I actually thought of the name “softerware” about nineteen years ago when I was in graduate school. At the time I was studying things like interface design and cognitive psychology, and working towards my Master’s degree in Information Science. It was clear to me even then that people found technology confusing and hard to understand. Why can’t software be easier to use?
Hmm…softerware. I thought it was a great term and one that describes my belief that technology should be easy, accessible, and empowering.
After I earned my Master’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh I went to work for FedEx in Memphis, TN. It was there that I was introduced to usability testing. At the time (1994) my team was working on a new client/server application for small shippers. We offered a Mac and Windows version and did usability testing on both. It was then that I realized how important it is to understand who it is we were designing for and to empathize with them. I believe empathy is the greatest quality anyone involved in this field can have.
Since then I’ve been involved in many projects for a variety of clients. Regardless of the project the most important trait I can bring to the table is advocacy for the end users. I believe it’s up to me to be their voice when software and websites are being created to ensure their needs don’t get lost or re-prioritized out of the picture.
I moved to Miami in the fall of 2004 and I’m pleased to offer my skills to businesses in the Miami-Dade area as well as clients through the country. I’m available to talk with you about your projects- big or small- and create solutions to help your customers, clients, consumers, visitors, or shoppers have a better experience using your website or software.