All my life has prepared me...
My interests, education, job skills, and life experiences have prepared me to become a UX Designer focused on #a11y and inclusive design.
Born and raised in a rural community in western Upstate NY, close to Lake Ontario, I have been drawing and creating since before I can remember. When my father was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer early in my senior year of High School, I had to turn down the early entrance offer from Carnegie-Mellon's Fine Art Department. Circumstances had me moving, sight-unseen, to Salt Lake City, Utah to attend the University of Utah's College of Fine Art. Four years later I graduated with a Bachelors in Fine Art (BFA) with a Minor in Arts Administration.
A year later, I moved (again, sight-unseen) to San Jose, CA and by 1988, was working as a contractor at Apple Computer, Inc. Eventually, I worked as a Creative Services Typesetter, which came in handy when I went to work at Adobe Systems, Inc., as a Creative Services Admin for the Systems Division in 1991. Noticing that the design staff "hid" every time a presentation came around, I volunteered to do all the company's presentations. My boss was ecstatic, and I was quickly trained by a Senior Art Director. From that point on, I was the Presentation Coordinator managing, illustrating / designing, producing and archiving 35mm slides and overheads for an average of 110 presentations a year for all the departments at Adobe Systems.
In the fall of 1994, I left Adobe Systems, Inc. to start my own design business which was a better lifestyle fit as a single mother. I ran my business from my home, hiring supportive contractors as needed, serving mostly high-tech clients. In 2018, I was disABLED by an injury that left me wondering if I could ever work again in design. I had to close my business and recover.
Rehabilitation (physical, mental, and vocational) would take almost 3 years. Along the way, I worked for SVILC, a disABILITY non-profit, and daily assisted other disABLED people with housing issues. Witnessing their struggles with technology has made me passionate about #a11y (accessibility) and inclusive UX Design.
Life-long learner with a love for applying new skills (innovative and adaptable)
Excellent written and verbal communication
Natural teacher and mentor
DisABLED, having worked directly with and assisting Silicon Valley disABLED community, became passionate about making truly accessible (#a11y) and inclusive design
Work well alone and as part of a team (valued team member for many events)
Degreed in Fine Art and previously skilled in drawing and illustration (pre-disABILITY)
10+ yrs working with individuals and teams to solve problems to create win-win-win solutions
10+ yrs experience facilitating online classes. workshops and webinars
10+ yrs as an illustrator and graphic (presentation, web, and print)
Figma (Wireframing, Design Systems, Prototyping)
Adobe Creative Cloud: Acrobat since beta, Photoshop since v1.x, Illustrator since v'88, AdobeXD CC
Office / Scheduling software (MS Office, Google Suite, Asana, CILsuite, Zoom, Slack, Dragon Naturally Speaking)
Related Work Experience
10/2020 - 09/2021
Silicon Valley Independent Living Center
Learned how huge the technology gap is for the disabled and elderly communities. Assisted community members with their housing concerns. Provided or brainstormed solutions for each unique case, tracking all interactions on the database. Facilitated weekly Housing Workshops. Managed COVID Rent Relief applications. Curated and published monthly Low-Income Housing List for community. Also created fliers and special logo for San Jose Pride Week 2021.
09/1994 - 11/2018Illustrator / Designer, self-employed
Barry-Jansson & Associates
Successfully ran illustration and design business initially focused on presentation design for more than 2 decades. Worked directly with marketing, sales, and C-level clients* to determine project scope and then completed each project to specifications. Hired and managed independent contractors as needed. Was Lead Designer for several Developer’s Conferences and in-person client events. Also managed invoicing and taxes. Closed business after disABLING injury.
* View drop down list of Past Design Business Clients below
03/2011 - 11/2011
Presentation Production Manager (FT / Remote)
Managed the Eastern Time Zone swing shift design team (Noon - 8pm Pacific). Oversaw client presentation projects while balancing designer's workloads. Proof-read presentations, made minor edits as needed or gave feedback to the designer. Tracked projects in the system.
Creative Services Administrative Assistant, Systems Division (to 06/1992)
Adobe Systems, Inc.
Hired permanent from initial contract position (6 -9/1991). Supported various Creative Services managers and team members. Assisted with 35mm Slide Archival. Assisted with first Adobe Employee Art Show. In 1992, offered to help manager with overwhelming presentation projects that the other designers didn't want to do.
Adobe Systems, Inc
Trained by Senior Adobe Art Directors. Soon made100% responsible for all of Adobe's presentations. Completed an average of 110 presentations per year, including executive Keynotes, Sales, Engineering and Marketing presentations. Managed every project directly with the stakeholders, created all illustrations and 35mm slides / overheads, digitally and physically, and archived all projects.
Education / Certifications
Google UX Design Professional Certification (In Progress, via Coursera)
Foundational UX Research
Accessibility and Inclusive Design
Ideation and Wireframing
Mockups and Prototyping
Curating Design Systems
Design Testing and Usability Studies
BFA - Fine Art (Painting and Drawing)
with a minor in Arts Administration
University of Utah, College of Fine Art, Salt Lake City, UT
3 yrs, President, College of Fine Art Student Liaisons
Arts Communications Internship, Kimball Art Center, Park City, UT
Gallery Internship, Phillips Gallery, Salt Lake City, UT
Past Design Business Clients Included:
Adobe Systems, Inc.
City of San Jose Redevelopment Agency
Enterprise Development Group
Export Assist, Inc.
Greene Creative Services
IDG Executive Forums
Sand Hill Partners
Skills for Success
SolidCore Systems, Inc.
Stone Yamashita Partners
Zama Online Design