The Intro: Tater Read

As you might have read, we’re growing the Fusion tech & product team in 2015. Today we’d like to introduce you to one of our newest colleagues, Tater Read, who’s helping out with our UX efforts.

Who are you, and what do you do?

Lisa HongHi, my name is Tater Read. I recently joined Fusion as a user experience (UX) Designer based in the Miami, FL office.

In a nutshell, I:

  1. Take an idea or a moment of inspiration.
  2. Make sure that it has a clear purpose, and think about how it might best suit a user’s needs.
  3. Seek out the right information from the right people.
  4. Figure out all of the details.
  5. Deliver an online experience that makes you say, “Holy cow, that is amazing!”

In the past I’ve worked at digital agencies leading teams for clients like Avon, Celebrity Cruises, Citibank, Norwegian Cruise Line and designing large enterprise B2B systems for corporations like Morgan Stanley and Underwriters Laboratories. Working on a variety of different projects was a great experience, because I was always learning something new.

Currently I’m helping out with the Fusion redesign, fixing usability issues, answering functionality questions, and generally trying to help things run smoothly.

What’s your preferred hardware and software setup?

For years I’ve relied upon my trusty 2009 MacBook Pro to help me get my work done. However, before even hitting the power switch, the process starts on pen & paper. Or if it’s a collaboration session, I prefer a whiteboard and a pad of stickies.

In terms of software, I’m fairly flexible. As I mentioned before, in my career I have adapted to whatever the workflow required, including a number of software programs: Illustrator, InDesign, Omnigraffle, Visio, Keynote, and even PowerPoint. One of my favorite programs, Axure, allows me to move past a static wireframe or mockup and add interactions in the form of HTML prototypes. It better communicates how an experience or flow will “work”. So, rather than talking through a deck of wireframes (including expressive hand gestures), you can have stakeholders interact with the prototype and leave feedback directly in the browser. It’s also great for quick user tests, letting you iterate quickly while allowing you to think through all of the different actions, events, and error states.

I’m currently getting familiar with Slack and GitHub. I’m interested in seeing how they might make the development process more efficient, such as using GitHub to store UX documentation closer to the code.

How do you consume media? Any favorite formats or publications?

When I lived in New York, I usually kept a book in my back pocket for the subway commute. Now my iPhone has become my main reading device. Normally I read the New York Times, Vox, Slate, The Guardian, and Medium.

My guilty pleasure is rummaging through the Kinja dustbin. The odder blogs, like Paleofuture and Sploid are fantastic. To keep up with the conversations around the water cooler, I check out Twitter.

What excites you most about what’s coming up next at Fusion?

I’m very excited to be working at Fusion. It’s such a multi-cultural environment, I get to spend half my day speaking with co-workers in Spanish, the other half in English. In addition, all the people I’ve met are really smart with great ideas. So in the short-term, we’re concentrating on getting the next release of Fusion ready.

However, this is only the first step. The really fun part will be working with product, editorial, and design folks to further develop site experience, to build our audience, to test ideas, and to push the boundaries of digital media. For example, did you know we have a team of designers creating really cool interactive journalism experiences? These are the kinds of things I’m excited about, moving past the current digital newspaper model to produce content that’s really engaging and thoughtful.

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