UX Research & Strategy, Interaction & Conversation Design
I'm currently a UX Researcher for the Web Initiatives team at UT Health San Antonio. I have a strong instinct for when to apply time-tested and reliable techniques and when to challenge the status quo.
“ I have directly observed Brent’s skill-set in regard to user research, both generative and formative, and usability testing including developing a detailed test plan, recruiting participants, setting up tasks and scenarios to ensure he’s measuring the desired aspects of the design, execution of the usability test, and presentation of both preliminary and final results.
Brent is more than fluent in all aspects and has an ample
"skills toolbox." He is unique in that he has pursued, in parallel, knowledge in front-end development with the intention of being a better team mate when working with development teams. He has many years of industry experience which has helped him excel as a graduate student since he immediately finds ways to apply his academic learnings in an applied sense.”
Eric Nordquist Partner, Sentier Strategic Solutions, LLC Clinical Associate Professor, UT Austin
As a User Interface Engineer in Dell's Experience Design Group, I was considered the usability expert for Alienware software design in general and the Alienware Command Center in particular. Having conducted and presented results for a series of usability tests and focus groups, I was the first line of defense for user advocacy.
Alienware Command Center is a comprehensive solution to optimize performance for high-end devices
My research allowed us to triage usability issues based on criticality and available team resources. By mapping the problem space, I was able to design and propose long-lasting and far-reaching solutions.
My work extended beyond improving the usability of the program's existing features. I proposed interactions and features under development that will extend the value of Alienware Command Center into the Windows OS itself, facilitating the ways in which our users were already gaming.
The creation of an algorithmically-generated color scheme based on game cover art that adheres to WCAG color contrast accessibility guidelines is one impact of which I'm the most proud. I strongly believe that being mindful and vigilant in terms of accessibility improves usability and the user experience across the board.
Alienware is one of the most fulfilling product ecosystems I've worked on, and I always welcome the opportunity to go into more detail in-person.
Conversational Design Guidelines
As a contractor at a multinational computer technology company, I created a Conversational Design Guidelines document, the purpose of which is to be a resource for current and future design and development of conversational interfaces. Then I designed and created a conversational interface prototype, a virtual assistant, in order to validate and clarify those design guidelines through usability testing.
The design language for this type of interface is human language
Voice and conversational interfaces are increasingly becoming a significant part of our everyday interactions with technology. It is important for designers to follow brand guidelines and design principles that are informed by a number of disciplines, including but not limited to interaction design, content strategy, visual design, and linguistics. Rather than trying to teach the user the right way to speak or write, a conversational interface accommodates users and allows them to express their commands and queries in the way that is most natural to them.
I gave participants a series of tasks to complete with the prototype, changing the interface’s responses and actions to empirically measure how participants perceived it. With this data, I was able to prioritize and highlight particular guidelines based on their efficacy to provide a model for future designers and developers at the organization.
iSchool Website Redesign
As a UX Researcher and Designer for the School of Information at UT Austin, I recruited, managed, and mentored current UX students in redesigning their current website.
Our Research Phase consisted of five teams:
Content Audit and Inventory
Interviews gave us insights into our users' pain points and the most common tasks they seek to complete on the site. These tasks were collected for the purpose of tree testing to assess our information architecture.
We interviewed students, faculty, staff, and industry professionals
In addition, the students conducted competitive analyses of 25 schools of information under my direction. I created an artboard for each school with the evaluative criteria pre-filled with questions so that new UX students could learn and contribute at the same time.
"Is the website responsive or mobile-first?"
The students filled in their respective artboards, which also provided them an opportunity to use and practice Sketch.
Each artboard evaluated a particular school's website and was divided into the following categories:
Navigation and Information Architecture
Accessibility and Simplicity
Use of Media
Being Mobile-First and Responsive
Aesthetic and Visual Design
Students looked for specific standards like a 4.5:1 color contrast and alt-text accompanying images, according to Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0. Other evaluations were more heuristic in nature, so I individually audited the students' evaluations for consistency and accuracy. After the redesign is complete, students will judge our work by the same metrics in order to demonstrate a measurable improvement in the site's user experience.