Amberlee UX, Interaction & product designer

About Me

Geologist turned Designer?

Since a very young age, I've been fascinated with the world around me. Looking out the window, digging in the dirt, gazing up at the stars. In addition, I've always had a creative side that is drawn to music, color, shape and working with my hands. When I graduated from college, the Internet age was just emerging and I found myself staying up late into the night hand-coding my own HTML pages just for fun--it was the perfect balance between my technical/scientific side and my artistic/creative side and sparked my curiosity of design as a career.

Journey to Today

NASA Ames Research Center: Mountain View, California

My dream of working for NASA came true when I landed my first job as a Production Assistant for educational multimedia as part of the Ames Educational Technology Team. It was during my tenure that I went to design school and grounded myself in design fundamentals, theory and practical applications of design. Through our collaborative design sessions at NASA, I learned the elements and process for creating a full-fledged interactive product--educational benchmarks, establishing requirements, brainstorming, interaction flow, information architecture, and observational testing of our prototypes with end users.

Freelance: San Francisco Bay Area & Silicon Valley

I credit my many years of freelance for making me a well-rounded designer. I was exposed to a variety of industries, company structures and diverse assignments from print, interactive, web design, marketing and product development.

LinkedIn: Mountain View, California

In the heart of the silicon valley, my year at LinkedIn was one heck of a ride (It was the year the company went public) ! It was my first foray into product development since my NASA multimedia days and allowed me to gain deep knowledge and understanding of software development in the Agile/Scrum framework.

Newly East-Coaster (2013)

Who moves clear across the country? This gal! Somehow my family all ended up on this coast and after years of only seeing them once or twice a year, I made the leap to continue my journey in Boston.

I've spent my time here at startup, matchbox (college admission app) and uber-secure collaboration software company, Intralinks. I've enjoyed getting to know "Silicon Alley" innovation and my share of beautiful Maine beaches and lobster rolls.

A Path of No Regrets

I have no regrets about my nomadic career journey or pursuing my degree in geology. My undergrad provided me a base of logical reasoning, scientific inquiry and the ability to break down extremely technical information. This has helped me to effectively communicate and collaborate with everyone from engineers to business managers. User Experience is still a new and emerging field and I believe it is the diversity of disciplines in UX that give us our strength with a broad perspective and a wide variety of approaches to solving problems.

My Design & Work Beliefs

  • Design should make interaction intuitive and easy
  • Products should have a clear hierarchy of information and clear calls to action
  • Information is most helpful in context, when users need it
  • Look for opportunities to dissolve complexity
  • Always be open to diverse viewpoints and strive to keep improving
  • Adopt processes that increase transparency and efficiency
  • Adequate preparation and organization make collaboration more effective and meaningful

My Career Goals

  • Showcase my leadership and product strategy within a design role
  • Explore mobile use cases and designing for those scenarios
  • Seek team/project leadership through servant-leadership and coaching methodologies
  • Play an active role in product strategy, roadmaps and how to consistently add both business and user value
  • Employ creativity, innovation and collaboration to formulate great products
  • Utilize technology to solve difficult problems
  • Always pursue work that is meaningful
  • Continually add value and improve the lives of ourselves, our community and the world

What I'm Looking for in a Company

  • Company: Pushing the creative and technological envelope; grounded in business strategy; "flat" org structure
  • Size: Startup or small/medium-size company; ideally 30-500 people
  • Values: Design-focused or understands the value of design; Innovation; Collaboration
  • Culture: empowering, transparent, focused, always improving, friendly
  • Location: Boston area; San Francisco Bay Area/ Silicon Valley or Remote
  • Markets: Green/Eco (tech, building, energy, consumer, etc.); Technology; Mobile; Collaboration; Internet of Things; Design/Creative; Home & Garden; Education; Social Media; Alternative Medicine

My Strengths

Based on Strength Finders 2.0 assessment

  • Learner: have a great desire to learn and want to continuously improve.
  • Relator: find deep satisfaction in working hard with close relationships to achieve a goal.
  • Restorative: adept at dealing with problems. They are good at figuring out what is wrong and resolving it.
  • Achiever: have a great deal of stamina and work hard. They take great satisfaction from being busy and productive.
  • Connectedness: have faith in the links between all things...believe every event has a reason.
Given the opportunity, I dive right into projects and tenaciously learn all I can--quickly bringing myself up to speed. I strive to gain a deep understanding of the project/process/challenge so that I can thoughtfully problem-solve, add value and accelerate a project forward.

In My Spare Time ...

  • Argentine Tanguera
  • Volunteer/ Philanthropist
  • Entrepreneur
  • Eco Greenie
  • Hiking, gardening, being outdoors
  • Lover or sparkly objects
  • Exploring different languages, food and cultures
  • Being silly and goofy
Created By
Amberlee Chaussee

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