A header image: the Jackalope Experience logo creates a top frame for a giant tree. The tree is black on a green rectangle, like a silhouette. The roots grow from the bottom of the rectangle.

stories are experienceS

Stories transfer experiences from one person to another.  
They transform the power of imagination into empathy.

My work helps people and organizations find, compose, and share stories as digital experiences for positive impact. This site showcases my storytelling + experience practice, from fieldwork research to advocacy to experience design.

*Note: some of my historical work may not be accessible to audiences with vision or motor skill impairments, and I apologize for that. I've learned a lot about accessibility since my earlier work. As I continue my practice, I will replace my less accessible work with new examples.

fieldwork

Understanding the spirit, mechanics, and impact of stories requires witnessing experience in its natural environment. My research practice spans ethnographic methods for deep and meaningful insights, and statistical analysis to explore scale.

third places

Deep ethnography studying the role of hookah lounges as gathering places of community where cultural identities are both preserved and negotiated. The study involved seasonal employment in a hookah lounge and dozens of interviews to explore the performance and aesthetics of immigrant tradition and local customs. The resulting paper, The Hookah Folk, was published in Living Folklore.

A photograph of the book "Living Folklore", and a photograph of the published paper within.

the story of trees

A deep analysis exploring the massive USDA forestry database to explore the beauty of forests in the United States, and the sustainable methods of positive impact forestry for timber harvests. Visualizations were showcased at an international environmentalism conference by a USDA statistician.

Two photographs of data visualization from the results. One is a map of the US showing various forest compositions against the terrain; the other is a diagram showing the various silviculture methods as they relate to natural disturbances, each broken down by how frequently they occur.

surveying stories

This analysis enabled a Fortune 100 organization to design user-centric tools and training to improve storytelling quality through a deeper understanding of the ways their associates work in teams. Using structural and functional analysis methods on over 150 artifacts across a variety of digital mediums, this analysis uncovered pervasive official and vernacular practices that presented an organization with both opportunities and challenges.

*note: specific details, artifacts, and results cannot be shared due the confidential nature of the work.

advocacy

Fieldwork often uncovers the tragedy of stories untold. Stories are incredibly powerful vehicles to change hearts, minds, actions, policy. But, for a story to be told there must be a storyteller, an audience, and a medium — and all too often systemic forces interfere in the spaces where these three meet. My advocacy practice aims to protect these spaces and amplify the voices that aren't heard.

humanizing data

Published in Nightingale, the Journal of the Data Visualization Society, A Small Annotation uses the dramatic short story format to explore the sociopolitical disconnect between the ways we look at data, and the humans that data represents.

The header image from the published story: a hand-drawn line chart.

data ethics

A competition at a software conference, live before an audience of tens of thousand. An opportunity to demonstrate, through restaurant classification data, how society and language homogenizes the cultures of non-European groups.

A photograph of myself on stage, juxtapositioned against a photograph of the dashboard I built -- which shows data about how different restaurant styles are homogenized. For more details, please follow the link in the previous text box.

organizing change

Founding data ethics committees in two different organizations catalyzed the necessary, but difficult, conversations to help protect the people included and excluded from the data. One of these organizations recognized the efforts in a formal Diversity Champion award.

Sitting as an external member of an organization's equity task force identified, prioritize, and drove initiatives to create a more welcoming and equitable user community.

accessibility

Side-of-desk efforts audited product accessibility, identified patterns in accessibility failures, and identified a viable business strategy for accessibility to drive new value to users and the business — reinvigorating accessibility as a priority in product strategy conversations.

*note: specific details, artifacts, and results cannot be shared due the confidential nature of the work.

design

Stories are the conduit to capture and create experience. Fiction allows us to experience something we couldn't, nonfiction allows us to experience something we wouldn't. My design practice aims to help people create and share experiences for positive impact.

Small steps

The Small Steps Giant Sleeps brand was built from intense personal struggle and challenge. Capturing that story created a brand with a powerful message for parents: you aren't alone, it's ok to need help, and that's what I'm here for.

A screenshot of the Small Steps Giant Sleeps website. The general aesthetic blends a large image of a sleeping baby with hand-drawn elements overlapping like moons, stars, and rocket ships.

data storytelling

The award-winning data story Pasture and Crop uses agricultural census data to explore the different ways agricultural land is farmed for more informed conversations about sustainable agriculture practices.

A screenshot of the Pasture and Crop visualization. A map of the US is colored teal and brown. Brown areas, mostly in the west, represent pastureland. Teal areas, mostly in the east, represent cropland.

changing health

A proof-of-concept generated excitement in Fortune 50 senior executive leadership, resulting in hundred-million dollar investment interest. Using the design sprint approach, a fully interactive proof-of-concept was delivered in two weeks, showcasing a direct-to-patient mobile application aimed at enhancing health literacy and driving healthy behaviors.

*note: specific details, artifacts, and results cannot be shared due the confidential nature of the work.

playing with data

My professional development is built on playful practice that combines digital aesthetics, crunching numbers, and some of my own favorite stories from pop culture.

Small thumbnails of various art projects showing visualizations about House, MD, The Legend of Zelda, Resident Evil, Avatar, and the Big Lebowski.

ABOUT

My diverse background, spanning decision science, folkloristics, the creative arts, and biostatistics has resulted in an unexpected combination of skills and experiences applied in a wide variety of domains — much like the bizarre combination of the jackalope. With these skills and my neurodivergence, I bring unique approaches to understanding and solving problems.

recs

"Every detail of his work is purposeful and intentional. It is clear that this intention is what drives his work process, which is one that is thoughtful and well-defined but flexible at the same time. I have worked with few people that can deliver high-quality work as quickly and frequently as Josh did while consistently allocating an equal amount of his time to mentor and assist the people around him. And on top of that, he's funny and likable - a silver bullet of sorts."
~ Taylor Blake, data scientist

"If you are very lucky, several times in your career you will get the chance to work with, and contribute to (in a small way), a real rising star. Josh afforded me that opportunity when I hired him at ICC. He is one of the rare individuals that sees all the opportunities that surround him and then has the will and follow through to take advantage of almost all of them. He combines that vision with an intellect that seems to capture, process and store everything he reads and hears. Those capabilities are magnified by his tremendous interpersonal skills and ability to raise the game of everyone around him." 
~ Steve Grover, Analytics & Machine Learning Leader

"...But what makes Josh so unique and such a pleasure with whom to work is his humility and willingness to continuously learn. Josh seeks to build collaboration and comes to the table willing to listen to all viewpoints." ~ Taylor Pressler Vydra, Senior Director

Contact me

If you'd like some help understanding or telling stories that create a powerful experience, please fill out the form below.

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Love y'all.
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