About Me

Strategic, analytical brain. Big, empathetic heart.

About Me

Strategic, analytical brain. Big, empathetic heart.

Like many creative careers, mine has been an evolution, with the constant being that I love making complex information easier to understand, so life can be simpler and more enjoyable to live. The timeline below displays that progression, where the skills I’ve honed from day one are skills I still utilize today.

Some of my favorite highlights include:

  • illustrating for the first ever published university-level textbook about climate change, as well as educational applications in Google Oceans
  • creating brands for small businesses so they could thrive during the 2008 downturn
  • leading a design team to build enterprise software that would improve health outcomes while decreasing national healthcare spend
  • and working on a number of programs across the globe to help patients heal mentally and physically
View Résumé

Knowledge and Expertise

Design Leadership

Team building and mentorship, design advocacy and empowering clients and teams to further their human-centered design initiatives.

UX Strategy and Research

Ethnographic research, workshops, synthesis and meaningful artifacts to uncover insights for innovative opportunities.

Digital Product Design

Interaction and visual design for mobile/desktop workflow management systems, apps and enterprise software delivered in a lean, agile and systematic way.

Healthcare and Wellness

Patient- and human-centered design focused on deep insights to solve complex human problems.

Data Visualization

Taking complex data and content and finding patterns in order to organize it into thoughtful interactions, visuals or sequences.

Agile / Scrum

Iterative design across sprints, roadmapping, communicating with development, and retrospectives for effective deployment.

My Design Values

Humans First

Quantitative data and best practices alone are often not enough to effectively tackle some of the biggest problems we face today.  I believe in doing well-thought-out qualitative analysis, and upholding a human-centered approach to design. To increase quality of life, we need to understand the lives we are dealing with.

Stay Lean, Be Agile

I believe in the agile approach of failing early and learning often. This requires creating only the artifacts that are necessary to effectively communicate a design, or test an idea. Let’s make things at the right speed and fidelity to prevent bottlenecks while decreasing spend.

Think Systems

Beautiful design is the minimum, not the sum. Every design decision needs to be justified to uphold a strong design system. Let’s be diligent about consistency and future-proofing so that we can decide when to effectively bend the rules and maintain artistry.

Team Balance

Great solutions lie at the intersection of business, technology and design. We need to speak each others’ language and have empathy not just for our end users but our colleagues. We’re only able to address the needs of our users by working effectively and collaboratively across teams.

Other Fun Facts

🎨 I'm an artist.

I graduated from UC Santa Barbara with my Art degree in 2008, started my career as a graphic designer, then worked my way naturally to product design and research. Still, art has my heart! See some of my work at karoleend.com.

✈️ I love to travel.

I’ve visited 30 countries and 28 states so far, and looking forward to more. My adventures (and misadventures) fuel my art, and learning how people around the world live is what piqued my interest in designing for better quality of life.

👩🏻‍💻 I'm a coach.

In addition to design and art, I’m a trauma-informed coach helping adult survivors of childhood abuse and neglect thrive in their purpose and life. Design thinking processes offer so many parallels to life coaching, and I’m passionate about taking these processes and tools, among many others, to help a group of people I care deeply about. Learn more at karoleendcoaching.com.

Interested in working together?

Email me at hello [at] karoleendesign [dot] com and I’ll be in touch!