Solving problems with data, empathy, and a wicked sense of humor.
I'm an experienced UX strategist, designer and researcher, who's been working in the design industry for over 20 years, most of it on digital products. I'm currently User Experience Architect for the athenaClinicals EHR at athenahealth, where I help product teams unpack gnarly forward-looking problems and figure out what to do with them. I'm also a part-time lecturer in Northeastern University's College of Professional Studies, where I teach a course called Information Technology and the Creative Practice.
Before joining athenahealth, I was Director of Digital Experience at Pegasystems, where I built and led a small but mighty team of UX professionals creating world-class experiences for the company's global web properties. I also worked with Harvard Business Review to bring UX research and responsive Axure prototyping into their Agile development process, and I spent over 10 years running the zen kitchen, a small design consultancy specializing in branding and Drupal web design for small businesses.
I've written a bunch of books and training courses for O'Reilly, including video courses on UX, and the Drupal for Designers book series. I also contributed several foundational chapters to The Definitive Guide to Drupal 7 (Apress, 2011). I speak regularly on UX Design, leadership, and organizational change, should you want to talk to me about speaking at your next event.
I'm based in Watertown, MA, where I live with my husband, our 2 beautiful daughters, and a crazy golden retriever named Larry.
Things people say about me
Five minutes into interviewing you, I had complete faith. I'm pretty sure my review was "I became a better designer just from interviewing her."
You are so talented and hard-working—I've never seen someone take to a zone lead role so adeptly and quickly. Plus, you're hilarious and fierce. Really the whole package.
~ Note from one of my scrum designers
Dani has impressed me on three fronts:
Thoughtful investigation. She asks a lot of questions. And, she asks the right questions. And, she keeps on asking questions.
Insightful analysis. Dani's work on the pre-charge visioning captured a complex set of problems; distilled the problems into understandable, actionable chunks; and presented the material in a clear, concise manner that has structured our backlog. It's a living, breathing reference.
Engaging collaboration. I flat-out enjoy working with Dani. She's a pleasure to work with. She draws out good conversation.
Leadership. Dani can really capture a room. Big or small. She pushes her glasses up. Lays out a plan. And, she pulls people into the process.
Did I say three, I meant four.
- Feedback from a Product Management colleague
"In the short time I've worked with Dani, my opinion and respect for her was amongst the highest of any designer I’ve worked with at athena. Being new to O&R (and Clinicals in general), Dani quickly picked up on the key patterns and challenges of the space. I was both impressed and surprised at how quickly she grabbed on and began to drive conversations around the needs to be DRY/reducing-surface area/re-usable UI. I truly think she grasps how UX and Architecture can work together to accelerate a team."
- Feedback from my Engineering Lead
As a researcher, Dani has expertise. With DesignOps, she has used that knowledge of best practices to enable our team to develop new teaching materials and tools that help other designers to do better research. Her willingness to give thoughtful feedback and collaborate has made her a go-to resource for our team. We really appreciate her disposition and look forward to continuing to work with her in the future.
- Feedback from one of my DesignOps colleagues