Ascend Training offers hands-on training in Chicago, focused on visual designers, web developers, and video editors. I created and teach a two-day User Experience intensive for Ascend which provides an overview of definitions and techniques in interaction design, information architecture, user research, and design strategy. 

The Starter League

If you're interested in designing and developing a digitally-focused business, check out The Starter League for night classes and Starter School for an immersive, 9-month course. At Starter School, each quarter has a deep-dive into one of three topics: development, design, and entrepreneurship, with supplemental topics for the other two.

A good teacher engages students and gets them to look at issues in a variety of ways. Carolyn is not simply a “good” teacher, she is a truly effective great teacher. Carolyn used facts as a starting point, not an end point; she questioned us with “why”, guided us in looking at a problem from all sides and encouraged us to predict what would happen next.
— Meron Tewelde, former student

Corporate Training

If you have teams at your company that are interested in deepening their skills in collaborative design and design thinking, let me know! Through the American Design and Master-Craft Initiative (ADMCi) we offer customized courses that bring your team members together to create and learn.

Topics include creation of design principles, gaining user insights, and assessing experiences to find areas of opportunity.

Speaking (recent and upcoming)

Seize the Low-Hanging Fruit: How to Test, Sketch, and Prototype Improvements… Fast

Teams can often find themselves overwhelmed with long lists of requirements for their products; strategic feature ideas from within the company, requests from key customers, bug fixes from quality assurance testing. Coming up with a good plan for addressing all of these opportunities can take time. Meanwhile your existing product may be chugging along, used by some but perhaps not as beloved or well-performing as you’d like. How can you find and fix those small issues that maybe having a big impact on your user experience?

A few key tools and techniques can help you identify and demonstrate improvements that won’t get lost in shuffle of possibilities. Explore the simple power of usability testing as a way to identify the low-hanging fruit – those tweakable elements of your solution that may be blocking key activities. Learn methods for prioritizing findings and sketching ideas as a fast method of visual communication. Finish up by creating your own basic mobile prototype to demonstrate the new and improved flow.

In this session you will:

  • Explore principles of user-friendly interaction design
  • Facilitate / participate in your own usability test of an existing mobile solution
  • Prioritize findings based on user impact and potential effort to fix
  • Build your visual communication skills through sketch challenges, then sketch your ideas for quick improvements
  • Create a basic mobile prototype expressing those ideas

You’ll learn about mobile prototyping tools POP and InVision; attendees are recommended to download both and set up free accounts prior to the workshop.

Arlington, VA, Monday March 23rd

Hackathon for Social Good

This was held in Austin at SXSW, benefiting the Austin Public Library

March 14th