Born in NYC and raised on the 1984 Macintosh, Top Gun, and Sesame Street. I believe in building better products by combining design, development, and analytics. Take me to your startup, I'll make your users happy.
Design and development don't need to be awkward partners. Let designers learn CSS and devs learn typography. Breaking down silos breeds unicorns.
Read the Manual
Documentation, ReadMe, StackOverflow, Google. Trial by fire is great, but when doing something new I want to know the basics first. It will save time in the end.
Just about everything has been tried on the web. It's worth the time to look up how other people have done something and learn from their successes and mistakes.
Be the User
Empathy alone is not enough to improve user experience. I want to use the product I'm building, not just to test a feature but to let my experience drive me as well.
Why not Both?
Functionality and aesthetics are not enemies. Let the pixels point the user the right way, and let the features save them enough time to enjoy it.
When communicating something, be it a team meeting or introducing a new feature, explaining the why and how always improves how things play out.