Information Architecture and Usability are her passions.
Samantha has been immersed in information architecture on the web since its inception as a modern discipline. Her experience runs the gamut from startups to fortune-500 companies and she has been responsible for both business development and operations. She has a solid track record leading high-performance UX teams and is particularly adept at fostering high rates of employee retention. While she is interested in all facets of user-experience, information architecture and usability are her passions.
Samantha built Merrill’s first UX practice, defining our methodology and integrating Merrill’s UX practice into the product organization’s emergent dual-track Agile continuous deployment development process.
In 2015 she joined Merrill Corporation as their first UX professional. Over the course of 2.5 years she built Merrill’s first UX practice, defining a methodology and integrating Merrill’s UX practice into the product organization’s emergent dual-track Agile continuous deployment development process. She hired and led a team of 12 UX professionals to support digital product design and development for Merrill’s suite of enterprise digital products for Capital Markets. She personally designed the information architecture for Merrill’s new SaaS platform and directed the UX team in all aspects of the interface design for DatasiteOne, which successfully launched in Oct 2017.
From 2007-2015 she ran her own UX consulting business and partnered with other talented designers and student interns from Kent State University’s Information Architecture & Knowledge Management program to provide a full suite of user experience design services including: heuristic evaluation, user research, information architecture, interaction design, and usability testing. In addition to consulting, she served as an adjunct instructor at Kent State, teaching user & task analysis and advanced information architecture.
During her tenure at Westlaw she supervised a quantitative eye tracking study for a Westlaw information product that led to design improvements generating a 10% increase in revenue for the product.
In 2005 she was hired by Thomson West to lead the nascent usability practice for Westlaw, the premiere legal research product on the market. Westlaw’s user base of legal professionals includes the Department of Justice, the IRS and the US Supreme Court. With over 40,000 databases, the team’s usability efforts focused heavily on search interface and search results design. During her tenure at Westlaw she supervised a quantitative eye tracking study for a Westlaw information product that led to design improvements generating a 10% increase in revenue for the product–which translated to four million dollars in additional revenue annually.
Wachovia ranked #1 on the American Customer Satisfaction Index from 2001-2008.
As VP of Information Architecture during the First Union and Wachovia merger in 2001, she introduced a user-centered design methodology into the eCommerce organization. Her team developed the information architecture for the new bank’s combined website serving four million online banking customers. After the launch of Wachovia.com she focused her team on continuous improvement of the website and utilized diverse methods including contextual inquiry, RITE (rapid iterative testing and evaluation) and FIDO (freehand interactive design offline) techniques in addition to traditional interface design methods. The success of the website contributed to Wachovia’s #1 rank on the American Customer Satisfaction Index 2001-2008.
She played an integral role in growing the Information Architecture practice at Argus from start-up mode to mature practice.
As the first employee at Argus Associates, Samantha played an integral role while Lou Rosenfeld and Peter Morville wrote the first edition of the Polar Bear book (also known as Information Architecture for the World Wide Web). She was a team player and manager growing the IA practice at Argus from start-up mode to mature practice. In her role as VP of Operations at Argus, she was responsible for the management and career development of 21 information architects and usability specialists.
She is active in the UX field outside of office hours.
She is active in the UX field outside of office hours, regularly attending UXPA-MN meetings. She is a regular attendee of the Information Architecture Summit, volunteering as a proposal reviewer annually, and served as co-chair for the tenth annual event in Memphis, 2009. In 2013-14 she served as co-lead for a local UX Meetup group in Akron, Ohio, and started the Twin Cities UX Meetup in 2005. As a founding member of the Information Architecture Institute (IAI), she served on the Board of Directors 2003-2004. She led the project to create and maintain the IAI’s Job Board from its inception in 2002 to 2014.
She holds a master’s degree in Information & Library Science from the University of Michigan.