Brian Christiansen

UX Design Generalist

of Essex County, Massachusetts

I see intentional and unintentional design all around me. The controls I use to drive my car; the UI with which I write markup or send email; the experience of a doctor’s visit. I constantly wonder about how things came to be, and whether I would have made the same choices as those whose work contributes to my day-to-day experiences. I can’t turn that off and that’s is why I design. Conscientious and contextually-sensitive design is a powerful way to improve people’s lives.

“Generalist?” For me, it means someone who intentionally maintains a diverse set of skills within design, without focusing too deeply on certain topics at the expense of others. They often work along side specialists, filling skill gaps between team members, while keeping an eye on the project holistically.

The skills I have used the most over the past 6–8 years of UX work include,

  • Sketching and ideation, both solo, in small groups or leading team design studio workshops.
  • Working with different levels of stakeholders to determine their goals and needs in a project
  • Researching and interpreting customer or user needs from user research or observations in usability tests
  • Prototyping in paper and digitally (I prefer web-native prototypes to static digital ones, but there are situations that call for all forms)
  • Balancing user needs and organizational needs
  • Overseeing the usability of a product
  • Matching content to design in a holistic manner, and adjusting content or design when necessary.
  • Organizing and guiding specialist talent for the execution of the visual and development aspects of the project.

Other skills I bring into play include,

  • Visual design education and experience allow me to speak to those specialists in their native tongue and translate for other team members when things get jargon-y.
  • Front-end markup education and experience help me work with developers and even pitch in when production is in full-swing—I’ve regularly written prototype and production markup. I’ve even written a little PHP, Python and JavaScript. Emphasis on “a little”.
  • I love to write—to me it’s design in a different medium—and get along famously with copywriters and content strategists.
  • I’ve been the de facto web project manager in the broadest sense—from figuring out milestones, to managing version control (Git), to running the QA process.
  • I’ve mentored many interns, and love to teach. I even have a masters degree in Instructional Design.
  • Technically adept, I’ve been a Mac system admin as a small portion of my role. I trained in Cupertino while working at Apple.

If your Boston-area or remote team could benefit from someone with my experience, please reach out. I’d be excited to learn about your challenges, and happy to discuss how my experience might fit in.