Thoughts on creating great user experiences, content and web sites

About Me

Why I started this blog.

For years, I’ve hidden from going public with my opinions on the web and preferred to just rant copiously to my husband and friends. While they likely grew tired of it long ago, I’m finally going public because I feel like I have things to say and that maybe-just-maybe people other than those who love me might find it interesting or useful. I hope you do. (Be kind to me if you don’t.)

Why you should listen to what I have to say. (Or, my bio…)

Years studying for a degree French and German language, literature and translation gave me an appreciation of how the right word, at the right time, in the right context can make all the difference when crafting a message. It also gave me a passion for explaining the difficult-to-understand and concepts that get lost in translation.

I launched into technology in 1996 just as the internet was going mainstream. Many organizations needed websites and didn’t have staff to build them. So, first web employer was happy to take an inexpensive risk on a self-taught, twenty-something student who wrote HTML and CSS by hand. For my part, I learned the nitty-gritty of building sites before WYSIWYG could make it seem easier. There began my love to semantic markup and the separation of content from design. (It has served me well ever since.)

In the late 1990s, humanities degree in hand, a few years of technical experience under my belt, and wanting to pair my language background with my passion for technology, I became a technical writer for a back-up and restore software company. Thus began my foray into seemingly boring, yet potentially lucrative business areas. It was never boring to me, as I found it fascinating to learn about the different platforms, operating systems, and networks.

After the year 2000 and the dot-crash, I landed in Canadian professional tax software, finally able to work bilingually in English and French. The detail and complexity of taxation and accounting still appeals to me. I honed my skills in web and software writing, content strategy and management, instructional design and course delivery during my time there.

The mid-2000s led me in a different direction, contracting as a software tester and communications professional for a small online learning start-up. As the years went by, my role evolved to managing all instructional design projects for the organization, leading a team to support our customer relations, as well as setting technical direction and requirements for the learning tools we used.

Throughout this time, I’ve worked very closely with my husband to build his blog, brand and business as a software consultant. He’s been kind enough to heed some of my advice, have me look after the books and let me experiment freely on his website over the years, as well as take me along on speaking engagements to some amazing places in the world. I’m his not-so-silent partner in business and in life.

As of 2012, I made the switch back into communications for the pro-tax software industry again. A renewed confidence in my visual design skills and a design to make great product has lead me into user experience.