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Featured on Jul 25, 2011

Raven Keller

"I believe that robots should only have faces if they truly need them. - Donald Norman"


Currently working on usability testing for a language-learning app, mockups for a historical photo mapping site and wire frames for a Boggle app.

  • Title: User Experience and Interaction Designer
  • Age: 24
  • Location: Brooklyn
  • Contact: @ravejk

Historical photos, language education, Boggle, and a Star Trek guide - there is a lot of variety in the subjects of your work. How do you choose which projects that you’d like to work on?

I try to make things that are practical yet innovative and that incorporate my personal interests.

One of the most intriguing things on your portfolio are your sketches. Do you find it helpful to work with pencil and paper before just jumping into something on the computer? Could you describe your design process to us? What are some tips and tricks you’ve picked up along the way that help you a lot in your process?

I like sketching because it can be done quickly and lends itself to frequent changes.

My process starts with a concept and a discussion with the client or developer with whom I am working. We talk about product goals and potential use cases to clarify the scope of the project. The discussion also gives me a sense for how the product will look and act.

As we discuss the big ideas, I sketch some wireframes to compare my understanding of the product with everyone else. Everyone tends to make a lot of design suggestions, but not all of these ideas need to be turned into product features. It is my job as the designer to identify the meaning behind the suggestions and to determine if or how they will be included in the product. Nevertheless, as we talk I modify the designs to be able to show how an idea might or might not work.

I then turn the drawings into psds, get feedback from the involved parties and work with the developers throughout the project to tighten the interaction flow and test the user interface.

In your LinkedIn profile you state that you’re “passionate about creating compelling visual design.”  What designers, websites, or pieces of work do you find inspiring or refer to as a reference?

I find a lot of inspiration in people who are solving problems in other fields so I spend a lot of time reading TechCrunch and The New Yorker and listening to public radio. When I am working on a specific project, I search online for images of things that are relevant to the product that I am working on. Perhaps I remember a website that used a slider in a way that I really liked, a cooking app has a great photo display, the Finnish fashion blog that I followed in college was really funky or a food vendor from the Brooklyn flea was packaging jerky in a real interesting way. Ideas seem to come from every place.

Web Designer, User Experience Designer, Design Director