My story

Watch the documentary short where I explain the connection between my work, my values, and fruit.

Background

I was raised by two professional pianists

As a child I spent any time I could in KidPix on my dad's black & white Mac Classic. Our house didn't have internet, so when I wasn't practicing an instrument I would ride my bike to the library with my brother. There we would load up flash drives with open source software and trials - Paint.net, Notepad++, Macromedia Flash... maybe some of you remember those! I chose not to finish calculus and chemistry, and instead dropped out of high school to start a career in design.

Career

From cringe infographics to an audience of millions.

My first office job at Fannit Marketing was a quirky one. The startup was still figuring a lot of things out, but the eccentricity made for a fun time and a lot of diverse opportunities. After a year of managing client blogs and designing click-bait infographics I moved to Fresh Consulting. The designers there were much more talented than I was, so I learned a lot and broadened my experience. My first senior position at A Place for Mom came and went, but it helped me move up to my current role as a senior designer for Microsoft, where I design the framework for their websites.

Cringe at old work
colorful coconut

Here's how it all went down.

2013

First full-time design job

I started at Fannit, an inbound marketing firm.

2014

Founded a business

My friend Tony and I had an idea for a web app that could help marketing managers track their leads and calculate ROI. Unfortunately we closed shop before bringing it to market because it costed a lot to get going.

2014

Transition to UX at Fresh Consulting

Jeff Dance, CEO at Fresh, found me on LinkedIn and offered me a job. It turned out to be providential because the role allowed me to learn quickly and participate in a lot of projects.

2015

Married!

After being friends since junior high school, we got married under the shadow of Mount Si on a perfect day.

2016
2017
2018

First senior role

A Place for Mom hired me to do improve the user experience of their website and related platforms. Unfortunately, design wasn't valued very highly and my work collected dust. So I moved on.

2019

Full steam ahead with passion projects

My website has always been fun to tinker with, but I wanted to dabble in more stuff. I started doing standup, joined an improv theater group, got into photographing fruit, and designed things for fun like the card deck I'm still working on.

2019

Senior designer at Microsoft

I was recruited to work on Microsoft's main website, which sounded fun. The job is a good one, but I still do freelance projects to keep things fresh.

2020
Unknown

I think about my work beyond just the deadline and how it looks.

Philosophy

I think everyone alive wants the same three things.

Experience with the universe

Whether it be traveling, space exploration, science, or another avenue, people are always showing an interest in the world we inhabit. Entertainment distracts our focus from real life, causing some people to miss out on actual experiences.

Peace with the unseen

There's an innate desire to know God and experience spiritual peace. Attempting to negate the need for God, some people pursue power.

Relationships with people

We need to know people we can enjoy and communicate with. The alternative is the pursuit of fame, which seems like closeness to people but there's no individual connection.

Peace with the unseen

We need to know people we can enjoy and communicate with. The alternative is the pursuit of fame, which seems like closeness to people but there's no individual connection.

Relationships with people

There's an innate desire to know God and experience spiritual peace. Attempting to negate the need for God, some people pursue power.

Experience with the universe

Whether it be traveling, space exploration, science, or another avenue, people are always showing an interest in the world we inhabit. Entertainment distracts our focus from real life, causing some people to miss out on actual experiences.

I'm driven by these three values

Authenticity

Favoring sincere human interaction over marketing and the hunger for paparazzi.

I'm so tired of everything fake. I wish people were genuine enough to both care for each other and be vulnerable with each other. I choose to ask questions that show interest in people's thoughts & feelings, and I choose to remember your name. When you interact with me, I try to be in the moment and true to who I am.

Creativity

Allowing the inherent beauty of the universe to inspire wonderful design.

"Inspired by inherent beauty" - that used to be my personal motto. It means that I search for laws that nature to define patterns that supersede era, culture, and trends. I believe the earth is full of these, but learning how to translate them to design is a growth process.

Hospitality

Welcoming people to take part in my time, home, and life.

Preparing dinner for guests you've invited into your home is a special experience for you and your guests. But a lifestyle of generous hospitality is an area of life that Western culture (in my experience) has largely forgotten about. In visiting South Africa and hearing other people's stories from abroad I've learned of the value many cultures place on hospitality regardless of wealth or convenience.

Goals

Minimize automated interruptions to maximize human interactions
Listening to understand rather than hearing to respond
Being genuine about what I say and do, but accepting feedback for growth
Find inspiration daily from nature and people more talented than me
Seek to design artistic experiences and expressions into my work
Explore the laws of nature to find inherently beautiful patterns
Keep my schedule open for planned or spontaneous time with people
Share my income, not just with organizations but with individuals in my life
Invite people to enjoy time, food, and lodging at my home
colorful painted bananas

It took a bit of scrolling, but here's a basic resumé.

About me

I've loved all types of art all my life. When I was a very young child I told my mom I wanted to be a painter. She told me people don’t do that much for a living anymore, so I found the next best thing – I found digital experience design. I still love painting, sketching, fashion, and music, but UX design is my full time job. I've done app design, websites, user research & testing, and branding. My forte is cross-device app design, and my process sets me apart.

Experience

Fannit logo

Fresh Consulting

UX Designer • August 2014 - Present
CBRE

UX design for broker CRM software

DTI/EPIQ

UX design for legal document cloud storage

Band of Hands

Branding and mobile UX for TaskRabbit competitor

Fannit logo

Isaac N.C.

Owner, Designer • Founded Jan 2014

Freelance project serving local small- and mid-sized businesses with web and brand design.

Fannit logo

Marketing Manager

Co-Founder, Designer • Founded 2014, Closed 2017
Fannit logo

Fannit

Graphic Designer • Jul 2013 - Jul 2014

My career in design and usability started at Fannit, a startup marketing firm. I allowed this job to take the place of going to school, a decision I still don't regret because of hands-on learning it provided me with.

The role started as an account manager and content writer for a group of clients, but quickly moved to graphic designer as the firm evolved. My responsibilities as such were to design infographics, websites, and brands. But the focus, as a marketing provider, was always designing for the user so that experiences would equal conversions. This set the groundwork for my next role - experience design.

Toolbox

Figma

Webflow

Photoshop

Illustrator

AfterEffects

Premiere Pro

InVision

Sketch

Usability techniques

User Interviews

Talking to the end user is an exceptional way to get ideas & feedback, and users often feel honored to be listened to. Interviews can sometimes come before design has even started, in which case the goal is to receive validation or recognize alternative value.

Usability Tests

Ultimately, the best way to guarantee the experience of an app is to test it. Tests can be conducted in a variety of ways, including surveys with video tracking, preference tests, A/B tests, and eye tracking.

Accessibility

The web is being used by everybody, which means that standards should be followed that allow everybody to use the web, regardless of disabilities. Disabilities such as vision impairments, colorblindness, and movement disorders.

Performance Optimization

Smart images compression, as well as proper use of each image type (SVG, PNG, JPG) can make a substantial difference to load time and experience. If I'm developing as well as I designing, I use additional techniques for performance such as code minification, efficient use of classes & scripts, etc.

Analytics Research

One of the valuable skills I acquired in marketing was knowledge of analytics. Before any redesign I like to look at current usage analytics. This identifies how users currently interact with the experience so I know which flows and content to retain and what's failing.

Reputation

Isaac is THE most organized designer I know. He always ensures that his assets are in order and makes it easy for other designers to work on them.

On DTI/Epiq, Isaac has also been really good at critiquing and bringing new ideas to the table. He takes feedback well and easily comes up with alternatives. The musician in Isaac made him come up with the idea of looking at bundles [legal document collections] as 'playlists' and borrrowing this concept has helped us easily communicate with the developers.

Aravind Ravi

Colleague on Epiq project

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Isaac, I have been going through the mobile wireframes.

Love it! You nailed it.

I just wanted to thank you and encourage to keep going.

Aziz Badra

CEO at Band Of Hands

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Isaac is a highly skilled designer that embodies every attribute of creativity.

He has a very proficient ability to create UX/UI ideas from scratch, execute designs through maps, wireframes and visual designs in a very thoughtful way. His creative branding abilities are just as impressive.

I’ve had the pleasure to see Isaac's work first hand and would recommend him to anyone seeking high professional results. In addition to his great sense of creative design, Issac has a great personality and is a pleasure to work with.

David Rademacher

Founder of Synctup

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I’ve worked with Isaac for about a year. He’s officially a consultant but he’s more like a member of my team.

Isaac is an excellent UX designer, a good collaborator, and always ready to advocate for the best user experience possible.

He’s confident and challenges the team in productive ways, with an eye on the business needs and an understanding of our users. I would work with Isaac any time without hesitation and would recommend him as a valuable asset to any team.

Brett Polonsky

Director of UX at A Place for Mom (previously CBRE)

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Isaac has imagination, creativity and the technical skillsets that make him a top notch digital designer.

He seeks out challenges to make himself better and is open to feedback which gives him the ability to continue to improve his craft.

Upon leaving Fannit in mid-2014 Isaac was starting to transition to a place where he not only knew the design, but understood the business needs for particular designs. He is fun and productive!

Tony Lael

CEO at MarketingManager

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It has been a pleasure to work together with Isaac, who is an innovative designer. Isaac is a multi-skilled graphic designer with great creative suite skills. When you get to connect with him, you'll discover a naturally talented person.

No matter how complex the problem is, he will always come up with brilliant and elegant designs. His attention to detail is spot on and he spends time on his work to deliver high quality designs.

I can highly recommend working with him.

Priya Chauhan

Designer II at Microsoft

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With an inherent eye-for-design, Isaac consistently produces stunning pieces that exceed expectations.

His natural talent and positive attitude make him a valuable asset to any team.

Nathan Dean

Art Director at Microsoft

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'Exceptionally creative' and 'highly skilled' are phrases that come to mind when I think about Isaac.

I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Isaac for over a year, during which Isaac created standout wireframes and mockups for two large software projects for the Market Builder Group at CBRE. I was impressed with Isaac's ability to make our color scheme shine and convey our brand across multiple products.

We really appreciate how Isaac has always been available to add a beautiful element of design to features that required a quick turnaround.

And, of course, Isaac's fun nature and lighthearted demeanor make him an absolute delight to work with.

Isaac would be a true asset for any projects requiring Photoshop and/or design expertise, and I would recommend Isaac to others in a heartbeat.

Britt Johnson

Software Developer at CBRE

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Isaac is a progressive graphics designer that proved to be a great asset to our company in helping us determine our direction with web design, infographics, email marketing, custom graphics, logos, and more.

His eye for design (and art in general) has always been a step ahead of the average person. I would highly recommend his work.

It's difficult to find a designer who truly understands the direction a client is trying to take with their brand. Isaac just seems to have a knack for visually representing that image well. We look forward to working with him in the future on other web design related projects."

Keith Eneix

CEO at Fannit

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Let's meet.

It would be so cool to meet you! You don't have to have a project or specific objective - let's just do something together.

Contact me