put our product to the test and identify areas to improve.

Testing prototypes with key stakeholders
Resources

These books guided my evolution from being a pixel-pusher to a thinker of product development and user-experience.

Book Just enough research

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

Book Just enough research

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

Book Just enough research

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

Book Just enough research

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

Book Just enough research

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

Book Just enough research

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.