- University of Colorado at Boulder, Master of Science, Geology, Boulder, Colorado, 1997
- Amherst College, Bachelor of Arts, double major in Geology and English, Amherst, Massachusetts, 1995
Wendy is a versatile user experience (UX) researcher and strategist who is passionate about helping teams find simple, creative solutions that achieve better outcomes. Curious, patient, and collaborative, Wendy particularly enjoys introducing organizations to the art and science of good design through data-driven decision making and coaching those who are new to UX as they learn the ropes.
Wendy acquired a Bachelor’s Degrees in Geology and English from Amherst College. She also holds a Master’s Degree in Geology from the University of Colorado, where she researched climate change and became interested in the role research can play in affecting societal decision making. This interest led her into energy efficiency and renewable energy communications for the Department of Energy, where she spent over a decade leading digital projects and started a UX initiative. She went on to TecEd, where she did UX research for non-profit and for-profit organizations, and eventually returned to federal consulting where she spent almost seven years building a UX practice at the Department of Treasury’s Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau.
In Wendy’s spare time, you can find her putting her research skills to use planning trips to remote locations in the desert Southwest, practicing karate, mountain biking, collecting cool nature stuff (mainly rocks and shells) or spending time with family and friends.
Path that led you to UX
Early in my career, I remember wondering if some content I’d written would be seen and understood. When I mentioned this to a colleague, she said, “Well, let’s see!” and proceeded to facilitate an informal UX test with some of our other coworkers right then and there. I was hooked and began avidly exploring what was then a fairly new field.
At a UX conference during this time, I saw Anthro-Tech present a compelling case study demonstrating the value of data-driven design. It impressed me so much that I made a pitch to bring them on board to assist me in kicking off a UX effort for the Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. We made the right choice. Over the next couple years, I worked alongside many talented Anthro-Tech researchers on a series of UX projects. Their unwavering commitment to “help others succeed” uniquely shaped that engagement in ways well beyond our expectations, and effectively launched my own UX career. That experience created such a bond that I eventually came to work for Anthro-Tech myself!
Seek out adventures. They aren’t always fun, but they often lead you to unexpected places - and they always make good stories.
Favorite place in the world
Hands down, slickrock paradise in Moab, Utah. Since discovering it in graduate school, it has always been my “happy place.”
What have you learned
My best work is always done with teammates who challenge my ideas and approach things radically differently than I do. When there is trust and willingness to see our differences as strengths instead of as threats, we can leverage that diversity to create better products and services than I could ever come to on my own.
It may surprise you
I have been to Antarctica. After I finished my Master’s degree, I spent five weeks cruising around the Ross Sea on an icebreaker, collecting algae samples and looking for new species of fish (and we found one!). I even got to go cross country skiing on the Ross Ice Shelf.
Alternative universe career(s)
Family adventure travel writer or canyoneering guide.
- Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections
- Washington State Employment Security Department
- User Experience Professionals Association (UXPA)
- Certified SAFe5 Scaled Agile Practitioner – issued December 2020
- UX Management certification from Nielsen Norman – issued May 2019
- Project Management Professional (PMP) – issued May 2011
- “7 Ways to Ignite User-Centered Design at Your Agency”
- “Institutionalizing User Centered Design at Your Organization”
- “Usability Insights Made Easy with Crazy Egg”
- “Marrying User-Centered Design with the Agile Software Development Process: 7 Tips for Success”