👋, I’m a designer working to improve products & services for the public.
I’m currently a civic designer within the criminal-legal and safety net programs at Code for America, where I also manage a small team of awesome user experience and service designers.
My approach to design is informed by…
- 6 years developing the scrappy yet equity-centered practices of the design and research teams at Code for America
- 3 years learning interaction design at Dubberly Design Office
- 2 years freelancing for arts and human-rights non profits
- a master’s in Human-Computer Interaction and Design from the University of Washington (obsessed with design research, service design, and data sense-making)
- early jobs in design proofing comps and answering phones at tiny San Francisco print and branding firms
- many years in various art studios or centers working on paintings, drawings and social practice work alone or in collaboration.
👾 On the internet…
A few things I’ve written or contributed to.
Donald Moynihan, Eric Giannella, Pamela Herd, Julie Sutherland, Matching to Categories: Learning and Compliance Costs in Administrative Processes, Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 2022
Maintenance Window, Christa Hartsock and Julie Sutherland, ed. Jen Kagan, Logic, Issue 09, Care, September 2020
Improving Food Access for Seniors and Adults with Disabilities, Code for America, July 2019
Why Californians Need Food Assistance, GetCalFresh/Code for America, January 2019
Overcoming Barriers: Helping Self-Employed Applicants Access Their Full CalFresh Benefit, Code for America, October 2019
🧠 Current thinking: The designer as convener and collaborator
I’m a designer and researcher who relies on both practices to ask better questions, use better processes, and deliver more impactful interventions.
As the design discipline continues to evolve, designers are being tasked with ever-expanding briefs– especially in public services. Doing our work well demands humility and patience. I believe designers have to convene and collaborate with those closest to the issues in which they seek to intervene – be they members of the public, community advocates, or those on their cross-functional team.
I love to support teams to reflect on the complex socio-technical systems we live in: to explore where design and technology can make a meaningful contribution, where it probably can’t, and how we can work with or enable our most impacted community members to guide us in ever more sustainable ways.