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John Boykin
John Boykin, UX Researcher

My role varies by client, but generally I do research, create site maps, user work flow and logic diagrams, & wireframes. I usually prototype only interactions that are better understood in prototype form.

Here are my roles in some notable projects.

Open all
  • Designed entirely new cart and checkout flow for future enhancement
  • Turned a very complex item setup system into a simple UI for enterprise B2B portal
  • Created cartoon storyboard to evangelize the item setup project within the company
  • Interviewed users, wrote user experience strategy, created wireframes and workflow diagrams
  • Made clickable prototype to demonstrate key functionality
  • Streamlined preference setup and checkout for Sam’s Club
Excerpts of references

… consistently came up with innovative, yet equally simple, means of interacting with the user …
… very impressed with John’s ability to quickly grasp the complexities …
… excellence in advocating for the user …
… Within the first couple of hours, it became very clear the immense value John brought to the table …
… very open, easily conversant in his explanations of User Experience and User Interfaces …

From Yvonne Kim, Product Manager, Walmart.com
“I worked with John on an extremely complex and large initiative. He consistently came up with innovative, yet equally simple, means of interacting with the user. His input and direction was always welcome by the team, including Product, Engineering, and Business stakeholders (no small feat). It was a pleasure collaborating with John and I hope to do so again!”

From Helen Morris, Product Manager, Walmart.com
“I have had the pleasure of working with John on the implementation of a new item setup process as Walmart.com. It is an extremely large, complex project with many moving parts. I have been very impressed with John’s ability to quickly grasp the complexities of the system we are trying to build, and his ability to bring high quality user experience to a business system. All too often, the user experience is neglected in business systems, but John has been diligent about understanding the end user and making sure they are represented in every decision we make. Additionally, he has introduced us to a number of new concepts around how to present mass amounts of data visually; these will allow us to truly move our vendor communication to the next level. I feel very fortunate to have had John on this project. His contributions will make a lasting impact to a critical part of our business operations for many years to come.”

From Jeff Ravetto, Product Manager, Walmart.com
“John is the hero of the user. For the rest of my career, when I think of excellence in advocating for the user, John will be among a handful of the most amazing UX experts that I’ve ever encountered that will come to mind. I’ve learned a great deal from him, and he’s really helped me to always remember that everything we build needs to be centered around the user. You can see for yourself – search for the phrase “satisfy the cat” on youtube and watch John’s user-centered design video to get a preview of what you can expect from him.”

From Gaurav Singh, Product Manager, SamsClub.com
“I first met John while working on a strategic eCommerce product. John was brought in to review and refine the interaction design created by another team. Within the first couple of hours, it became very clear the immense value John brought to the table. He quickly grasped the concept and gave practical suggestions which made the design simple and more user-friendly. John’s interaction design fundamentals are very strong and he naturally thinks from a user’s perspective. His ability to apply these principles in the given context is what makes him stand out. I strongly recommend using John’s services if you want to build a Valuable and Usable product for your customers.”

From Frank Labor, Project Manager, Cognizant (consultant at Walmart.com)
“John and I worked together at Walmart.com. I found John to be very open, easily conversant in his explanations of User Experience and User Interfaces. He had a unique outlook on the User Experience and I learned a lot from him and enjoyed working with him. As an interface architect on our project, John provided new insights and new designs that increased the usability and presentation of the User Interface. I was favorabley impressed with his designs and would enjoy working with him again.”

Prosper Marketplace
  • Planned, conducted, and analyzed both qualitative and quantitative research: interviews, usability testing (moderated and unmoderated), surveys, focus groups, server log data
  • Analyzed drop-off in borrower application process: quantifying drop-off at each step, critiquing pages to identify probable causes of drop-off, detailed recommendations for ways to improve the design to minimize drop-off
  • Summarized a year’s worth of research with investors into an executive summary called “What we know about investors”
  • Proposed a key business rule change that would make investors more successful and thus more inclined to reinvest
  • Created a set of borrower and investor personas
  • Compiled an extensive to-do list of content that investors demand, based on input from investors in multiple studies
Excerpt of reference

…great ability to deliver compelling presentations that win over stakeholders…

From Elizabeth Allen, senior UX researcher
“John was an absolute lifesaver at Prosper. John is highly experienced in just about every UX research technique that you may want to try; at Prosper, he took the lead on usability testing, surveys, interviews, persona creation, analytics, and probably a dozen other things on the side. He was able to work independently on all of these, and I knew that when I left projects to him, I was leaving them in good hands. John also has a great ability to deliver compelling presentations that win over stakeholders — at Prosper, this was key to getting major changes implemented to improve the user experience of our products.

“Working with John has been one of the highlights of my career so far; I learned a great deal from him. I recommend him to anyone who needs an expert, professional, reliable researcher to drive forward the UX research practice at their company.”

Macy’s & Bloomingdale’s (sister companies)
  • Designed system of paying credit card bill
  • Designed secure communication system
  • Planned and moderated usability tests
  • Studied call center logs and interviewed customer service reps to recommend ways to reduce phone calls
  • Through Simplicit
Blue Shield of California
  • Dozens of large and small projects as consultant, then as staff senior interaction designer
  • Redesigned system that customer service reps use
  • Designed way of showing provider quality scores
  • Planned and analyzed usability tests
  • Proposed redesign of shopping experience
  • Site maps and wireframes
  • Wrote detailed design documentation
Excerpts of references

… John brings his expertise, experience, and passion for superior design to every project.
… He advocates in the best way possible – with convincing evidence, principles, and logic behind him …
… in awe with his out of box thinking and justification for improving a user’s experience …
… He takes the time to listen to us and our business needs … John sleeps/eats/breaths user experience!
… passion for intelligent, user-centered designs, and passion for cranking out top-notch work …
… John’s talent and deep understanding of the principles of UI design are unparalleled …

From Ryan Shields, then Manager, Provider Portal
“John is a hard-working Interaction Designer committed to delivering high-quality user-centered design. He works hard to understand the user’s needs and deliver useful, useable web applications. John brings his expertise, experience, and passion for superior design to every project.”

From Dawn Nidy, Experience Design Leader at Intuit
“I had the pleasure of working alongside John as a fellow interaction designer. He is absolutely dedicated to user-centered design and will relentlessly advocate for users. He advocates in the best way possible – with convincing evidence, principles, and logic behind him, and never intimidated to say what he really believes. I was always impressed with John’s commitment to finding the best solution possible and his courage in challenging constraints and justifying his designs.”

From Carley Hightower, then Self-Service Manager
“John brings a great deal of knowledge, design expertise and thougtfulness into everything he does. In working with John on a recent project, I have constantly been in awe with his out of box thinking and justification for improving a user’s experience. There is not a day that goes by that John doesn’t invest 100% of himself into his work. He is a joy to be around and any employer would benefit from his deep understanding of user needs.”

From Mary Wilmot, then eBusiness Manager
“John has been great to work with. He takes the time to listen to us and our business needs and then he takes it to the max by adding his spin and expertise to projects. John is a passionate user experience
advocate. On each project he ensures the project team understands the importance of user experience and interaction design. I think John sleeps/eats/breaths user experience!”

From Miriam Home, then Producer, User Experience
“What I enjoy most about working with John is his passion — passion for intelligent, user-centered designs, and passion for cranking out top-notch work in a full-tilt environment. We often worked on large, cross-functional projects and his dedication to excellence always shone through. Couple this with his thoughtful and solution-oriented personality, and you can see why it is a pleasure to work with

  • IA for redesign of B2B enterprise portal
  • Member of UX team for new HP Connected Drive product, primarily on desktop and Android platforms
Excerpts of references

… recognized as a top performer by the key members of the design and engineering team …
… struck a good balance between advocating for end users and satisfying business imperatives …
… enjoyed his energy, passion and his methodical approach towards business opportunities/issues …

From Kris Hake, Director SW Strategy & Operations
“John worked for me, for ~1 yr, when I was the acting director of the consumer SW design team at HP. He was extremely fast at coming up to speed, quickly becoming the “go to” designer for advice, and influenced R&D from the beginning (4 locations across the US and 1 in China). John lead the design architecture and interaction for several projects, driving improvements and simplification of the overall user experience. He is recognized as a top performer by the key members of the design and engineering team. I would love to work with John again. I highly recommend John for any design interaction or design architecture project.”

From Raman Rao, eCommerce Solutions Strategist
“John joined HP’s B2B enterprise portal team at a critical point in our release schedule. He quickly got up to speed and became a reliable colleague we could turn to for quick, creative, well-reasoned designs. The team welcomed his varied background, particularly his B2C experience, and his writing and editing skills came in handy often. He struck a good balance between advocating for end users and satisfying business imperatives. He could make a strong case for why one option served user’s needs better than another, but he always listened to other perspectives and was quick to redesign as necessary.”

From Crystal Theophile, WW Program Manager
“I partnered with John on a high-level program and enjoyed his energy, passion and his methodical approach towards business opportunities/issues. He is an end-to-end professional and delivers the absolute best product! John always thinks about the end-user customer and is dedicated to the overall success of the project/program that he is working on. He is keen to gather all of the facts that he can in order to address a situation/business opportunity and his creativity and turn-around-times are impressive, to say the least!”

Visa International
  • Designed structure of site to put the rulebook for designing Visa cards online
  • Interviewed users, formulated detailed usability test plan
  • Site maps and schematics
  • Through Agency.com
Bank of America
  • Home page UI redesign has become a best practice in banking industry
  • Redesigned aspects of Online Banking service
  • Analyzed server log data, interviewed users, collaborated on testing prototype, conducted usability testing, created personas
  • Advised management on user-centered design
  • Usability specialist on accessibility task force
  • Site maps and wireframes
  • Through eFORCE
Excerpts of references

… redesign of bankofamerica.com’s home page has been a big hit with customers and executives alike …
… John introduced a vision for Online Banking’s direction that was both inspired and comprehensive …

From Andrew Lester, Senior Vice President
“I brought John Boykin to Bank of America as an information design and interaction design consultant from eFORCE. He proved to be a creative, versatile, and respected contributor to the User Experience team. He was always an articulate champion of users’ needs and interests. Teammates valued his judgment and expertise enough that we would often seek him out for consultation on our projects. We would often quote some ‘Boykinism’ to bolster our case when dealing with others in the bank.

“John’s interaction redesign of bankofamerica.com’s home page has been a big hit with customers and executives alike. One of our competitors has already brought out an imitation of it. John also wrote our style guide, conducted usability testing, and laid out an ambitious vision of how our Online Banking service could best satisfy users. Senior managers valued his critiques of competitors’ Web sites and his presentations on usability.

“We miss him and commend him to you. I am sure he will be as valuable a contributor to your team as he was to ours.”

From Michael Davidson, then Senior Vice President
“John Boykin and I worked together at Bank of America. We supported the Bank’s Online Banking System, developing the product to improve the customer experience and expand its penetration within our checking and credit card customer base.

“John introduced a vision for Online Banking’s direction that was both inspired and comprehensive. That vision guided the development of a robust prototype as well as a program of customer usability testing designed to ground the prototype in the customer’s experience. The prototype and testing have proved invaluable in setting product direction and achieving product improvements that have been delivered to Bank of America customers.

“John was a pleasure to work with. John’s creativity, especially with the design of the customer User Interface, his attention to the details of the customer’s experience and usage behavior and the ease at which he works with others on the team – all these conspired to mark his contribution as both unique and unparalleled. I will miss the challenge of John’s perspective and the volume of his contribution. Most of all I will miss John’s sense of humor and his good-natured style of work.”

ArtFact & AuctionZip (sister companies)
  • Redesigned AuctionZip mobile site, with clickable prototype
  • Streamlined search and bidding process
  • Overhauled information presentation for auctions and lots
  • Scripted and moderated remote usability test sessions
Excerpt of reference

… He brings a wealth of experience in the field, has multiple talents and works well within a team…

From Josh Hale, VP Product Management at Artfact
“I hired John to get Artfact/Invaluable’s UX discipline off the ground in the spring/summer of 2012, and he worked with the Artfact/AuctionZip/Invaluable team off and on from then through early 2013 as I built out a full-time staff.

“John was a pleasure to work with and a trusted guide for us as we sought to better understand our users and build new product features on our sites. He proved flexible and capable in many different UX capacities, from user research to developing wireframes and interactive prototypes.

“If you’re looking to add John as a consultant, you won’t be disappointed. He brings a wealth of experience in the field, has multiple talents and works well within a team. I enjoyed working with John and would hire him again in the future should we need help beyond our existing team. I’d be happy to speak in-depth on my experience with John should you want more details on his time with us.”

  • Redesigned Home & Home Office Security Response section of current site
  • Designed new Thought Leadership section
  • Designed microsite to promote new Norton 360 product
  • Streamlined information design of Threat Meter
  • Information architect of new specialized site for pros
  • Helped plan and analyze usability testing
  • Site maps and schematics
Mitsubishi Motors
  • Redesigned UI of car configurator, streamlining workflow significantly
  • Workflow maps and schematics
  • Through eFORCE
  • Half of team that redesigned NBC’s corporate intranet
  • Jointly interviewed dozens of users and top executives, created personas
  • Helped design structure and interaction
  • Wrote detailed design documentation
  • Through Cooper
  • Member of team that redesigned user interface for digital video camera
  • Jointly interviewed about a dozen users
  • Through Cooper
Del Monte
  • Information architect for redesign of a pet food site
  • Planned, conducted, and analyzed user interviews for two sites
  • Through Agency.com
  • Audited one section of current site and proposed high-level recommendations for how to make it more effective
  • Through Agency.com
Excerpt of reference

… Our clients have raved about the work he provided to them and his presentations …

From Katie Zimmerman, then Account Manager
“I’ve had the pleasure of working with John Boykin on Web-related projects across several clients. As the Sr. Information Architect, John was invaluable in providing comprehensive and detailed UI recommendations and schematics, as well as thorough and engaging POV documents and presentations. In addition to having an in-depth understanding of best practices and a wealth of expertise, John has innate knowledge of design that set him apart from all others within the IA team.

“Our clients have raved about the work he provided to them and his presentations; when future opportunities have arisen for project work, whether it be a POV on Web site redesign, or Microsite development, John has been requested to be on the team.

“After my first project with John, I demanded to work with him on every subsequent project where IA was required. He’s highly efficient, extremely talented and knowledgeable. Most importantly, he’s great to work with.

“We at Agency.com were sad to see him go, but we send him off with our highest recommendation.”

  • Created site map and content matrix to document status quo
  • Did heuristic audit of status quo compared with 3 other sites
  • Reviewed self-identification best practices
  • Wrote questions for consumer survey and for extensive stakeholder interviews
  • Analyzed site analytics
  • Recommended content and IA strategy
  • Through Level Studios
SelectQuote Insurance Services
  • Interviewed end users, agents, stakeholders
  • Designed and conducted usability test, wrote survey
  • Recommended strategy to redesign entire site to increase inquiries
  • Created site map, wireframes, and content matrix for new site
  • Through Agency.com
Security Service Federal Credit Union
  • Redesigned entire public site for nation’s 8th largest credit union, focusing on streamlining eligibility check and application processes for loans and credit cards
  • Created site map, content matrix, templates, clickable prototype
  • Through Extractable
Planet Metrics
  • Recommended way of showing massive amounts of information concisely in executive dashboard, which became the face of their service and key factor in purchase of the company
  • Dashboard gives their corporate clients insight into their carbon footprint
Kumho Tires USA
  • One of two information architects for site redesign
  • Site maps, schematics, and content matrix
  • Through Agency.com
  • Figured out at both macro and micro levels how to merge contents of old SmartTurn site into context of RedPrairie site after the two warehouse software companies merged
  • Through Extractable
  • Did heuristic audit of current application and relevant aspects of web site
  • Planned, conducted, and analyzed interviews/usability test, wrote survey questions
Excerpt of reference

… a wealth of excellent recommendations and solutions … wonderfully flexible and reliable …

From Darren Su, then Producer
“John Boykin helped us conduct a much-needed usability review of our video game communication software. Although John had no prior working experience with video games, he impressed us with his ability to quickly get up to speed on unfamiliar subjects. John has worked with a diverse range of clients and we were no exception..

“Not only did John carefully describe the areas for improvement with great attention to detail in his concluding report, but he also offered a wealth of excellent recommendations and possible solutions.

“John is also wonderfully flexible and reliable. When we were forced to interview a more geographically diverse group than originally planned, John came up with a brilliant and affordable solution that enabled us to conduct and record the interviews remotely.

“John is a real pleasure to work with. I hope we will have the chance to work with him again soon.”

Professional Publications, Inc.
  • Streamlined registration procedure for online engineering licensing practice exam, dramatically increasing enrollments
  • Streamlined registration process for authors to submit problems for practice exams, greatly increasing participation
Excerpt of reference

… [took our] convoluted enrollment process … and streamlined it into a thing of beauty …

From Barbara Kendrick, Marketing Manager, Professional Publications, Inc.
“I want to thank you for the fine work you have done to improve the information presentation and interaction design of our online product, the Exam Café. You have managed to take the convoluted enrollment process, which we knew was off-putting to potential customers, and streamlined it into a thing of beauty. You completed the project on time, and the publication you prepared outlining recommended changes was clear and usefully detailed. Our programmers found your suggestions easy-to-follow and implement. We truly appreciate the high quality of the work you have performed for us. Next, I’d like to turn you loose on our entire web site!”

SCAN Health Plan
  • Did detailed heuristic audit of proposed site’s user experience, with specific recommendations
  • Through Extractable
  • Creative lead on a project to add a new piece of functionality and make a new kind of information available in the secure area of www.janus.com
  • Through eFORCE
User-centered design video “Satisfy the Cat” (3 minutes)
User-centered design video (3 minutes)