My name is Josh. A lot of people know me as Smitty.
I'm a user experience researcher, a data scientist, a designer, and a public folklorist.
That might seem like an unusual combo. I've walked an unusual journey.
But, it’s allowed me to develop an unusually versatile and valuable research practice.
"Josh is a serious pro at researching, organizing, analyzing, and sharing out findings.”
Director, Software Engineering
Since defending my Honors Thesis in Quantitative Psychology 15 years ago, I’ve worked on some of the toughest questions facing a couple dozen organizations, including a handful of Fortune 500s.
"I would gladly have Josh on any project team or trying to solve our toughest problems."
Senior Experience Designer
My research portfolio is diverse, ranging from months-long ethnographic fieldwork to formal lab experiments, from moderated usability tests to surveys, from one-on-one interviews to machine learning with trillions of records.
"Every detail of his work is purposeful and intentional.”
Director, Data Science and Analytics
I know how to turn data into stories.
I’ve taught college courses on data visualization, won international awards for data storytelling, spoken at academic and professional conferences, and I'm published academically, professionally, and artistically.
“He has a knack for explaining key context and background, whether that is the 'why' behind new branding or the reason for applying a particular process.“
Data Science Director
I approach every question with curiosity, imagination, and a plan…
"He thinks through problems methodically and always has a great game plan for tackling difficult chunks of work. I never question the quality of work that Josh does."
Lead Software Engineer
…followed up with the grit that gets it done.
"He showed some real grit and didn't give up until we had the result we were looking for."
Director, Experience Design
What I do
UX / CX Research & Data science
Understand your customers, find new opportunities, generate and test new ideas and prototypes, and predict results for more confidence and less risk.
Accessibility & design
Reach and engage more customers, improve your brand reputation, enhance your user experience, and mitigate risk with strong accessibility and design strategies.
Find, explore, preserve and share local folklore. Emphasis on contemporary / urban legends and ghost stories.
My primary focus is research, but I've delighted many clients with my design work:
- Branding & storytelling
- Data visualization & data storytelling
- Simple and easy-to-maintain sites in website builders like Webflow or Wordpress
"I’m amazed at how you’ve truly elevated the quality of our deliverables in project after project."
Senior Customer Delivery Architect
This portfolio showcases six of my favorite research projects, but is nowhere near comprehensive of the work I've done since I began research in 2008.
How can I get more adoption and engagement from my new AI product?
User satisfaction was sky-high, but usability tests uncovered major risks.
Which of my care management programs are the most effective?
Care management programs promised to improve patient lives' and control healthcare costs, but the programs couldn't scale until health systems knew what was working (and what wasn't).
How can I make it easier for my users to find what they need?
Users struggled to find the right design system component and guidelines, but the answer wasn't just re-organizing the content.
What do local ghost stories tell us about our community?
Ghost stories may seem like trivial fun, but they can tell us a lot about ourselves and our communities.
How can I make our products more accessible?
Patterns in accessibility failures showed a team that the path to WCAG 2.1 AA was far more accessible than they realized.
How much can I expect to make in a new market?
Demographic data and a little machine learning unlocked the ability to budget for new stores in unfamiliar markets.
"He has been instrumental in providing feedback on accessibility and design elements to ensure the platforms are inclusive."
Director, Consumer Research
some of my design and writing:
Here are a few of my favorite creations.
Note that the majority of my work is under NDA, including accessibility enhancements, website and app prototypes, design system components, information architecture systems, and more.
Small Steps Giant Sleeps
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. Note: accessibility enhancements ongoing.
2019 Tableau Iron Viz co-champion
An international data storytelling competition , 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. Note: I apologize for accessibility issues, this work preceded my career pivot into accessibility.
A Small Annotation
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.
Pasture and Crop
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. Note: I apologize for accessibility issues, this work preceded my career pivot into accessibility.
"Our customers are going to benefit significantly from his influence on our products."
Lead UX Designer
ongoing learning and certificates
Life-long learning isn't just something I say, it's something I do — and can demonstrate. Here are some of my certificates:
- Webflow 101
- Webflow Layouts Level 1
- UserZoom Platform Essentials
- UserZoom Advanced Certification
- Deque University Fast Track to Accessibility for Any Role
- Deque University Fast Track to Accessibility for Designers
- Deque University Fast Track to Accessibility for Document Creators
- Deque University Fast Track to Accessibility for Web Developers Part 1
- Deaf Services Center American Sign Language 1
- Currently studying for the CPACC , a credentialed accessibility certification from the International Association of Accessibility Professionals
"He did a great job challenging our traditional thinking."
"Josh is a remarkable person to work with and if you ever get a chance to work with him, consider yourself privileged."
Data Visualization Designer