Wow! It has almost been one year since I left full-time employment. After 20 years I decided to go out on my own and created frictionless design – a User Experience Design and Architecture firm. I am focusing on becoming a design partner with small to midsized development shops who need enterprise class design assistance on a project basis.

I had a major project referred to me by my UX design colleague Karen Graham. The company is located here in Massachusetts and was looking for someone to help design and guide them with their new enterprise class storage administration and monitoring user interface. That project was my kickoff.

After weeks of quiet, people from my past began contacting me. Colleagues from Gomez, Kronos, ITG, as well as an entrepreneurship class I was taking, all had interesting projects to discuss. While several of them were startups, a couple were already implementing software products. I will spotlight various clients in future newsletters so that you can get a sense of what other companies do and how they incorporate the design process.

As I was making my way into the consulting world, I began reaching out to my network of UI experts to partner with on projects. Despite 20 years in the industry, I have found it difficult to find UI developers who are great at what they do and passionate about the work. With luck on my side, I found that Doug Ross was also launching his own consulting firm, OnVelocity. Doug happens to be one of the most talented UI developers I know. We have approached several clients together and are currently working at an educational content company together.

 This year has given me the opportunity to learn new tricks. I have learned more about marketing, business development, sales and contract negotiations. These were the aspects of being self-employed that initially made me the most nervous. I have discovered that I am a quick learner and am much better at these new tasks then I gave myself credit for.

I love being out on my own and getting the opportunity to work on a variety of ideas and products at different stages of design. Running my own company has pushed me to learn new skills and required me to get out and about meeting different people in the Boston area. Becoming involved in with a wide variety of organizations has been both stimulating and satisfying to my desire for creative work. Thank you to many of you who have supported me in this endeavor.