I work for agile startups with big ideas.

I've spent the last decade working on small, agile teams, developing a multi-disciplinary skillset out of necessity. My primary focus on UI, UX and front end development makes me a strong bridge between design and dev, and my broader skillset adds to that versatility.

Work With Me



  • UX & UI
  • HTML & CSS
  • JavaScript
  • Ruby (on Rails)

I joined the Venuelabs team when AboutLocal was in its infancy, and remained until we were acquired by Groupon for our data, tech, and design.

AboutLocal's core service: a stream of social media posts from inside a business.

When our boss took my coworker and I to Bali for two weeks, we voted to redesign the core feature of our product — a stream of social media posts happening at a particular physical location — in order to improve engagement.

First, we got clear on the user goals for this UI (see what people are saying inside their location and email, repost or reply to the post) and then agreed on some success metrics (more scrolling, more clicking, more activity on each post).

After that, I did some brainstorming on what was lacking in the customer experience that might discourage the behaviors we want, and what we could change that would make those behaviors easier, clearer, and more appealing. We had a lot of metadata about the post and four major actions one could take - but what of these elements were most important? What one thing needs to be primary and what can we make secondary? Can we hide anything?

Once we had a list and hierarchy of elements, I sketched out possible lock-ups, looking for the best way to show or hide the various interfaces in a way that made sense in the context of the site's physicality. I sketch by hand and go straight to coding in the browser or in a branch on GitHub so that we can quickly begin to iterate on a prototype of functional code.

The redesign was a success and our metrics improved quite a bit. We gave much more space to the stories customers were telling about their experiences inside a particular business by visually prioritizing the photo and caption, we made it much more obvious that various actions can be taken on these posts, and we made all secondary information available without letting it distract from the delight of scrolling through posts.


  • Product
  • UX & UI
  • Look & Feel
  • Branding
  • Copywriting
  • HTML & CSS

Wellinformd is a much-needed product that could have revolutionized the health care industry, but never saw the light of day.

A mockup showing the status of your deductible and max out of pocket.

Health insurance has on the whole been a nightmare for most people to navigate. The Wellinformd team wanted to make it easy for people to understand, keep track of and maximize the benefits of their health insurance plans.

To start, we conducted some group interviews with insured people (I wasn't the interviewer but did sit in) in order to better understand the pains, capabilities and typical use cases of our target audience. Meanwhile, I logged into various health insurance accounts to see what people typically have to deal with. Once we better understood the problems, I wrote some user stories to help guide us to the solutions.

We focused on making clear the benefits, phase (deductible, copay, fully covered), and the annual status of a plan (total costs, deductible used, and max out of pocket). To do this required some serious information design experimentation as we tried to explain complex concepts in a simple, visual and aesthetically appealing way.

We had to show data as well as educate people on how their insurance works, and we had to juggle not only multiple, changing states of the site, but a navigation that allowed people to dig into multiple plans (medical, dental, vision, combined), individuals (user, spouse, dependants), and time frames (current plan year, past years). We also had to keep the UI flexible as many insurance plans have just completely different data structures.

In addition to UX and UI, I worked on the look & feel, branding and naming of the project. It was a noble pursuit and I'm sad it hasn't seen the light of day, but this experience is just around the corner as we had quite a lot of live competition at the time.


  • Product
  • UX & UI
  • Look & Feel
  • Branding
  • Copywriting
  • HTML & CSS

OneWed became the 5th most visited wedding website online after our redesign, but design can't fix an overcomplicated product.

OneWed's final redesign, reimagining, and rebrand.

When we inherited OneWed, it was immediately clear that we'd have to do more than just rebrand it. We had to completely reorganize and reimagine the site while maintaining the elements that were already bringing in traffic and money (a compromise I believe was ultimately damning).

The challenge was that we had a vendor directory that was active and bringing in money, a huge directory of wedding products (a data goldmine in the wedding world), and killer SEO based largely on our editorial. To remove any one of those components in order to simplify the product would be like chopping a limb off and was considered too risky.

The redesign transformed OneWed from a disorganized SEO trap into the 5th most visited wedding website online. Getting to this solution was largely a matter of rewriting the information architecture — analyzing the available elements of the site and creating a set of semantics from them. The common theme was beautiful photos, so we turned the site into essentially Pinterest for weddings. The major difference being that each photo was actionable inspiration — each image linked to either a product, a local vendor, or an editorial piece.

In the end, we increased traffic but struggled to convert visitors and eventually ran out of money. It's an unfortunate truth that design can't cover up an overly complicated product, and products with a highly focused purpose are far more likely to succeed. Simplify!


  • Product
  • UX & UI
  • HTML & CSS

Photorocket made it easier to get photos off of personal cameras and into the hands of friends and family privately. Then we did a bunch of other stuff.

The final web product: a private, collaborative, multi-media event scrapbook.

I joined the PhotoRocket team very early on, when the plan was to create a desktop application and a simple website. Eventually the product included apps for Windows, Mac and iPhone, and a website for sending, receiving, storing, viewing and purchasing prints of photos.

A largely generational split occurred early in the company between those who prioritized the desktop app and those who valued the website. The app made it easy to caption and send photos in bulk to one or more emails, but we argued that this was already pretty easy to begin with and people were getting used to broadcasting photos via Flickr, Facebook, Picasa and others.

So I petitioned for the website to be a place to view received photos in an engaging way. If we were going to focus on making it easy to sending photos privately, we couldn't forget the end goal: giving the recipient a fantastic experience. After we tried simple galleries, I suggested a photo timeline, which we tried, and later a kind of collaborative event scrapbook (including not only a photo collage but text, video, audio, comments and themes... in some senses, not unlike what Google Photos is doing now).

The product was effective and some of it was rather charming, but I think the entire time we were throwing money at a problem that was being solved by social and photo sharing sites and would soon be completely solved by Google Photos and Dropbox with their auto-upload from your mobile phone services. You can pivot all you want, but if you aren't trying to solve the right problem, you're going to fail.

Ameritocracy / The Insight App

  • Product
  • UX & UI
  • Look & Feel
  • Branding
  • Copywriting
  • HTML & CSS

The Insight App (formerly Ameritocracy, evolved into ReadrBoard) was a rather insane attempt at crowd-sourcing truthiness of public statements, that grew into a widget allowing people to respond to web content.

The Insight App website as I last touched it.

The Insight App/ Ameritocracy was a totally amazing experience for me, and so far my only experience of building a product from the ground up with only equals as partners. In 2007, my friend Porter told me he wanted to start an email newsletter that fact-checked statements made by politicians during election season. I said why not make it a user generated content site? And so began a wild journey.

I'll admit up-front that Ameritocracy was BLOATED. Crowd-sourcing the accuracy of statements made by public figures was HUGELY ambitious. Our goal was to hold politicians accountable for their words (so the basic formula is people whose statements are more often true have a higher reputation). But there's so much more than that. First you have to make sure that the speaker actually said that statement (which means you need to be able to add a source for it, and flag it as misappropriated, and then create an algorithm for when to kill it when it's been flagged by enough people).

Then you have to figured out whether it was even a relevant thing to say in the first place (Barack Obama shouldn't be getting extra points for saying "dogs are great"). So we needed two ratings, flags, ability to add sources, and then we decided to let people debate by adding for, against, and context-adding/neutral comment threads. How do you represent the votes for accuracy and relevancy? Stars, 1-10, 1-5, do you need decimal points, color-coding? How do you represent reputation? Do users also need reputation to weed out the ones that are spreading misinformation? Oh my gawd, right?

Let me tell you though. It's THE MOST FUN I'VE HAD! We got to talk to actual psychologists at Yale, pitch the product with Bobby Kennedy III at the Personal Democracy Forum (and listen to RFK talk about how it was Bobby's project afterwards, and even that was neat!), and we got to tackle so many fascinating concepts in human behavior, politics, psycholgy. It was a hoot.

In hindsight, it was way too ambitious, and I still struggle to think of a simpler version that would have had the same political impact. Going generic and turning the thing into an installable javascript widget that allowed people to respond to online content (something we called The Insight App) was a smart pivot, and a trend we began seeing around the web afterwards. In the end, this could still turn into a success story, at least for Porter who stuck with the product, rebranded as ReadrBoard, and has made significat changes since then. For me, it's just a point of pride for the effort made and experience received.


The following list details companies that I contracted with for longer periods of time and excludes many shorter-term projects.


February 2014 - September 2015
Seattle, WA

Venuelabs has two products, both of which help brick and mortar merchants see what their customers are saying about them. I worked solely on the AboutLocal product, which aggregates social media posts by geo-location rather than tag. I focused on UI, UX and front and back end development, hugely progressing in JavaScript and Ruby. In June 2015, Venuelabs was acquired by Groupon for its data, tech and design.


June 2013 – February 2014
Seattle, WA

FlexMinder aims to make the health care industry more transparent, and make it easier to understand and manage your health care spending. This is the first project I’ve worked on where I really feel like I’m making a difference in the world, and meanwhile I get to wear all of the hats with a focus on UX/UI, branding and more copywriting than I’ve ever done before.


January 2012 – May 2013 (1 year 5 months)
Seattle, WA

This is the first project where I was given total creative control and I directed successful overhauls of both Nearlyweds.com and OneWed.com, pushing OneWed past Martha Stewart Weddings as the 5th most trafficked wedding website. Unlike most startups I’ve worked for, this one is still going strong.


May 2010 – December 2011 (1 year 8 months)
Seattle, WA

I worked primarily as a UI/UX designer and front end dev on an amazing team which gave me many opportunities to make valuable contributions to product design, branding and copywriting. I’m also proud to say I invented the Facebook Timeline just months before it was released.


April 2008 – April 2010 (2 years 1 month)
Seattle, WA

Ameritocracy was a highly ambitious startup that I cofounded. Our initial goal was to crowd-source the accuracy of political statements and eventually evolved into annotating the web. My responsibilities jumped between product development, branding, UI and UX design, front end development, copywriting, and advertising design.

Ameritocracy eventually inspired ReadrBoard.


September 2006 – December 2007 (1 year 4 months)
Seattle, WA

This position vastly improved my front end and UI design skills, and gave me an early taste of product design. I worked under a handful of senior designers and developers to transform the product from a ringtone-focused site to one that made it easier to get content onto and off of mobile phones and display it online.

Sarphatie Education

September 2004 – September 2006 (2 years 1 month)
Rochester, NY

Created nearly a hundred basic (and a couple Flash-based) websites for high school seniors looking to get into ivy league colleges. Improved on a lot of my rudimentary design, HTML and CSS skills here.


Have you ever met a brilliant creative who meets deadlines, writes beautiful code, is communicative, and understands business parameters? Me neither, until I met Iris. She's one of the best." John Scrofano Entrepreneur & Ceo
Always on time, open to advice but willing to be passionate about her ideas, Iris was really great to work with and more than just saying I'd recommend her to anyone and look forward to working with her again, I'd actually like to hire her full time!" Sam Barnes Project Manager
I first hired Iris to completely redesign my website in 2009 — and she came up with a design that's been both good looking and flexible enough that it's been able to adapt to shifts like responsive layout, and still look modern 5 years later." Ariel Meadow Stallings Publisher & Author
Iris' willingness to question assumptions and challenge her team mates to not just build the project, but to build a product that users truly want to use, enjoy using, and doesn't violate their trust, puts Iris not only at the top of the list of designers I recommend, but also of the people that I most prefer to work with." Brian Finney Senior Software Engineer


Tell me a bit about your project and I'll get back to you by the next business day.