I’m excited to share that I’ve joined Ad Hoc as a Senior UX Designer, focused on accessibility.
If you don’t know, Ad Hoc builds digital services for the U.S. government. The company’s founders helped rescue Healthcare.gov after its turbulent launch. The talented team has since launched Vets.gov among other notable projects.
I enjoyed working in this space before, as a contractor for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to use accessibility as a lever to improve government digital experiences. The more I’ve explored accessibility, the more passionate I’ve become about it. It also helps that for me, the work has a deep, personal meaning. It was time to give it my full attention.
What attracted me most to the position at Ad Hoc was that it was part of the design team. Along with my colleagues, I can advocate for accessibility early during the design process. It won’t just be about testing before launch. I started last week, and the first few days have been lots of fun. I’m diving into all sorts of different tech stacks, tools and challenges.
This new gig lacks something I’ve had in past jobs though: a focus on WordPress. While that means I won’t work with WordPress day to day, I imagine I’ll still be around the community. I’m so thankful for WordPress and the people I’ve met both in the community and at Automattic. Both have made me better in countless ways.
A few weeks ago, Automattic held its annual Grand Meetup. That’s where the company I work for gathers together in one place for a week to strategize, work and bond. Every year, we throw a party at the end of the week, complete with a photo booth. Piling into the photo booth (or in this case, photo area) has turned into one of my favorite things.
Of course, we also took a serious one.
Between all the work, I had a bit of fun too. A few nice hikes, plus a ride up a mountain in a gondola. We saw a bear! Although, I didn’t snap a great picture of it. One of these days I’m just going to move to the mountains because I love it so much. 🙂
Here’s to another great year at Automattic, surrounded by awesome colleagues with a worthwhile mission!
This past week, my team at Automattic – the Theme Team, met in Montréal for a week of work, planning for the future and team bonding. We worked hard, had fun and charted a path for the future of the team.
Sadly, I didn’t take as many photos as I normally do. My phone started acting up. It turns out, its battery went bad. The entire phone became swollen and mostly inoperable. 🙁 But I did take a few.
I’m excited to get the projects we worked on launched soon. I’m more excited for the future of our team. It comes with some changes, but I think those will work out in the end.
We went to a few activities as a team, including a spoken story event, painting ceramics and more. As much as I love my work, I love my team even more.
This past week, Automattic held its annual Grand Meetup, where the entire company gets together to talk about the past year, plan ahead for the next one and work on a few cool things…
Oh, and we throw a party at the end with a photo booth. As you can see, my team, the Theme Team, knows how to take a good photo. 🙂 I’m lucky to work with such a great group of people. They’re more than coworkers – they’re friends. People who inspire me, push me, teach me, make me laugh and probably overuse the 💩 emoji. Nobody’s perfect.
Yesterday, my colleagues and I on the Theme Team at Automattic redesigned our blog, ThemeShaper. I say yesterday because we really did it in about a day. The project was part of a hack day at Automattic. We hold a few each year, and they allow us to work on projects that we normally don’t have time for, need attention or experiment with something risky.
I’m really happy with how it came out. Fellow Automatticians Kathryn Presner and Laurel Fulford helped make the idea a reality. The thing that excites me the most about the new look is that it’s so flexible. We have plenty of space to iterate and add creative flourishes over time. Wow, hack days are fun!