KAREN LOUISE ALLEN
Dedicated communications expert with more than 10 years of experience delivering targeted messaging to multiple audiences — from executive presentations to benefit summaries for production employees. Forms of media include the Internet, print, video, PowerPoint decks and live events. Vehicles include digital and print newsletters, email, traditional marketing collateral (flyers, brochures, banners) and video.
TOP TECHNICAL SKILLS
User Interface Designer, Thermo Scientific, 2015–2016
Built modern web interface to operate and monitor the status of a benchtop nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrometer.
- Produced interactive prototype built in HTML/CSS/JS with Bootstrap framework under an extremely aggressive deadline
- Created two visual design themes, one light and one dark, for best user experience in lab environments where ambient lighting can vary from very bright to very dim while working within strict branding and palette guidelines
- Developed two distinct UI workflows for two different types of users—one for chemists who need a fast, simple way to submit samples and get access to data, and one for more experienced spectroscopists who need more options to customize their experiments
User Interface Designer, Agilent Technologies, 2008–2013
User interface specialist and visual designer for legacy desktop software built on Java/C++/XML.
- Defined product's visual design direction and established a brand-friendly color palette and style guide
- Created wireframes (Balsamiq), static prototypes (Illustrator/Photoshop) and interactive prototypes (HTML/CSS/Axure) to explore the viability of proposed UI features
- Worked with stakeholders to define UI requirements and develop implementation plans
- Designed UI for web application for real-time monitoring of instrument status, featuring an adaptive layout and responsive design
- Edited XML pages for style and layout, and to improve UI cohesiveness and consistency (Vim/Emacs/gedit)
- Redesigned templates for printing/plotting of data and calibration reports (HTML/CSS/ wkhtmltopdf/XML)
- Designed help overlay to visually guide a novice user through the most optimal workflow for successfully interacting with the software (Illustrator)
- Devised new toolbar paradigm for improved user experience when interacting with data
- Developed new, intuitive icon set featuring more than 200 unique designs (Illustrator)
- Participated in customer site visits to determine usability, satisfaction and unmet needs
Lead user interface designer and visual designer for ground-up release of scientific instrument software built on the .NET Framework.
- Worked with engineers, product managers and end users to determine requirements and optimal workflows
- Created paper, static and interactive prototypes, wireframes and mock-ups to translate concepts into workable design solutions
- Designed several information dashboard widgets for displaying instrument performance data at a glance
- Successfully worked with software developers to translate UI specifications and mock-ups into working software
- Tested usability of software with end users, rated effectiveness and implemented improvements where necessary
Graphic Designer, Varian Inc., 2006–2008
Created new user interface icon set for next-generation nuclear magnetic resonance processing and analysis software.
- Successfully created more than 100 custom icons in a Windows XP environment depicting a wide range of advanced scientific concepts while working collaboratively with R&D
- Icon set was well-received by both the software development team and end users, and increased overall user satisfaction of the product based on marketing research
Web Design and Development—Freelance, 2006–2008
Created business identities and a web presence for several small businesses. Services included layout, user interface design, consulting on hosting options, hand coding and publishing. Clients included Semtronix, Inc., Hwanhee Kim Design, LLC, and Everlasting Moments Photography. Technologies developed included:
- Online product catalogs
- E-commerce storefront incorporating third-party shopping cart software and PayPal Website Payments Standard
- Photography galleries and integration of third-party photo proofing tool
Senior Communications Specialist, Guidant Corporation, 2004–2006
Graphic designer and writer for employee communications, including posters, banners, flyers, email graphics, web banner ads, Flash movies and event signage.
- Collaborated with developers and IT representatives to launch new online newsletter and intranet site
- Worked with executive staff to produce compelling PowerPoint presentations for employee meetings and public relations events
- Analyzed audience needs and developed a new cost-effective communication strategy to service the needs of more than 6,000 administrative and manufacturing employees at more than five locations
- Editor, content manager and writer for daily employee online newsletter
- Wrote and edited a quarterly employee print newsletter
- Scriptwriter for patient awareness videos
- Wrote feature stories and patient profiles for corporate website, annual reports and internal newsletters
Graphic Designer, Microsoft Corporation, 1999–2002
Designed and wrote retail training and sales materials for print and web promotions, including sell sheets, web banner ads, email and direct mail marketing campaigns, point of sale signage, retailer newsletters and product brochures.
- Lead in-house designer on promotional materials, booth graphics and advertising for leading national trade shows including CES, Digital Hollywood and NATPE
- Conceptualized and spearheaded the creation of a self-service assets procurement website; saved department time and money by allowing retail partners and the media to easily download logos and product beauty shots for circulars, advertising and editorial use
- Developed usage guidelines and enforced the business unit brand identity, including producing and publishing print and web versions of brand identity guidelines
University of California, Davis
Bachelor of Arts in English with emphasis in creative writing, high honors
University of California, Santa Cruz
Continuing education courses in graphic design and multimedia design