Laura Faulkner, PhD
Director/Lead of User Experience Design & Research
Education & Experience
20 years in user experience Doctorate in human-computer interaction psychology.
Leadership, product strategy, organization strategy, research, design, for customers in enterprise, consumer, technical, and scientific products
Platforms and channels including enterprise applications, desktop, mobile, web, along with consultations in hardware, packaging, and marketing.
Domains including consumer services, financial services, banking, insurance, professional development, instruction and assessment, defense, and semi-conductor
Built design team to commercialize an agency-created R&D concept, taking it from beta to over one million sales in 18 months.
Instituted design studios in collaboration with scientists, authors, product managers, and engineers, delivering technology solutions in a business that had been paper-based for more than 80 years.
Convinced leadership to invest an additional $60,000 in project that transformed it from something that would have had long-term legacy costs into a reusable application and team capability set that saved of $200,000 of effort over the following year.
Saved a customer $180,000 per year in personnel time by identifying a 30-minute software fix by applying user experience evaluation.
Turned around project that was 60% over budget and 150% over time to regular on-time, in-budget deliveries. Tripled follow-on funding.
Established first user experience program in the 70-year history of a defense technology development organization
Authored seminal study and paper, “Beyond the 5-User Assumption”
Chaired and redesigned international professional user experience conference and received international user experience / usability service award
Chaired and served as Instructor in the Software Project Management Certification program, Center for Lifelong Engineering Education, The University of Texas at Austin
Won “best use of technology” as a team lead in an international hackathon
Director of UX Design / UX Team Lead
2013 - present
Pearson Clinical Assessment – Established the UX capability, team, and practices from the ground-up, as well as performing hands-on team management, HR, and design and research.
Precision psychological measurement products, to serve in the diagnosis, intervention, and monitoring of abilities from cognition to speech to motor and others.
Leading a team of interaction designers, visual designers, and UX researchers, practicing in an agile environment, delivering diverse solutions across enterprise, desktop, and mobile applications.
Leadership and hands-on work from concept to creation and production-ready delivery ground-breaking software that is elegant and easy to use on the surface, and complex and powerful underneath.
User Experience Practitioner / Strategist / Consultant
2000 - present
FalconDay Consulting – Lifecycle product management consulting and production for industry and defense, including: strategic planning, market effectiveness, user experience design and usability, joint application development, and program development
Success example: Strategic design of a data portal boosted adoption and usage by approximately 70%. User experience design inputs that increased satisfaction ratings from 30% to 90%.
Representative Products & Customers: Hardware and smart technology device for U.S. Navy. Human-computer interaction, evaluation, and design inputs for USAA (see below), Dell, Metrowerks, National Security Systems Plus, Inc., and multiple small businesses in consumer products and services.
User Experience Practitioner & Project Lead
2009 - present
USAA – Market Research & Competitive Intelligence Division. Qualitative test and evaluation with Members, prospects, and employees; experience design of websites, mobile apps, and business concepts
Significant contributions: UX lifecycle concept and design inputs, user test design, execution, and reporting, and agile team partnering and shepherding through UX process from paper prototype through market release and beyond. Design inputs, user testing, and refinements to more than 140 products and services to increase conversions to sales and customer relationship deepening through improvement of global web presence, mobile, and iPad applications; redesigned internal feedback tool resulting in increased adoption by service representatives; strategic direction for programs including Wealth Management portal. High rate of performance: 140+ projects compared to group average of 50 projects per person.
Project Lead / UX Lead / Research Scientist
2008 - 2010
Center for Agile Technology, The University of Texas at Austin – Lifecycle product management, user experience research, software/web/training product design, project management
Significant contributions: Lead project team and multiple stakeholders in design and implementation of instructional design, evaluation, and courseware applying the Virtual Simulated Learning Platform. Designed instructional approach, assessment, wireframes, and performed visual and interaction design. Lead and performed user experience research for a portal to increase adoption of open source technologies by providing decision-support for government staff and leadership.
Representative Products & Customers: Homeland Open Security Technology (HOST) Portal for Department of Homeland Security; Army Interoperability Test Personnel Certification and Training for US Army Central Technical Support Facility; Virtual Platoon Leadership Skills Course and Evaluation. US Army Fires Center of Excellence, Ft. Sill
Senior Product Manager / UX Lead / Data Modeling Lead
AWARE Software, Inc. – Senior product manager, user experience lead, data modeling team manager
Significant contributions: Full lifecycle product management and user experience, from concept to ethnography to personas to sketches to wireframes to brand identity to training. Envisioned and designed executive decision-support dashboard. Developed and drove process improvement in data modeling effort. Transformed individuals to organized and professionally satisfied team; introduced product innovations and marketing messages
Representative Products & Customers: Data modeling, multi-level software suite. Spansion Semiconductor / Advanced Micro Devices Semiconductor, Texas, California, and Japan; US Army Operational Test Command
Program Manager / Product Manager / Research Scientist / UX Lead
Applied Research Laboratories, The University of Texas at Austin
2004 – 2007: Program management for software development and technical leadership programs for defense, industry, and non-profits
Significant contributions: Transformed overdue/over-budget software/hardware development program to wholly in-budget, on-time delivery, and three follow-on contracts. Designed and implemented a facilitation program across international joint forces defense intelligence organizations. Conceived and designed pre-release assessment methods for instrumentation and software systems, and lead diverse technical team to development and delivery of instructional program.
Representative Products & Customers: Software Evaluation for Army Systems Personnel, and Electromagnetic Physics and Principles for Army Evaluators – Technical and Evaluation Training for U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command; Simulated Test Environment (STE) Script Development and Data Analysis Tool Implementation, U.S. Naval Air Command (NAVAIR); field studies in Counter-IED human search and identification for the Joint Improved Explosive Devices Defense Organization (JEIDDO); Training in Facilitation and Communities of Practice and Knowledge (CKAP)Member’s Portable Reference Guide
Project Lead / UX Lead / Research Scientist Associate
1999-2004: User experience evaluation, test, and design for defense, industry, and non-profits; qualitative and quantitative methods research and development
Significant contributions: Established first usability and human sciences group in the 70-year history of the organization. Introduced UX design and development processes across multiple programs. Extensive field studies with schools, libraries, and public health clinics regarding technology use and resource sharing. Field studies with U.S. Army data analysts at combat maneuver training centers, and user experience research and evaluation toward simplified interaction design of comprehensive data presentation and analysis system. Designed and managed to delivery large-scale quantitative technology study for Texas Legislative decision support. Introduced user-centered approaches into major software deployments
Representative Products & Customers: Army Battle Command System-Integrated (ABSCI) for U.S. Army PEO Strategic Instrumentation Command (PEO-STRI). Training and skills assessment development in technical systems evaluation. Measuring TIF: A Summary of the Impact of the Telecommunications Infrastructure Fund on School Technology in Texas, delivered to Texas State Legislature with the Rio Grande Institute.
User Experience Specialist / Technical Writer & Editor
1996-1999: Technical writing, editing, and publishing of software process documentation, user documentation and help systems, and usability evaluation, test, and experience design for defense, industry, and non-profits
Significant contributions: Performed first user experience field studies and introduced usability design and development concepts. Core contributions to successful CMMI assessment, making the critical organization shift from Level 1 to Level 2. Introduced and designed first commercial-grade user publications in organizational history
Representative Products & Customers: Fire Support Automated Test System (FSATS) for U.S. Army Fire Support Test Center, Ft. Sill. System User Manual, Simulated Theater of War (STOW), U.S. Joint Forces
Ph.D. Psychology, Human-Computer Interaction
The University of Texas at Austin
Experimental psychology, human factors, and human-computer interaction (minor, Statistics)
Process Management Certification
The University of Texas at Austin
Enterprise business processes, process mapping, project roadmaps, cross-functional organizational development, implementation strategy, process improvement
M.A., Psychology, Human-Computer Interaction
The University of Texas at Austin
Human-computer interaction, human observation and research methods (minor, Information Sciences)
University of Houston-Clear Lake
Human observation and research methods (double-minor, Human Sciences & Biology)
Additional Professional Experience & Assets
Instructor, Software Project Management Certification Program, Software Quality Institute, and Engineering Management Certification Program, The University of Texas at Austin
Keynote address, World Usability Day 2011, Scottsdale, Arizona, invited and hosted by Paypal
Closing plenary address for Southwest Research Marketing Association 2012
Invited, and peer-reviewed addresses in 2012 for International Eye-Tracking Conference, User Experience Professionals Association-International, and Agile Working Group of USAA, including, “Using UX to Lead Leaders” and “Rapid Prototyping & Test in Agile Sprints”
Awarded International Usability Service Award , User Experience Professionals Association-International, 2012
Author of user experience research study and journal article, “Beyond the 5-User Assumption,” selected as Human Factors International Best Paper of the Year
(multiple other publications and presentations available upon request)
User Experience Professionals’ Association-International, conference committee, 2007-2011, including global conference redesign and implementation as Chair/Co-Chair
Chair, Software Project Management Certification Program, Center for Lifelong Engineering Education, 2008.
Professor (Adjunct), Psychology, Concordia University, Austin, Texas
Multiple security clearances
Multiple security clearances