My Name is Niki.
DESIGNER / EXPLORER / ULTIMATE PLAYER
My biggest desire as a designer is to bring good into the world. I believe my skills can improve peoples lives, make difficult concepts more understandable, and make important topics more engaging. I love user experience design because it is more interesting to work with data gained from user research to create a complete and brilliant experience. I want to understand people, and to create something for them.  
My History
I originally come from Seattle, WA, where I did my bachelor's in Design Studies at the University of Washington. After college, I was working four jobs, all paying marginally above minimum wage, only two of which were related to my field. Boyfriend at the time was working for Google, and decided he wanted to move to Europe. He asked if I wanted to go. I said sure. 
We moved to Switzerland. There, I received a Master's in Graphic Design and Image Research at the Basel Academy of Art and Design. I studied how people interpret images and the language uses to describe images. I had a particular interest in how to communicate the importance of graphic design to people who needed it but didn't work in the creative field. 
After graduating, I lived in Paris and eventually found an internship at Applied, a wayfinding design company in London. I loved the company and enjoyed the planning work necessary for good wayfinding. Unfortunately, work visas for foreigners are very difficult in the UK. At that time, Boyfriend had left Google, so it was back to the USA for us. 
We moved to Ithaca, NY where Boyfriend had a house. While living in Ithaca, I gave freelance designing a serious go. I designed logos for companies and artwork for shirts. After doing work for a start-up called Ithacash, a company  from the same incubator, Rosie, found me.  
I was at Rosie for 18 months as their Creative Director/Head of Creative. There I learned UX and UI design and fell in love with the complications and details of user experience. I went from being the sole person on the product team to one of four. I led the creative UI of the site and helped manage the other visual designer on the team. I worked with retailers and customers who use our site, developers who build our site, and other teams at Rosie who want to shape the product. I started the only user-testing the company had done, redesigned the entire site for responsive use, and was the voice of the user amongst business and marketing initiatives. 
In January of 2017 I left Rosie to travel to South America and pursue personal web development projects. While traveling I seriously improved by web development skills as well as my content editing skills for my travel blog: lifeinroam.com. 

I've found success in the freelance world, but I miss the stability and collaboration a 9 to 5 role can have. I want to work with others to create something more than what I can create on my own. 
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