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Chris Johnson
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Hi I'm Chris; my mantra is:

"Effective interfaces are informed by a user's experience and journey."

Links For Time Pressed, Potential Employers

What Is a User Journey and User Experience?

Remember a time where despite how gorgeous or poor an interface was, you had trouble getting to where you wanted to be. It could be navigating a website, a video game, an app, tax forms, or even a hospital. The process by which a user navigates a given system is called a user journey.

User experience (ux) is a deep understanding of users, what they need, what they value, their abilities, and also their limitations. It also takes into account the business goals and objectives of the group managing a product.

What I Do

I create user interfaces by establishing a deep understanding of a users' journey and ux. I do this via a 4 step Build-Measure-Learn-Repeat cycle:

  • Build. I clearly identify a product's business and conceptual goals and create mockups represenative of the final product.
  • Measure. I take the mockups I've built and test them in the wild with actual users. I record their user journey and ux with as much detail as possible.
  • Learn. I deliver the collected data to the client and based on both the collected data and the product's goals, make new mockups.
  • Repeat. I repeat the previous steps as many times as the scope of the project allows while also allowing ample time to submit a final product within deadline.

I've found the above process works wonders for rapid development by clearly identifying objectives, iterating upon actual user needs, and design conflicts are a LOT easier resolved by having actionable metrics guide decisions. If you would be interested in hiring me to do these things for you please contact me via email, mobile, or social media:

Email: lihimsidhe@gmail.com
Mobile: 570 831 9668

Chris Johnson

Lightmare

Cross Device Coop Game

Details

Overview

Lightmare was a cross device, cooperative multiplayer, action sidescroller, Unity3D game I worked on with at team of 16 other students. The cooperative multiplayer part required that one player be running the game on his/her desktop computer and an other player be running the game on their mobile device.

The desktop player's role was that of combat; it was his/her role to destroy enemies in combat. The mobile player, supported the desktop player by dragging shadows underneath the desktop player to strengthen her and/or underneath enemies to weaken them.

Project Management

My most used skill by far was my background in logistics I acquired in the U.S. Army as a logistics operator. I put this to use as my team's project manager. Our team was a cross college team comprised of students from two differenct colleges: Westphal College of Media Arts and Design and College of Computing and Infomatics. Keeping 5 other designers, 5 computer science programmers, and 5 musicians with vastly different temperments within scope, communicating, and on deadline was definitely a challenge at times.

The tools I used to manage all the tasks required to bring a game from concept to completion were the scrum and gantt methodologies, Slack for team side communications, and the Trello platform to house all tasks, identify who was responsible for them, and to link to all game assets.

This pipeline document details how I was able to bring all these things together.

Game Mechanic Design

game mechanic mockup

Game mechanic design was a collobarative process between designers and developers. My role in this process was most often the deciding vote on what direction to take for a given mechanic and to maintain our game design document. I also was in charge of designing the special abilities of the players called Umbrae.

Narrative Design

stages of loss

I laid the groundwork for the game's setting and story which included the going through the game's world itself going through Elisabeth K├╝bler-Ross's five stages of loss to drive the narrative forward.

User Interface

user interface mockup

Lightmare was unique in the fact that interface considerations had to be made for both the desktop and the mobile player. Since I had ample experience playing both desktop and mobile games, I worked with my teams UI lead to maintain consistency across both platforms.

User Testing

From the point where Lightmare reached a playable state, I would conduct play testing sessions with random players. By documenting their experiences, I was able to collect data that was able to make the project's path forward much more clear by having hard data to guide decisions. It's hard to express just how incredibly useful it was to document user experience and their user journeys. So much so that later in the project when the team was 'running on rails' by the scrum system I implemented, I stepped down as project manager and dedicated myself entirely to quality control where my main function was play testing.

Pong

Classic Game via Javascript

Details

Overview

function learnJS (positive, negative) {
if (positive > negative) {
you've learned some javascript!;
} else {
take a break and run this again!;
} }

Pong almost needs no introduction. It is the grandfather of video games after all. My version of pong adds nothing new to the classic formula. The fact that it's in javascript isn't even novel. What is of note is the journey it took for me to complete Pong via javascript and how it ended with me being happy I lost a mind boggling fortune.

Stress.log()

I had to code Pong from the ground up for my Web Game Design class at Drexel. At that point I grasped the basics of javascript but this class was asking for advanced execution from day one. I really struggled to keep up in the class and I started to think that perhaps the web development and design industry wasn't for me.

Neo vs Fred Flinstone

The thing was I worked really hard to get to that point in my life. I had a lot of things riding on my success. After what seemed like a forever later, I finally started to 'get it'. Things started to click. All the late night hours on YouTube, Stackoverflow, Quora, etc. started to finally pay off. I wasn't suddenly Neo from the Matrix but I wasn't Fred Flinstone writing code with sticks and stones either.

Losing a Fortune

Rewind back about two years ago. It was the last evening the Powerball ticekts were on sale for a prize of more than 200 million. However, I didn't want to use the store's RNG to determine my numbers. I wanted javascript to do it. Minutes before the tickets stopped going on sale, I wrote a Powerball number selector for myself.

I didn't win of course but I realized a few days later that I did write a javascript program, on the fly, without really thinking about it. That's in stark contrast to the beginning of my Web Game Design class where I had little to no hope.

You wrap all this up I can gladly say I've never been so happy to lose a fortune in my life.

Jane Doe

Oils on Acrylic Wash

Details
jane doe painting

Overview

'Jane Doe' was one of the more fun pieces I've done. Not only did it employ techniques I never used before but a lot of the pressue to make it visually appealing was already solved since it was an adapation of the band Converge's 'Jane Doe' album cover art.

Acrylic Wash

acrylic wash

The piece started with an acrylic wash. I layered on acrlyics with a wet brush. While the paint was still wet, I sprayed it down with a Dollar General spray bottle. The more water added, the more diluted the acrlyics became. Hence the white 'column of light' in the background is where I sprayed the most water.

Oil Portrait

Once the wash dried, I painted the Jane Doe oil portrait on top of it. It features an achromatic female figure and a monochromatic ground.

After the oil portrait was done, I then layered a cardboard square of the same size on top it, taped it down, and then splattered black oil paint around the edges. I removed the cardboard and this is what gives the portrait its black 'splatter frame' effect.

To see more of my art, check out my gallery.

Email: lihimsidhe@gmail.com
Mobile: 570 831 9668