For the past 20 years, I have focused on helping organizations understand how to effectively use data visualization and business analytics applications to improve the efficiency of their business processes. This focus has allowed me to work with organizations that range from a few people to many that are on the Fortune 500.
I have had the opportunity to develop business intelligence and operational analytic strategies for some of the largest companies in the world, design and release rich data applications using technologies like SAP HANA, and run product teams consisting of up to 350 people who are building products generating close to $40 million annually.
Four years ago, I started my own company - Mantis Digital Arts. We focus on building immersive games and digital experiences aimed at enriching the education of children between the ages of 4 and 12. We do this by creating games and digital platforms that allow children to not only learn about the world around them in various digital worlds, but also by ensuring that we are involving families, caregivers, and educators through the learning process.
Through Mantis Digital Arts, I have created partnerships with large and small organizations to create educational games, augmented reality museum exhibits, virtual reality games, learning management systems, and large-scale internet of things platforms.
My interest in immersive environments and experiences began shortly after my fascination with user experience design. I began reading Edward Tufte and other artists who were interested in the design of public spaces. This led me to reading more about how the design of the space ties heavily into its function and the public's enjoyment of that space.
Lately, this has led to the investigation of how we can use virtual reality, augmented reality, and mobile technologies to create immersive environments and experiences. Through Mantis Digital Arts, I am working with the team to design an augmented reality exhibit at a local children's museum and a mobile application to teach kids about bullying in an immersive way.
I have also recently discovered the Immersive Analytics community. The team at Mantis Digital Arts will be joining that community to help build out virtual data worlds using virtual and augmented reality technologies.
I developed an interest in educational technology at the same time as we started homeschooling our daughter. I was seeking ways to make some of the content that she was learning more engaging. This led me to trying out apps and games on tablets, finding websites and games on PC, getting into Arduino and Raspberry Pi based robotics, and a host of other interesting technologies for learning physics, science, mathematics, and history.
Since then, I have come to appreciate the combination of physical activities and digital, interactive activities. At home, we have discovered a great set of "go to" websites, apps, and games that we use to reinforce topics.
As Mantis Digital Arts is a game design studio focused on education and family centered topics, we create educational technology ourselves. We have also started creating physical materials to go along with our games and digital experiences. These physical materials help to reinforce the learning objectives of the games we create.
Family Centric Learning
Since we homeschool our daughter (and soon our new twins), I am quite interested in how kids learn while interacting with their families or caregivers. Whether this is through board games, digital games, reading, or any other activity, it is important that parents spend enough time not only teaching their kids, but also learning with them. This will help to pass on an interest in lifelong learning to our kids.
This aspect of my personal life has made its way into the company goals and design of all things at Mantis Digital Arts.
Long before starting Mantis Digital Arts, I was designing board games, card games, and digital games in my head. Occasionally, those designs would make their way to pen and paper; however, I never took the step to turn anything until a full product. Starting Mantis Digital Arts has changed that.
You can see some examples of games that I have helped the team design in my Game Design Gallery.
I have worked with data visualization for the past 20 years. During this time, I have had the joy of leading development teams through the creation of software to create analytics and data visualizations. I've led research projects on how to go about creating intuitive applications for storyboarding, collaborative analytic definition, and publishing of visualizations for an organization. I have led teams through creating innovative ways to create analytics via touch interfaces and cloud-based data connectivity.
More recently, after joining EV Technologies, I have been able to create data rich, analytic applications for large clients using SAP HANA, SAP Fiori, SAP Lumira, and SAP Design Studio. This has allowed me to take everything that I have learned in the last 20 years and apply it to the design of full, web-based analytic applications driven by millions and millions of rows of data.
You can see more of my work on analytic applications in my gallery.
User Experience Design
I have always been fascinated by the way things are designed so that people can interact with those things in a meaningful and intuitive manner. In my professional life, I have enjoyed many years of working on the design of software, web applications, games, apps, and rich data displays all while focusing on how users will interact with and use these designs that I've created.
While at SAP working as a Product Manager, I had the benefit of working with an amazing team of UX designers. They taught me how to run persona workshops, how to narrow down to the right target audience for which we are designing, and how to use multiple UX techniques to land upon the right designs for the right people.
This has extended into my work at EV Technologies and into how I lead the team at Mantis Digital Arts. Everything is designed with a purpose. Every button has a goal. Every line of text offers value. Every screen or click has been carefully thought out to ensure its easy to understand the purpose of the interaction.