Hi, I'm Sarah Ann!
I was named after both of my grandmothers, so I have two first names. My pronouns are she/her. I’m a curiosity-driven user researcher, with experience gathering insights on both consumer-facing and business-to-business teams for data-driven products and human-centered services.
I embrace the universal UX researcher challenge of striving to have long lasting influence within our organizations. I have strategized how to socialize findings for impact and team alignment; how to recruit difficult-to-reach participants in a scaleable manner; and how to collaborate with customer-facing teams to respectfully access their well-established customer relationships.
Currently, I’m expanding my knowledge of digital accessibility and inclusive design thanks to a scholarship from Deque University, as I pursue my International Association of Accessibility Professionals certification.
I earned my master’s degree in interaction design at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. My studies deepened my understanding of human-centered design and challenged me to consider the unique research needs and ethical implications of emerging technology.
Understanding users through research builds upon my foundation as a story seeker. My former career as a photojournalist taught me to share stories that promote empathy and understanding. Today, I apply those skills to produce user research that is communicated in impactful and actionable ways.
In my free time, you can find me curled up with a good book and a cup of tea, or people-watching at Prospect Park. I’m always learning something new to fulfill my creative spirit. My latest nerdy-yet-artsy hobby is coding interactive generative art. ✨
Analyzes audience survey data and presents findings to leadership to help grow their audience and shape content strategy for the non-profit, which trains the incarcerated to publish their stories.
Supports the accessible document and website design and development process.
As part of the Enterprise Trust team, conducted research to serve the mission of building customer trust by fostering a sense of control over their productivity tools cloud environment through platform and infrastructure enhancements.
Recruited enterprise research participants in influential roles from Atlassian’s top 1% of customers by collaborating with Technical Account Managers, careful to respect and maintain established customer relationships.
Creatively shared findings with stakeholders and shaped organizational research socialization practices by documenting processes and creating templates.
Represented research leadership in collaborative workshops with design, product, and engineering to strategize, ideate, and prioritize for the product roadmap.
Managed research participant data with informed consent, maintaining privacy practices and adhering to international regulations such as GDPR.
Advocated for user needs based on qualitative and quantitative research for a machine learning-powered B2B SaaS supply chain risk management platform.
Designed, recruited, executed, and communicated the results of concept testing that influenced the design and product strategy for a high-priority new feature.
Spearheaded the development of 3 user personas based on 33 activity-based user interviews across various industries, areas of expertise, and countries.
Strategized engaging ways to communicate and socialize findings for alignment between engineering, product, design, and customer success teams.
Developed research infrastructure by creating a strategy for recruiting participants for an industry-specific research panel.
Supported the accessible website design process with the needs of people with Parkinson’s disease in mind.
Uncovered dozens of opportunities to improve the user experience through an accessibility audit, heuristic evaluation, and navigation tree testing.
Designed and executed a qualitative, generative and evaluative research study that influenced the design direction of a data-driven, consumer-facing tool to promote skills-based career growth created by Citi's innovation incubator.
Collaborated with the Product Manager to develop and implement the first protocol for recruiting existing product users for research studies, leading to increased stakeholder exposure to users.
Shared findings with stakeholders in multiple actionable formats, including an interactive visual report, a presentation, and product team ideation workshop.
As part of the Citi University Partnerships in Innovation & Discovery program, led a collaborative graduate student product design team in the end-to-end process to create a high-fidelity prototype, which was the winner of Strategic Innovation in Product & Service Design competition. Role was then extended into a contract position.
Conducted 250+ in-depth interviews and documented candid moments to tell 82 long-form journalistic stories that promoted understanding and empathy.
Led service design research and strategy to implement cost-effective solutions to improve The Herald’s digital products and innovate ways to reach new audiences, resulting in a 254% increase in page views and a sustainable workflow for journalists.
Hired, managed, and mentored a team of staff photojournalists and photo interns.
Master's Thesis Presentation: Moolah 🔗
Moolah, my master's thesis project, was a concept of an educational platform that supports parents in learning about financial topics and raising money-confident kids. It was developed using research methods such as a literature review, survey, diary study, activity-based interviews, concept and usability testing.
Select graduate coursework included: Research Methodologies, Strategic Innovation in Product & Service Design, Ethics of Emerging Technologies, Digital Accessibility, Augmented Reality, Smart Objects, Conversation Design, Content Strategy
Senior Capstone Exhibition: First Comes Trust 🔗
New Roots, my capstone project, followed a Congolese refugee family through their first year of resettlement in Rochester, NY. Their story was told through an interactive website that I created to combine documentary photography, written reporting, audio, and data visualizations. (My first ever UX design project!)
Courses completed: Foundations: Data, Data, Everywhere; Ask Questions to Make Data-Driven Decisions; Prepare Data for Exploration
Courses completed: Accessibility Fundamentals - Disabilities, Guidelines, and Laws; Designing an Accessible User Experience; Semantic Structure and Navigation; Visual Design and Colors; Accessibility Program Management
Courses completed: Quantitative UX Research for Data-Driven Design; Conducting Usability Testing; Information Visualization; User Research - Methods and Best Practices