home_hero.jpg
568b453f37bbef53682fff76_contact.jpg
Untitled-2.jpg
Movember_cover-01.png
Portraits_hero.jpg
MPL_scientist.jpg
China_1500.jpg
All-Mundane---1500px-06.jpg
j&t_hero.jpg
home_hero.jpg

Tom Johnson


USER EXPERIENCE DESIGNER & CONSULTANT

SCROLL DOWN

Tom Johnson


USER EXPERIENCE DESIGNER & CONSULTANT

Basically I love to make things that work really well and I love to solve problems. I've been an illustrator, logo crafter, and graphic designer; now I'm a experience designer, detail orienter, user interviewer, and pixel purveyor.

I'm currently leading design at an enterprise software company outside of Atlanta and am taking on requests for UX consulting and other design projects. My availability can sometimes be limited, but my usual lead time to start a new project is around 3-4 weeks.

 

 

Who can benefit from my services?

startup.png

Startups

I've worked with a number of startups, in and outside of the tech industry. I've found that the most difficult part of design that startups run into is trying too many things at once. Without a clear focus in your designs, your precious first adopters can begin to get frustrated and leave. Why are they leaving? Is it because your value prop isn't right, or is it because your users are encountering slow, or confusing interfaces?

I can take the time to interview those users, or help with cutting out the fat with your interface, so that the experience you want your users to have always comes through.

 

Small Businesses

Designing logos, websites, or a brand for your business can be difficult and confusing. My first priority with business clients is to try and find them the cost-effective solutions, not just the ones that are popular or flashy. Do you need a custom built website? Perhaps, but often there are much cheaper and quicker options that will better suit your needs.

Those options can give you quicker turnarounds and great results, but choosing and learning a new platform can be frustrating. I help you sort through all of that noise and find the solutions that work best for your business, not for my wallet, often only in the matter of a few hours of consultation.

 

Individuals

Design and UX are treated like buzzwords, and they shouldn't be. Design is a pragmatic approach that puts a focus on clear information, and is not about making things pretty. UX design is an objective practice that looks at what your users experience when using your products, and seeks to make it as delightful and easy as possible.

You won't instantly add either of these by hiring me or getting a designer on retainer. Good design is a mindset that focuses on being concise and clear to your users. I help you keep that focus.

 

Dislikes:

  • Indiana Jones 4

  • Obvious plot holes

  • Low ceilings

  • Coconut Shrimp

Likes:

  • Fresh out-of-the dryer pants.

  • National League baseball

  • Single-Malt Scotch

  • Clean vector bezier handles

568b453f37bbef53682fff76_contact.jpg

Contact Context


SCROLL DOWN

Contact Context


BACKSTORY

I worked on this app as a proof of concept while studying UX at General Assembly ATL in 2015. My original concept was to redesign a mobile banking application, but I quickly realized that there was a disparity among my interviewees when it came to the problems they had with mobile banking. Many issues were systemic of banking as a whole, and could not be resolved by a simple app redesign.  

Instead, I shifted gears to address a pain point that I heard in all of my interviews; being on hold. Everyone I talked to cited it as something they hated, so I directed my efforts on lessening that strain and/or eliminating the need to be on hold entirely.

Problem Statement: People hate talking to their banks

 

PROBLEMS WITH CURRENT INTERACTION METHODS

  • Being on hold. Specifically unknown or very long hold times. Interviewees cited not knowing how long their call would take as a primary reason not to call.

  • Misunderstandings. As outsourcing increases, so does the chance that you will have a conversation with someone who is not a native speaker of your language. Add on the issue that a non-digital signal can cause poor sound quality, and you're asking for user confusion.

  • Outdated methods of communication. I interviewed a few millennials who stated that they'd prefer texting based methods of communication over voice. With banking, though, sensitive and numerical information does not lend itself well to mediums such as twitter or texting.

 

PROPOSED SOLUTION

  • A visual IVR (Interactive Voice Response). Whenever you call into a contact center, your call is routed through an IVR. It's the "Press #1 for english" system. My proposed solution was not to supplant the current systems that are in place in contact centers, but to give the users better control over it though a visual instead of auditory interface.

  • Visibility of hold time and support information. The only information that current systems expose while a user on hold is (sometimes) the estimated wait time. My solution would be just to show the user that information. Expose how long the hold will be, and when it is known, show the user who they'll be talking to.

  • Call Back. A way for the user to get off of hold. There are systems that do this today, but all of those, again, are accessed through an auditory interface.

  • Hold Music Control. This one was one of the most well-liked features by those that I've shown the app to. It's just the ability for the user to choose their own hold music. I speculated that music streaming services like Spotify would offer up a select few stations for the user to listen to, being paid for by the company that housed the support call. Based off of the feedback that I heard, people must really hate hold music.

 

PERSONAS

Young Professional

Young Professional

Married with Young Kids

Married with Young Kids

Empty Nester

Empty Nester

I conducted around 8 interviews to create these personas. Not an exhaustive study, I know, but with limited time and a $0 budget, one must do what one can. They did all cite being on hold as a pain point which caused me to switch directions completely. I wasn't able to do any prototype validation with these users, and would have liked to interview a new group with more specificity about the being on hold problem, but my time limitations didn't allow for it.

 

SKETCHES

I do the majority of my sketching on whiteboards. Luckily, General Assembly has rooms filled with them and an endless supply of dry-erase markers. I was attempting here to identify a user flow, which was eventually trimmed down to it's bare necessities; identifying the components of a dialer application that could be used for my interfaces; and trying to limit how many interactions would be necessary for the user to initiate a support call.

These are just some more explorations on the UI, which I wanted to appear like a vertical timeline of events. At first I tried to show too much information, but these sketches helped me to determine the appropriate hierarchy and embrace a card layout for clear separation of different elements.

 

Wireframes

I really wanted the immediate purpose of this app to be obvious, which is why I emulated a dialer as much as possible. Every key would show the action that the IVR would offer, and allow the user to not have to wait for them to be read aloud. Only after interacting with the keypad would the application show new controls, but if the user wanted to, they could interact with it exactly as they would a traditional call

 

User Flow

My user flow was trimmed down considerably from my early sketch out versions. I chose to only focus on the dialer part of the application, as the other ideas that I had (contact history, claim status, account information, etc) would have taken more time than I had for the project.

MARVELAPP PROTOTYPE

I did a few prototypes, partially to gain familiarity with them, and to better demonstrate the flow of the application. This prototype was made with marvelapp, which I find the easiest tool for creating quick click-through prototypes.

TAB INTERACTION EXAMPLE

I use a tool called principle to show how the tabbed interaction, and also to show how the cards within the app would shift size and shape after a user interaction. Unfortunately, the contrast is low in the gif as a result of compression.

ATOMIC INTERACTION PROTOTYPE

I also built this quick interaction prototype in atomic to show how the words on the keypad would move after a user interaction.

CONCLUSIONS

I feel that this app has a potential, but knowing what I know about the contact center industry, it would be a very difficult product to get into production. I believe that if implemented properly, it would enhance customer experiences, but would need more user testing and validation to see if some of my hypothesis are correct. Because this was a proof-of-concept, I had to rely too much on my own experiences and large parts of the app would most likely change with exposure to actual use.

Untitled-2.jpg

Intradiem Website


SCROLL DOWN

Intradiem Website


If any of you out there know me, you'll know that my experience has always been with the visual side of things, and I've steered clear of doing anything web-design related. Sure, I've designed a few layouts, but my experience with actually making a site is next to non-existent.  Until, that is, I started my new job at Intradiem.

Basically, my first week of work was spent in meetings. One of those meetings happened to be with an agency who was pitching to redesign our website for a hefty chunk of change. Long story short, after we got off the phone with them I had the bright idea to offer to build it... something... I've....never....done before. Did I mention that I only had a month?

Enter Webflow, the internet's gift to code-illiterate designers such as myself. Check out what they offer, and then what I did with it. Keep in mind, I know as close to NOTHING about web-design as is possible, so if you think the site oozes of suckyness, well then there you go. If you think it's good, well then there you go. 

It was a fantastic learning experience, and for anyone out there who is struggling to get started learning html and css basics, I highly recommend it.

www.intradiem.com

Movember_cover-01.png

Movember - Year of the Beard


SCROLL DOWN

Movember - Year of the Beard


This idea started about my Sophomore year of school, and after many revisions and much more competence in illustrator, I developed it into a series. Only have one month dedicated to facial hair? Now, you don't have to.

 

 

The push to get these all done finally was actually through work. My boss approached me to make some posters and the idea that had remained dormant for so long sprang forth with new fervor. It's amazing how much collaboration I saw from my coworkers when I started hanging the first and second revisions up around my desk. I'm really happy with the final result. Maybe someday I'll actually be able to grow more than just stubble and fuzz.

 

Portraits_hero.jpg

Portraits


SCROLL DOWN

Portraits


There are nights when I feel the urge to make something, and these have come out of that seeming boredom. It started as an experiment with the line tools, and has now developed into a series of famous people / Star Wars portraits. It's a work in progress, so stay tuned for more action. 

MPL_scientist.jpg

Milwaukee Public Library


Imagination Starts Here campaign, for first readers.

2013

SCROLL DOWN

Milwaukee Public Library


Imagination Starts Here campaign, for first readers.

2013

One of the drawings before coloring and placement.

This campaign actually started as a school project. I did some photo shoots, doodles, and used my treasured childhood memories to bring home a solid B+. While I was working on the project I reached out the library in order to get their logos and any elements that I would need for the project. When I was done, I sent it over to them just so they could see that I wasn't misusing their name or brand.


After I graduated, they actually got in touch with me wanted to use the campaign for one of their first reader initiatives. I had to rework and eliminate the images slightly to fit their specifications, make them a bit more vocationally themed (I still think superhero is a vocation), and eliminate any images that I used that I didn't have a commercial license for. Overall, I think the look and feel of everything was only improved and I appreciated the chance to go back and redo my work with a more trained eye.

China_1500.jpg

Sock Monkeys


For the nephew's nursery.

SCROLL DOWN

Sock Monkeys


For the nephew's nursery.

Here's the progression for the Egypt piece that really set the theme for the whole project.

Here's the progression for the Egypt piece that really set the theme for the whole project.

I did these Illustrations for my Nephew for Christmas. He's got a sock monkey themed nursery and I'm thinking he'll be inspired to travel the world. I mean, who wouldn't be? Giant sock monkeys? That'll get him to get out of the house to see the world when he's 18... or go to college... Maybe he'll want to go to college so he can prove to his uncle that things like this don't exist. I'll need some hard evidence before my faith waivers. Call me a skeptic.

 

You can buy them here.

All-Mundane---1500px-06.jpg

Ordinary Objects


SCROLL DOWN

Ordinary Objects


Sometimes at work, I eat quickly and am faced with the conundrum of what to do for the rest of my time. I could Google cats in fancy pants, but if you've seen one, you've seen a thousand. Instead, I usually open up illustrator and pick a tool that I'm not all that familiar with and see what happens drawing inspiration from the beautiful and stunning surroundings that only corporate America could give me. 

Behold. The things on my desk. Almost all of these are drawn by sight alone. I am working on being able to do it that way rather than by tracing angles and lines. In the process I get to see some of the hidden paths and decisions that must have been made to make the simple product that I had never paid any mind to in the past.

There is a reason and great amount of thought and design behind every nook and curve in these things that we glaze over on a daily basis. Maybe it's my way of paying tribute to the people who give life to these things... maybe I'm just bored. Either way, I do enjoy doing these more that I ever thought I would in the beginning.

j&t_hero.jpg

Joy and Tom Wedding


A fiance makes for an interesting client

SCROLL DOWN

Joy and Tom Wedding


A fiance makes for an interesting client

Thank God for Pinterest.

Thank God for Pinterest.

Well I got married so I had to make some invitations, an RSVP website, come up with some cohesive branding, and make sure my wife was on board with it all.

We had the idea from the start to have a nautical themed wedding, well at least a nautical themed brand for the wedding. Milwaukee springtime isn't exactly the weather for sunshine and boats. Joy loves boats and the ocean and I didn't have any better ideas so we started looking at anchors for our logo and Joy pulled up Pinterest.

The first round of logos, I was trying to make an anchor shape out of 2 J's, but then I remembered that my name started with a T... so... Johnson and Joy would be too much of a stretch, then took a look at some anchor shapes and tried to work them together with an ampersand that I liked. This is when things started looking more nautical.

This was the final logo that we decided on. I was able to make a full name version for standalone purposes and a version with just initials for the invitations, labels, and other branded items.

I did a lot of illustrations for this project, mainly in regards to the website. We decided to tell the story of how we started dating and have some fun along the way. 

Check out our website here.

Tweets


SCROLL DOWN

Tweets