Kat K. RIchards Portfolio
Kat K. RIchards Portfolio
CUA Certified User Experience Designer in Milwaukee, WI

Hi! I'm Kat Richards, 
a User Experience & Visual designer in Milwaukee, WI. 

BY DAY: I'm tackling complex problems, starting with a pencil and paper, or a marker and whiteboard.

BY NIGHT: I love exploring new cupcake recipes, making laser cut jewelry for my Etsy Shop, and adventuring the city with my husband and puppy.

 
 
 
 
 
 
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WHAT I DO

LEAN UX (user experience)

:: User research

:: IA, Site maps & Task flows

:: Personas creation

:: User stories creation

:: Wireframes (lo-fi & hi-fi)

:: Prototyping 

:: Usability testing

:: Validation & iteration

:: Analytics, Data insights

sTRATEGY & leadership

:: Evangelizing UX company wide

:: UX mentorship

:: Customer experience

VISUAL DESIGN

:: Visual mock ups

:: Logo design

:: Brand guidelines

:: Brand experience 

:: Marketing assets

 
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Featured work

MY LEAN APPROACH

Designing a good experience is very similar to baking a three tier cake. The typical waterfall process is to focus on individual ingredients and you combine the dry ingredients and wet ingredients separately; each has no value to the end user/ eater. You can deliver the base first, then the filling, and finally the icing. Only at the end of the final phase do you have something complete and truly edible; only then will you know if people enjoy your cake or if your recipe is even good. 

Now imagine approaching this cake in a lean process. You start by testing the recipe with small cupcakes. Once you test and get feedback, you can adjust your recipe and bake a bigger cake. Iterate again and uncover any problems, find the best ingredients and know your recipe is amazing before building the three tier cake. Both these processes result in a three tier cake... but the lean approach allows for real time feedback and room for pivoting to create a better end-result for users. Below are some high level steps I take as part of my UX process. Of course, the steps below are flexible and should adapt to the project’s unique requirements and circumstances. 


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Discovery

I first identify the problem by asking questions to better understand. Some specific tasks under this section includes user observational testing and field studies, surveys, competitive analysis, persona creations, identifying the business objectives, user flows and user stories.

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IDEATION 

Once I clarified the problem and the business objectives, this is when I would ideate with the rest of the team to determine and prioritize the high value features and smaller quick wins. This is typically done with the dev team and product owners through sketches and white boarding exercises.

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DESIGN & PROTOTYPE

During this phase,  I map out concepts, task flows, and IA. During this phase I would deliver wireframes or prototypes, and test with users to see if flows match their mental models. I also create UI elements and bring to life final designs for development.

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Validate, ITERATE, repeat.

Putting the wireframes or designed prototypes to test with users are essential to determining whether the solution was easier for users, while meeting business objectives.  

Once designs or prototypes are tested, the cycle starts again. We iterate based on feedback and test again to find additional missed opportunities for future sprints.

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A TASTE OF SOME OF THE CLIENTS I've WORKED WITH:

Janet Amirpour
Ann Williams
Wayne Lee
Fred Green
Diana Scott
Diana Rhee
Katherine Dominga
Christina Smith
Todd Liu
Louis Sharma
Donna Campbell
Kimberly Davis

What Others Say

 
It takes a special kind of designer to work as closely as Kat does with our dev team and she’s always willing to go the extra mile to sift through concerns and suggestions we have, both during the design and implementation phases.
— Joel Narwald (Developer)
Kat is one of the most focused and efficient people I’ve ever worked with. She responds immediately and thoroughly to project requests, often producing multiple variations at her own initiative.
— Kristina Belle (UX Manager)
Creative, organized, and well spoken are just a few words that describe Katherine, our interactive designer. Previously, as an intern at Finn Digital, she brought good insight and solid design direction to various projects not normally seen from someone who is fresh out of college.
— Conrad Ayala (Creative Director)
Kat is a sharp, fast thinker, a very good designer, pleasant to work with and driven to succeed. With her natural ability and training Kat rapidly demonstrated the acumen that allowed her to move from smaller brand interface projects to supporting our largest national project accounts with well-thought-out user experience design, page layout, search engine optimization and web analytics reporting.
— Bill Finn (CEO)
 
Thanks for great work and for all the great discussion.
— Microsoft Product Owner
We were just interviewing some job candidates this week and, unprompted, they said great things about the site. Lots of good feedback. Congrats all!
— PBS Client and product owner
Loved the initiative to do usability testing for Orchestrate and would love to do more of these earlier on to help get feedback before dev time.
— Orchestrate Product Owner
First weekend for Lowe’s Studio at ACL Festival 2016 – a truly holistic solution with so many individuals taking part in the heavy lifting.
THANK YOU. Great big team, great big thinking, great big work.
— Lowes Product Owner
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