I am currently the Lead UX Researcher & Designer at White Ops, a cybersecurity company specializing in the detection and prevention of sophisticated digital fraud. I am based out of our main New York City office location. Since joining White Ops, I have taken the lead on creating an integrated research and design process within an agile development environment. The process involves the use of lightweight research to inform user experience design decisions and evaluate design outcomes. Users are involved early and throughout the iterative, participatory design process. Stakeholders involved in the process span across several teams and disciplines. The biggest challenge that I have overcome so far is collecting feedback through many different data sources from multiple people that have very different and often conflicting types of feedback, and synthesizing it all into cohesive designs that look aesthetically pleasing and everyone can agree upon. I hope to continue developing the integrated research and design process and expand the reach to include more users and methods.
My research interests and areas of expertise are in participatory design, user research methodology, usability, situation awareness, data visualization, and digital fraud.
I am a creative synthesizer, strong listener, and quick yet deep study.
I was born and raised in Kailua-Kona on the west side of the Big Island of Hawaii. I moved away from home to the Pacific Northwest where I earned my BA in Asian Studies at Whitman College in Walla Walla, WA. I played golf, was a resident assistant of the Japanese interest house, and was active in the Whitman community. During my junior year I studied abroad in Kyoto, Japan with the Associated Kyoto Program. I traveled the country while learning the Japanese language, culture, art, literature, religion, and history. I stayed with a host family near Kyoto in Otsu-shi, Shiga-ken and still keep in touch. I studied Japanese tea ceremony and calligraphy during my years at Whitman and abroad.
After graduating, I decided to pursue my interest in technology (which I was not able to while I was an undergraduate) through the University of Washington’s Multimedia Design & Production certificate program in Seattle, WA. I started developing websites for a few local business owners. This program got me interested in user experience and information organization, leading me to pursue my Master's degree in Library and Information Science (MSLIS) online at Drexel University’s College of Computing & Informatics. While earning my MSLIS, I became interested in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) and digital libraries. I also volunteered at the Seattle Public Library several times a month. Shortly after graduating, I was encouraged by a faculty member at Drexel to apply for the PhD program in Information Studies. The summer before beginning my doctoral studies, I started working with Azuma Gallery, a modern Japanese print gallery, as a web master. During my years as a PhD student at Drexel, I conducted research on designing an information display to support awareness during ad hoc, collocated, interdisciplinary, and emergency medical teamwork in the trauma resuscitation domain. In my last year, I taught Human-Computer Interaction and Web Development at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
Although my current work and previous PhD research are very different from my undergraduate studies, the Japanese culture and aesthetics continue to influence my sense of design and choice of leisure activities. I am a fan of Japanese animation (anime) and animated films, particularly psychological thrillers, fantasy, and action. A few of my favorites anime are Mushishi, Death Note, Monster, and Full Metal Alchemist. As for animated films, I enjoyed Spirited Away, Tekkonkinkreet, and Paprika. My husband and I have four fur babies (crazy chinchillas): Little Miss Muffin, Mr. Bobo Snuggles, Mr. Nugget, and My Little Mochi. I love watching sci-fi movies/series like Fringe, Black Mirror, Battlestar Galactica, and Lost in Space. Other things I like to do in my spare time include reading self-improvement and management books, meditating, becoming minimalist, snapping photos, cooking, and knitting.