Prairie Portrait: Jeremy Harrington of Voce Communications
Name: Jeremy Harrington
Bio: Oversees experience design for industry leading web application design firm, focusing on enterprise WordPress applications for media and publishing industries.
Title: Vice President, User Experience & Design - Voce Communications, A Porter Novelli Company
Residence: Des Moines, Iowa
Intro music: "Golden Days," by The Damnwells.
Silicon Prairie News: What about the opportunity at Voce Communications drew you to join the team there?
Jeremy Harrington: An amazing clientele and very talented group delivering products at a very high level.
SPN: As the son of a sign painter, what was the most important career-related lesson you learned from your dad?
JH: Growing up I spent a lot of time helping my dad paint, tagging along on trips all over the state. I learned about typography, color, layout and balance, all things that inform and influence my work today. I also learned a lot about craftsmanship, caring about your work and following through to get the best possible result.
SPN: In your work with Advise.me, what are a couple of the most common but avoidable UX-related roadblocks you find young companies working to overcome?
JH: The biggest misstep I often see is a disconnect between visual design and experience design. It's important at the early stage not to discount the impact of great visual design. Great design can have a big influence on users as well as potential investors. As with all things it's a balance, but I've seen the benefits firsthand of making the investment on the entire spectrum of user experience.
SPN: You've presented a User Experience Flight Check at a couple different WordCamps the past few years. What's the (extremely condensed) gist of that presentation?
JH: The talk is a primer on general user experience for theme designers and developers. I also use it as an opportunity to remind that audience to design for their users and not just assume if it's in a default theme it's the only option.
SPN: You describe yourself as "fanatical" about music. How do you find the skills you've honed in your musical pursuits complement your work in design?
JH: Music has been a big part of my life for a long time. I studied extensively and learned a lot about my capabilities. Honing a craft, regardless of discipline, influences other parts of your life, especially when it's something creative. There seem to be a lot of designers that are also percussionists. I'm not sure of the connection, but there are a lot of us.
Credits: Photo courtesy of Harrington.
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