Tori brings a passion for balancing creative design with user needs and expectations to her role as User Researcher at Anthro-Tech.
Tori received her Bachelor’s Degrees in Anthropology and Journalism & Mass Communications from The University of Iowa and holds a Master’s Degree in Digital Anthropology from University College London. Her focus in Anthropology led her to a career in UX that started with a UK company called The Big Sofa Project. Tori spent a year interviewing participants on a big blow-up sofa across the UK for a variety of projects with clients ranging from city councils and public utilities to Volkswagen, BP and the London Olympics. Tori returned to the US to work as a Games User Researcher for Big Fish Games. At Big Fish, Tori worked with a small research team while the company transitioned from primarily PC games to mobile games, developing research methods and establishing best practices for mobile game design and testing.
When Tori isn't applying anthropology to design and user research at Anthro-Tech, she might be enjoying hot yoga, painting, kayaking, or finding ways to be creative while spending time with friends and family. That, or she's probably snuggling with her geriatric cat, Sugar, during a Netflix marathon.
First Creative Memory
I remember creating a house for leprechauns and fairies in my neighbors neglected planter on their back porch. I built it wigwam style with tree branches and leaves and included a tiny table and bowls made from pistachio shells. I then convinced my younger sister and her friends that leprechauns and fairies were staying there every night and knocking things over (not the wind). I also remember burning my fingers with a hot glue gun a lot...
Path That Lead You To UX
Right before I moved to London for graduate school I was describing my ideal career to a relative from New Zealand. He listened as I described wanting to understand how people experience the world to help make design changes to anything from a paper form or a website to the physical layout of a room. He happened to be a UX Designer and let me know that my dream job existed in the form of UX Design and Research. It was revolutionary for me to learn that what I hoped to do with a Masters Degree in Digital Anthropology was in fact an actual job!
Your career thus far, in a nutshell
I keep finding more ways to talk with people to understand their experiences.
Design or UX hero
Saul Bass is a design hero of mine.
Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, and Salvador Dalí... But if I'm honest, I fall in love with new artists every day.
Your idea of happiness
Exploring somewhere new. Spending time with people I love.
Favorite place in the world
Sevilla, Spain, particularly wandering around the gardens of the Alcázar in the sun when the orange trees blossom.
Can't live without
Art, Water, and Thai food (with lots of veggies). I might regret not listing sunscreen if this is a desert island scenario...
What have you learned?
I have a hard time picking favorites... I resist absolutes.
It may surprise you
I have lived in Spain, The Netherlands, and England.
Alternative universe career(s)
Custom Travel Guide, Painter, Marine Biologist