OverVIEW

About

I'm a mixed methods UX/design researcher with over 15 years of primary research experience across multiple sectors. My work is driven by 3 values: curiosity, creativity, and connection .  

 

Values

Curiosity

Like studying a complex situation, I leverage curiosity to ask who, what, when, where, and why to clarify our team’s largest questions.

CREativity

I take no method too seriously. My plan with each study is to get better and stretch my research skills to find creative solutions. 

Connection

To build an impactful research presence, I connect with cross-functional partners to build energy towards shared goals and connect the company to customers. 

Discussed a full-sensory research museum. 

Socialization

Hear My Perspective

Chatted with Ashley about developing trust.

Collaboration

Discussed transforming options into research. 

Rigor

Outside of Work

I'm an explorer and experimentalist.

 

Outside of work, you can find me surfing, shopping, or on the water with my family. We explore new activities and experiment with new foods. 

 

Over my career, I've been a professional photographer and ebay entrepreneur. With each life experience, I explore new paths and experiment with new methods. 

 

GET IN TOUCH

325-665-9467

Contact me for more information about by work and opportunities to join your team! 

IMPACT

I've collaborated 50+ research projects and drove product strategy with cross-functional teams that resulted in a 245% growth in Net Promoter Score (NPS) for high-revenue customers.

 

Tool to simplify trading setup for novices. Increased upgrades by 14%. Researched user needs & evaluated design iterations.

Strategy builder

Business IMPACT

New account to prevent restriction. Reduced churn by 1k/week.  Uncovered churn mechanism & advocated to prioritize launch.

Cash Accounts

Powerful chart to improve analysis capabilities. Increased trade volume by 3x. Identified core need and led design sprint for early concepts.

adv. Charts

Led a cross-functional team of 58 to create a user research conference. Team retention was 95%.  

Research Conference

Research Impact

Created active user panel to use for rapid research that became Robinhood's 1st customer community.

Customer Advisory Team

Built digital and in-person research lab to increase stakeholder engagement in research.

MNY LAB Research

Project: AI investing analysis tool

Role: Target customer analysis + prompt Engineer. 

Result: Won Peoples Choice Award!

Chart Crafter Ai

Innovation Impact (HACKATHONS)

Project: Financial fitness tracker.

Role: User research and prototyper. Result: Invited to present for engineering all-hands

FinFit Tracker

Project: Create custom NFTs

Role: Built community launch strategy to roll out to customers

Result:  Created over 200 NFTs

Kitty NFT

Experience

I've served in a number of roles from leading strategic research with cross functional stakeholders to managing and mentoring dozens of researchers.

 

2007-11

McNair Scholars Program

Managed undergraduate research program to empower students to enter elite graduate programs.

2012-2018

Ohio State University

Managed a remote research team, analyzed social network data in R, & implemented a psychology lab.

2018-20

IU School of Philanthropy

Co-led a national mixed-methods study on religious finances to shape consulting strategy.

2017-18

Stratos Innovation Group 

Conducted participatory design research to create journey maps that shaped clients' GTM strategy

2020-23

Robinhood 

Drove product & design strategy through power trader research to increase revenue & prevent churn

2023-24

DrumWave

Built the DrumWave Research Labs to conduct mixed methods research on data ownership and AI.

[2023] IdeoU Cultivating Creative Collaborations

[2023] Learners Research Leaders Summit

[2022] Noam Segal Missing Foundations of UXR

[2021] Learners UXR Conference Group Lead

[2018] OSU Hierarchical linear modeling (R)

[2016/2017] - Duke Social Network and Health Fellowship - Network Analysis in R

[2015/2016] UK Gatton School of Business Intermediate/Advanced Social Network Analysis

Growth

RESUme

Process

I take an rigorous but experimental approach to research. My work is grounded in my values of curiosity, connection, and creativity.

 

Process

Curiosity

During the curiosity phase, expect to discuss the project in depth to clearly understand the goals and requirements. The aim is to answer the who, what, when, where, and why.

connection

Connection to the customer and each other is imperative. We align commit during this phase to a research plan that fits within the timeline to help us create with confidence.

CREATivity

In the creation phase, we start building the design or scoping the project while we align on what a customer needs and how we can meet that need. 

Cultivate curiosity about customer needs to maximize impact.

 

Why does this product/feature need to exist?

Who are the team and customer?

What do we know and unmet needs exist?

When is the best time to launch and hear from the customer?

Where will we conduct the study?

 

Curiosity

Cultivate strong connections to align on high priority goals. 

 

Company Vision Connect our goals to the company/team vision.

 

Cross-XFN Stakeholders Align on hypotheses, priorities, and timing.

 

Research Team Check with leads to see if resources exist to succeed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Connection 

Good research empowers teams to create better plans and fresh ideas.  

Experiment with new tools to build on classic methods.  

 

Deliver foundational insights fast before creating a nuanced report. 

 

Socialize with novel modes of  engagement to tell great stories.

creativity 

1

Discovery hypotheses and goals of cross-functional teams.

2

Research into the existing data and form questions to explore.

3

Creating a Plan that aligns the study to roadmap priorities and timing expectations.

5

Analyze data rigorously using theme coding, affinity mapping, or predictive statistics.

4

Design study elements that captures behavioral and emotional data.

6

Socialize the findings robust visualization and impactful storytelling.

Curiosity

Connection

Creativity

Be curious about what connects users brains to their hearts. 

 

Why are power customers leaving?

Who chooses to leave and who choose to stay?

What do we know about their needs and graduation patterns?

When in their journey do they decide to leave?

Where are they going?

 

1 Discovery

Curious about why power users leave and how to make them stay. 

 

Why are power customers leaving?

Who chooses to leave and who choose to stay?

What do we know about their needs and graduation patterns?

When in their journey do they decide to leave?

Where are they going and why?

 

2 Research

Aligned on how to reduce churn among power customers. 

 

Company Vision expanded from everyday people to power users. 

 

Cross-XFN Stakeholders aligned goals and helped with analysis. 

 

Research Team wanted to leverage new diary study software.

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 Create a Plan

removed for privacy

4-week break-up letter study with journey map interviews. 

 

Break-up letter 90-second video describing why they left and what happened (n=51). 

 

Journey Map of positive and negative experiences that drove decision to leave (n=10). 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4 Design

Collaborated with team to analyze data on core needs and pain points

 

Break-up letter Reviewed all videos for features, core needs and key phrase. 

 

Journey Map Theme coded interviews and affinity mapped digital journey maps. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 Analyze

.  

Experimented with short-form video in "break-up letter" study.  

 

Delivered product strategy and in-depth analysis of tipping points.  

 

Socialized with "TikTalk to Customer" series to emphasis pain points and Journey Map gif to show emotional reaction patterns. 

6 Socialize

Dear Robinhood,

I thought you would be the key to changing my life...but, when I was struggling it felt like Robinhood cared more about the business. 

Case Studies

Across my career as user researcher, I've conducted over 60 studies including 500+ interviews,  dozens of focus groups, and 15,000+ surveys. I selected the cases below to reflect the breadth and depth.  

 

Case Studies

1 the Future of Money

Problem: Business is losing market share among younger cohorts

 

Stakeholders: co-founder/chief creative officer, lead designer, & product managers.  

Questions

company

How can we meaningfully grow the Gen Z cohort as a part of our long-term customer base?

product

How are concerns around money different for those starting their working lives?

design

To what extent would the design concept feel intuitive and  drive saving behavior?

SAMPLE

  • Mix of RH and non-RH (18-27)
  • 8 focus groups with 42 participants
  • Gender and income diversity

 

SAMPLE

  • Mix of RH and non-RH (18-27)
  • 8 focus groups with 42 participants
  • Gender and income diversity

 

Methods

  • In-person interviews with projective tools (i.e., sketching, sticky notes)
  • Live and remote observation
  • Affinity mapping of foundational themes and product feedback

 

Deliverables

  • Report of major themes + insights
  • Full-sensory research museum with design and field artifacts
  • Future of Money digital zine

impact

  • Integrated design findings into launch
  • Influenced growth strategy presented to the board
  • Drove decision to launch advisory
  • Expand beyond Midwest into other regions of the U.S.

  • Conduct a follow-up survey to test hypotheses broadly

  • Provide full functioning prototypes for product testing

Study Retro

2 Life with Diabetes 

Problem: Business wants to integrate new technology to grow customers

 

Stakeholders: VP of business strategy, methodological consultants, and lead researchers. 

Questions

company

How will introducing a new technology potentially increase North American market share?

product

What do people with diabetes currently do to fulfill their unmet needs?

design

What design elements could make living with diabetes mores simple?

Methods

  • In-home journey mapping & interviews
  • Leveraged jobs-to-be-done framework to understand unmet needs
  • Affinity mapped patterns and pain points
  • Secondary research on competitors

Sample

  • 8 people with diabetes with varying success with health maintenance
  • Selected a participants from variety of competitor tools
  • Columbus, OH metropolitan area

Experimental methods

  • Leveraged 360 video to put stakeholders in the moment with VR.
  • Represented "non-typical" health experiences using transparent overlays. 

Deliverables

  • 3 customer archetypes with major needs
  • Diabetes product competitor report
  • Large journey map with unmet needs for each stage in the journey

Impact 

  • Company shifted focus to customer segment with unmet needs
  • Company decided to NOT integrate new technology into design
  • Informed jobs-to-be done survey
  • Expand sample size to 12 to further develop archetypes

  • Integrate family members into journey mapping

  • Integrate live streaming for questions from stakeholders

Study Retro

3 Advanced Trading 0-1

Problem: Competitors for high revenue users offer more features & assets    

 

Stakeholders: c-suite, general manager,  designers, product managers, data scientists

SAMPLE

  • 1812 respondents across three surveys
  • Stratified sampling to balance existing and previous customers
  • Respondent driven sampling to increase size of target customers

 

Methods

  • Max-diff surveys of product features, motivations, and device usage.
  • Designed to market size, assess product needs, and create segments
  • Used Chatgpt for writing and R-coding

 

Questions

company

What is the market share for advanced trading assets and who are the core competitors?

product

How should we design the roadmap to build for and attract advanced traders?

design

What user behaviors are most common on different types of devices?

Survey Components

Market Size

The first component of the survey assessed the amount of active traders who were currently trading a variety of new assets that the company was considering. 

Product Needs

The primary component was a max/diff assessment of the 15 most important product features for advanced trading. Lists were sourced from internal experts and chatGPT.

Segmentation

The foundation component measured motivations to trade specific assets, device usage, competitor pain points, and other demographic factors used to create segments. 

Product Needs

  • Top feature represented 43% of preference share for importance
  • Top 5 met the needs of 78% of sample
  • Device type differed for most advanced traders

Market Size

  • 3% of existing traders were trading the highest priority (P1) new asset 
  • 13% were actively trading on second priority (p2) new asset
  • Correlation between P1/P2 were high

 

  • 3% of market
  • Desktop primary
  • Needed power tools
  • Older cohort
  • Use pro platform

p1 Asset Trader

  • 47% of the market
  • Smartphone primary
  • Needed education
  • Younger cohort
  • Use budget platform

p1 Asset Curious

Segmentation

Impact

  • Estimated the potential revenue using market sizing for c-suite discussion
  • Set the prioritization and needs for each target customer segment
  • Incorporated power tools into designs

 

Deliverables

  • Full report deck of market sizing, product needs, and segments
  • Competitive analysis report based on target segments
  • Sub-reports for product/design teams

 

  • Run survey in trader forums to increase response rate of specific asset types

  • Offer higher referral incentive to increase respondent driven sampling

  • Increase specificity around advanced tooling needs

Study Retro

4 Active Trader Journey

Problem: active traders were graduating to more advanced platforms

 

Stakeholders: lead product manager, designers, content strategists, engineers and data scientists. 

Questions

company

Why are so many customers churning to other platforms and how can we convince them to stay?

product

How can we innovation on our existing advanced product to keep them from graduating?

design

What design elements are missing  from a simple approach to advanced trading?

SAMPLE

  • Mix of RH and non-RH (22-80)
  • 12 in-depth interviews
  • Diversity across trading knowledge
  • Population in New York & SF Bay Area

 

Methods

  • At-home in-depth interviews
  • Live and device recording
  • Assessed motivations, emotions, and product needs at each journey step

 

Tools 

Projective tools allows users to communicate through creating their journey or mapping their needs.  

It is a change from a user-centered design process to that of participatory experiences.  It is a shift in attitude from designing for users to one of designing with users.

– Liz Sanders,
Maketools/OSU Design

Impact

  • Drove roadmap reprioritization towards end of user journey
  • Revealed gaps in unmet needs and solutions using Figma
  • Shifted company strategy from user acquisition to empowerment

Deliverables

  • Report deck with full journey map
  • Share out with recommendations to cross-functional collaborators 
  • Journey map in Figma prototype with short video clips of customers 

 

  • Conduct more in-depth screening to prevent low-quality interviews

  • Launch jobs-to-be-done after interviews to assess opportunity for all needs

  • Engage upper level leadership in planning

Study Retro

5 POWER CUstomer Conf.

Problem: company pivoted to focus on power customers but didn't know them

 

Stakeholders: ceo, chief product officer, legal/compliance, designers,  biz ops, finance, head of marketing

Questions

company

Who are our power customers and how do they perceive our brand, products, and community?

product

What core unmet needs exist for the top 1% trade faster and without fear of restriction?

design

How will the most active customers react to our newest designs and features?

SAMPLE

  • Robinhood top 1% power customers
  • 6 focus groups (n=25)
  • Advanced in-person screening  
  • Traveled from across the U.S. to NY/SF


Methods

  • All-day focus group research across product, brand, and community
  • Live-streaming & breakout rooms
  • Co-creation; prototype, concept, & value prop testing

 

Impact

  • Received $1.8 million to 10x and scale customer-focused conference
  • Drove shift in product focus towards power customer core needs
  • Partnered with community team to build Customer Advisory Team

Deliverables

  • Report "5 Myths of Power Customers"
  • Concept test recommendations to design and community teams
  • Value props report to product marketing

 

Five Myths of Power Customers

Who are they?
What do they want?
How do they trade?
Why do they connect?
What do they think of us?
  • Engage with legal and compliance early in the process

  • Include more low-fidelity, early concept for upcoming work

  • Choose more central location to better manage travel

Study Retro

References

You were one of the first researchers I talked to at Robinhood, and I always loved the innovative/ creative/thoughtful approach you took to sharing your work! You were a true "culture carrier."

– Joyce, Research Team Member

I’ve worked closely with Chris at Robinhood for ~18 months and found him to be a highly talented researcher that goes above and beyond to deeply understand customers, advocate for them internally across a wide range of project types, and most importantly, drive business results.

– Mike, Corporate Strategy Team