From 2011-2014, I worked as a designer, developer, and design manager at Inking, a prominent technology company focused on making interactive educational content. The company started off by producing bespoke interactive titles (Inkling Books) but later pivoted to become a full-scale authoring platform (Inkling Habitat).
In my initial role, I worked with small teams to design and develop interactive educational content. Prominent titles I worked on include Modernist Cuisine, Megg’s History of Graphic Design, and Campbell’s Biology. As the company shifted its direction, my role shifted from designing individual titles to designing for content creation. I designed and prototyped features for the authoring platform, created scalable design systems, and managed a team of designers and developers to bring entire libraries of publisher content into our system.
Interactive Content Design
My role as a content designer was to bring printed titles to life in their digital counterpart. I established type hierarchies, color systems, flexible grid frameworks, and consistent content design patterns. I also designed interactive content widgets that provided relevant functionality such as weather widgets in travel books or shopping list widgets in cookbooks.
UI/UX Design and Prototyping
As my role shifted from designing content to designing for content creation, I helped to design and prototype tools and features that helped content creators throughout the publishing process. Many of the tools were focused on helping editors to proof interactive content such as links, inline glossary terms, slideshows, and guided tours. I also created tools to help developers write cleaner CSS and Sass.
As major publishing partners such as Lonely Planet, O’Reilly Media, and Elsevier signed on to use our platform, it became important to create flexible design systems for each partner’s brand. This required us to work with their print designers and audit their print libraries to create robust digital design systems they could use across their titles (and stay up to date as they continued to release edition updates). This required us to push HTML and Sass to their limits in the day and produce rigorous documentation of our systems so they could be used properly by dozens of other designers and developers.
Design Team Management
During the latter part of my career at Inkling, I managed a team of six designer / developers in San Francisco and oversaw an equivalent team of designer / developers in New Delhi. I led the management of our team OKRs, oversaw team performance reviews and career growth, and collaborated with other company leaders to ensure alignment.