As eCommerce & Digital Strategy Manager, I am combining an ability to design buildings with an interest in digital architecture to thrive on reimagining both – the real world and the online world.
There are many types of architects, but two types stand out most for me: The ones who design the buildings we live and work in, and the ones who design the digital world – who ensure the products, programs, and websites that enable us to shop, book our travel, or manage our health.
If you ask me what kind of architect I am, well – I am both.
My education is in architecture – I started in Brooklyn, New York, and I carried that down to southeastern United States in Atlanta, GA. I decided to make a career change. I looked at architecture and realized my interest was around solutions: people need a building because they need something they don’t already have. I then got interested in energy management – red-lining electrical drawings – and how that linked to data in a database.
I don’t shy away from getting my hands dirty in the process of problem-solving. Whatever I do, I always try to follow the art of naturally translating my real-world design experiences to designing it for the internet.
Excelling as an in-betweener
Far from feeling stuck between those who need a solution and those who build the code, I thrive on the potential for design that’s offered by my role. You have people on one end – the business users that have a problem to solve. Then you have the people on the very other end of the spectrum who are the developers.
It’s the in-between that I find myself in, and it’s the in-between where the creativity is found because this person has to be able to become a liaison between a true IT development team that executes exactly like they are asked to, and the individuals who don’t fully understand how to solve the problem. That’s where creativity happens.
Anything I’m creating means that I’m saving someone time. That’s a big thing that drives me.
To me, people like me and my fellow “in-between” designers are creators. If you have a problem, the solution is most likely not already available, so the people in the middle have to figure out, given the tools that they have, and the technology that their teams are able to use, how can they stitch together this new solution.
And for any designer, the feedback from the person who’s asked for the solution is invigorating. My favorite part of my job is almost at the end of a project, where you show your first version, and you get to see that reaction — either really happy or really not. It tells you quickly if you have nailed it or if you are on the right path, or if you need to alter something.
You would think that having something you have created picked apart would be a painful process, but not for me. The beauty for me is in creating something useful - my approach to architecting digital products is a lot more human than the title affords it.
Anything I’m creating means that I’m saving someone time, I’m giving them some sort of relief — that’s a big thing that drives me. It might be saving a team member one hour a day or saving me an hour of my day; it’s all about getting to that work-life balance. And we all love a good work-life balance, don’t we?
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