A P P R O A C H

Integrating Design + Systems Thinking

A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that worked. A complex system designed from scratch never works and cannot be patched up to make it work. You have to start over with a working simple system. – John Gall (1975)

My goal is to create scalable compelling experiences that have real meaning for people and connect with their deepest needs, no matter their location, device, demographic, or specific situation by applying integrative methodologies--

Design thinking offers a structured framework for understanding and pursuing innovation in ways that contribute to organic growth and add real value to your customer. The design thinking cycle involves observation to discover unmet needs within the context and constraints of a particular situation, framing the opportunity and scope of innovation, generating creative ideas, testing and refining solutions.

Systems thinking often involves moving from observing events or data, to identifying patterns of behavior overtime, to surfacing the underlying structures that drive those events and patterns. By understanding and changing structures that are not serving us well (including our mental models and perceptions), we can expand the choices available to us and create more satisfying, long-term solutions to chronic problems.

Process

The process I utilize is flexible, collaborative and iterative. It usually involves a combination of two stages – strategy (ultimately defining what we are building) and execution (how we are building it) Facilitating team alignment, inclusion and decision making via continuous collaboration and open dialogue is the glue that brings these two stages together.

Strategy Stage

PLAN

  • Meet with stakeholders
  • Fully understand business goals & KPIs
  • Analyze existing analytics

DISCOVER

  • Analyze competitive landscape
  • Study market & industry trends
  • Observe user behavior patterns

DEFINE

  • Analyze research findings
  • Identify key differentiators & areas of opportunity
  • Define vision, roadmap & milestones

Execution Stage

IDEATE

  • Collaborate and co-create to generate ideas
  • Identify best concepts
  • Sketch to re-fine ideas

VALIDATE

  • Build prototypes
  • Test with users
  • Synthesize & analyze findings

IMPLEMENT

  • Define system and annotate key interactions
  • UI design (content modules and/or full templates)
  • Development & launch

Toolkit

ANALYTICS

Google Analytics
CrazyEgg
HotJar

RESEARCH + USABILITY TESTING

Surveys + Interviews
UserTesting
Usabilla

INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE

OptimalSort
Treejack
Omnigraffle
Google Sheets
Dynomapper

WIREFRAMING
Pen + paper
Sketch
Balsamiq
DIGITAL PROTOTYPING
InVision
HTML/CSS
VISUAL DESIGN
Figma
Sketch
Adobe Photoshop
DEVELOPMENT
HTML/CSS/JS
PHP/MySQL

CMS:
WordPress,
Drupal,
Magento

COLLABORATION
Slack
Wiki
Jira
InVision
T E S T I M O N I A L

“Marina is just a magnificent web manager.
Her technological expertise is second to none.
As well, her personal/industry experience yields
knowledge and insights into the web marketplace
that have proven invaluable. The cherry on top is
her stellar personality and attitude, making working
under her direction productive, successful and
an absolute joy.”

Sarah MapleWeb Lead at California Nurses Association (former Web Designer, Civic Ventures)