A little bit about me... Meredith Kench
I am a driven and passionate User Experience Practitioner (I hate the word
"expert" because it's so subjective) that loves all facets of design,
usability, and product planning. Over the last 14 years, I have designed and
developed user interfaces and websites for companies ranging from small
start-ups to established brands such as WebEx and Cisco. This includes
writing product requirements, detailed functional specifications, creating
workflow diagrams, wireframes, and high fidelity mockups / prototypes.
I truly love what I do for a living - how many people can say that? Web 2.0
and emerging 3.0 technologies have made what I do even more fun because I
can push the limits of design, not to mention social media tools have given
us a whole new level of interaction. As many have said before me: UX folks aren't just interior designers
painting walls and rearranging furniture, we are architects that help build
the space from the ground up.
My philosophy is simple:
Functionality doesn't matter if people don't know how to use it, or can't
find it! User Experience Designers that can see the big picture play an
essential role if you want to build products that work and people want to
To me great user experiences need to be simple, easy, relevant, and fun.
Simple designs make it clear what is expected of the user. Products that are
easy to interact with keep users coming back and relevant content means
they'll stay engaged longer. Fun happens when users enjoy interacting with
your site. Why shouldn't the tools you use for work be fun?
The people who use your products also visit Facebook, Amazon, Google and
Twitter - they expect you to have the same level of quality and ease of use
as these sites. You only get one chance to make a first impression. It’s all about great/fun user experiences. But, this
only happens when designers understand how to bridge the gap between science
and art and make it truly magical. That’s where I come in.
Why the name DJDivaDesigns?
In addition to loving all things nicely designed (and usable!) I am a huge music lover. In younger years DJDiva was a nickname friends had given me due to the thousands of cds I owned. I was frequently put to work DJing parties which I have to say was quite fun. My love for music still continues - now digitally - my itunes library contains close to 90,000 songs! Perhaps it's just my alter ego. :-)
Somerville, MA (remote) 2009 - PresentDirector, User Experience, Taleo Learn
- Brought on board to Learn.com (aquired by Taleo in 2010) to evaluate and improve the overall workflows and visual design of their SaaS LMS product.
- Manage and design the UI/UX of Taleo Learn's product offering.
- Define Product Requirements and Functional Specifications.
- Attend Regional User Groups to gather feedback from clients about existing and upcoming product features.
- Hold Focus Groups (in person and virtual) to socialize new product features, workflows, and design ideas, as well as gather feedback and conduct usability tests.
- Conduct Market Research and Competitive Analysis.
- Create Wireframes, and Design Pattern Library.
- Design icons and graphics used throughout the product.
Burlington, MA 2007 - 2009User Experience Manager, Mzinga
- Leader of the User Experience team within Mzinga's Product Management group.
- Managed and designed the UI/UX of Mzinga's Web 2.0 Social Media product offering.
- Defined Product Requirements, Functional / User Interaction Specifications, and Use Cases / Personas.
- Conducted Market Research and Competitive Analysis.
- Created Wireframes, Workflow Diagrams, and Design Pattern Library.
- Designed icons and graphics used throughout the product.
Burlington, MA 2004 - 2007Senior User Interface Designer, WebEx Cisco
Product awards and accolades:
- Managed and designed the User Interface for WebEx WebOffice, the company’s award winning collaboration suite, which had clients ranging from SMBs to the Enterprise.
- Wrote Functional and User Interaction Specifications for Web 2.0 applications.
- Conducted Usability Tests for new features.
- Created User Interface Style Guide and Design Pattern Library.
- Created Use Cases / Personas.
- Member of the UI team that worked on the WebEx Connect product.
- Coded CSS (which allows for over 40 color schemes), in-product emails, and splash pages.
- Designed color schemes, icons, and graphics used throughout the product.
Burlington, MA 2004 - 2005Webmaster
- Designed, developed, and maintained corporate websites, including: WebEx WebOffice
- Illustrated icons and designed various images / billboards for corporate websites and various marketing collateral.
- Designed and coded promotional / administrator alert emails sent to customers and potential customers.
Newton, MA 2002 - 2004User Interface Designer, Clinician Support Technology (CST)
- Designed and developed several cross browser web applications under extreme deadlines, such as: One Health Baby CareLink, Baby CareLink, and Cancer CareLink.
- Created Design Pattern Library, Implementation Standards, and Product Style Guide.
- Developed XSLTs for major components and coded all CSS and XHTML used in the CareLink web applications.
- Created storyboards, workflow diagrams, and developed use cases/personas.
- Used Illustrator and PhotoShop to create web-safe and optimized images, and Visual Source Safe for version control.
Watham, MA 2002Consultant, BackBay Technologies/Intepros
- Developed JSP pages for several web applications, including Arrive 529 and Scholar'sEdge.
- Created and maintained properties files that were dynamically included in JSP pages.
Bedford, MA 2000 - 2001Software Engineer / UI Designer, Expound Inc.
- Developed Schema, DTD, XSLT, JSP, and XML files used throughout the product.
- Built user interfaces following the Rational Unified Process.
- Created several product demos used to launch the company at DEMO 2001.
- Developed and designed two incarnations of the corporate website.
- Completed 56 hours of XML training in order to implement XML into the product.
Newton, MA 2000Front End Developer, New Vantage
- Collaborated with other team members to develop creative solutions for these websites.
- Performed Quality Assurance on sites after code was completed.
- Attended in-house weekly classes on ASP, SQL, and Flash.
Waltham, MA 1998 - 2000Web Developer / Designer, toysmart.com
- Designed and developed all specialty pages, specialty shops, vendor pages, and email newsletters.
- Served as Internet Production Group member responsible for entire ‘Bookshelf’, which contained over 36,000 products.
- Worked with creative team and Walt Disney to design Disney BabyShop.
Waltham, MA 1996 - 1999Art Director, Next Generation
- Designed weekly ads, collateral, direct mail, and supported business development with fresh new designs.
- Trained all new Production Artists and assisted Production Supervisor with quality control within the department.
- Worked with various vendors for printed pieces, attended press checks and photo shoots.
- Attended focus groups and creative meetings to discuss the direction of campaigns and make recommendations.
- Created and implemented all production systems and handbooks for department.
Boston, MA 2001Boston University
Masters Certificate in C/C++ Programming and Windows Development using MFC
- Completed 40+ hours of class/training each week.
- Participated in several group projects, in which we developed and designed real-world Windows applications under extremely tight deadlines.
Framingham, MA 1996Framingham State College
Bachelor of Arts, Communication Arts
Concentrations: Mediated Graphics Design and Photography
National Association of Photoshop Professionals (NAPP)
Usability Professionals’ Association Boston (UPA)
User Experience, Product Design, Prototyping, Team Management, Product Management, Requirements Gathering, Market Research, Usability Testing, Social Media, Social Networking, Web 2.0 Technologies, Search Engine Optimization, Website Design, Agile Methodology, Information Architecture.
Software / Languages