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Hello Amazon, I’m Mark.

Thanks for taking a look!

For some background, my Bachelor and Masters degrees are in Computer science in the specialty area of HCI.

A mixture of computers, art, and psychology.

Most recently, I have worked with Google as the researcher and designer on the TensorFlow app. I came in as the first UX person for what used to be a research project. I worked with the developers to improve their process of creating ML models, at the same time showing what UX can do for them. 

Microsoft

I managed all UX research within Azure for 4 development teams simultaneously. 

Verizon

The startup Vidible was bought by Aol, which was then bought by Verizon. I was the single UX researcher adapting to constant change in priorities.

ESPN

I designed the internal tools and metrics to make tools easier for the internal employees; to get their job done faster and with higher satisfaction.

Hamlyn Institute

Development of research ideas on how to improve the UI for the robotic surgery. Trying to make sure the surgeon doesn’t get lost when driving the robot in the abdominal cavity.

IBM

Development of UI for mobile apps “next billion” users and accessibility research

Process example

Since the team I was working with had not worked with UX before, the goal I was given was to “fix the UX”.

After some stakeholder interviews I came up with speeding up the model creation process, and making it easier for developers to make faster ML models.

To start, I set out to find the problems for developers. I started with interviews & surveys (internally) and interviews & survey posters at conferences (image at right) looking for choke points.  I was able to map out the different persona groups, the steps different developer groups are taking, the time they spent at each step, and what they saw as time wasted.

Once I was able to prioritize the problems affecting the most people, causing the biggest slowdowns, and the biggest headaches; the biggest problem was how difficult it was to debug ML models.

I switched modes to sprint development so I could quickly iterate between working with developers to figure out what is possible for the design, then user testing those designs to find problems, and then surveys to find out the size of the problems to fix in the next design.  

After going through a few iterations, it is currently being built and the starting version can be found found at the TensorBoard Debugger.

More design examples can be found in my portfolio

You can also view my  Github interaction with the TensorBoard and Cirq teams.

Customer Obsession

I was able to convice the team to let me change tracks to work on something outside the group since it would fix the largest problems affecting the most developers.

Ownership

As the single UX person for the team, if I didn’t do it, it didn’t get done. I either found someone to help, or I did it myself (always asking for advice from experts).

Invent and Simplify

When designing how to understand tensors I kept mixing together different visualization paradigms and testing them until users understood something complex simply.

Are Right, A Lot

All my choices were backed up by research. It also made it easier to evangilize my decsions.

Learn and Be Curious

As the single UX person I was constantly able to learn new skills and reach out to other UX teams for critique.

Hire and Develop the Best

Since I was the first UX person, part of what I did was to set up best practices to improve the process and help the developers to create better products even when I did not have time to help.

Insist on the Highest Standards

Because of the process changes I implimented for best practices, it helped improve not just the end product but the process itself.

Think Big

As part of the project I was able to outline a 2 year plan to tackle the biggest 80% of problems facing the developers.

Bias for Action

A completely new product was researched, designed, and built within a year.

Frugality

Since I was doing user testing at a conference I put up posters to gather more information for free.

Earn Trust

I kept deadlines I set, and had data for when developers and PMs had questions. I became the source for people to ask for all things user realated for the team.

Dive Deep

Leaders operate at all levels, stay connected to the details, audit frequently, and are skeptical when metrics and anecdote differ. No task is beneath them.

Have Backbone; Disagree and Commit

I was able to convice the team to let me change tracks to work on something outside the group since it would fix the largest problems affecting the most developers.

Deliver Results

The foundation of new debugger exists! (as the opensource code gets buit, it can be found at Github)

 

If you are interested in more info about me, you are free to listen to the podcast I host or read articles I have written.

Feel free to reach out with any questions and thank you again for taking a look.

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