jenminarik_headshot2014I’m a Chicago-area researcher, UX designer, and writer. As a user advocate with deep roots in marketing strategy and sales, I believe that great experiences are integral to strong brands and reliable business results.

Earlier in my career, I worked in higher education marketing and admissions. When the iPad came out, I hit the road for a multibillion-dollar college retailer to help leaders across the US figure out their digital textbook strategies. In that role, I saw firsthand how challenging it can be when hardware and software products do not adequately meet user needs. In between flights, I completed a Master of Science in Communication at Northwestern University. My coursework included design thinking, visual communication, and innovation.

Since then, I have put these new skills to use as Research Manager and Strategist at a boutique brand strategy firm in Chicago, followed by redesigning a global internal communications website at a multibillion-dollar technology company. I am now a Senior UX Researcher in that same company’s newly-formed customer experience group, where I have helped introduce service design into the enterprise.

My non-UX passions include running, cycling, and watching BBC history documentaries. I’m an award-winning fiction writer working on my first full-length novel, and have studied both stand-up and improv comedy.

Also: I once helped an astronaut check his email.