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Hello! I'm glad you're here.

I'm Emma & this is a bit about me.



My name is Emma and I'm a product designer with contagious enthusiasm who uses design thinking to meet business objectives. I enjoy creating designs that use empathy and compassion to tap into deeper emotions, aspirations, and human behaviors. I'm based out of Brooklyn, NY, and am currently designing at Sprout Social, the leading platform for social media management. Prior to Sprout Social I was the founding designer at Abound, an online two-sided marketplace that helps indie brands and retailers grow their business.


I believe that creating a great product only happens when there is close collaboration across teams; teamwork makes the dream work and teamwork makes successful product. I'm a hard worker, an active listener, and am driven toward continuous learning and self-improvement.

I came to design over 5 years ago with a background in psychology, product management, and sales. My background in psychology informs a capacity to anticipate user behaviors. My experience as a product manager allows me to always have ROI in the back of my mind as I craft my designs. And my proficiency in sales enhances my ability to step into the shoes of users to figure out their needs.


If you're interested in learning more about me, you can read the full story about my journey to design below.

My Story


The Formative Years

I have always had a soft spot for a challenge. Growing up, I played the violin, acted, was on a competitive gymnastics team, swim team, and horseback riding team (it was a trend in the eighties to schedule children from sunup to sundown). I ultimately chose to pursue swimming more seriously, which meant, that when I wasn’t in school, I was training. Small in stature, I always had to work harder to compete.

Swimming may not be considered a team sport, but my favorite part was the camaraderie and I always swam my best times during relay races.

My swimming “career” came to an end in 9th grade when, at a Junior Olympics swim meet, my coach sternly reprimanded me for taking a competitor out for a carbo-loading pasta dinner the night before. The thought of not being able to have the freedom to fully be me — the me that wanted to befriend my competition — didn’t feel right.

During High School my creative side found an outlet by taking clothes I had purchased at The Salvation Army, ripping them apart and transforming them into creations my peers desired. While most of my peers bought high-end dresses for prom, I altered an oversized garment into a form-fitting dress and bedazzled it with Swarovski crystals.

I always found satisfaction in taking something that was easily overlooked by others and turning it into a something that others desired. I always saw the possibility in things, even when not in plain sight.


The Case Planner Years

During College, I worked at a men’s youth detention facility, in a hospital with children who were HIV positive, and at a local high school where, under supervision, I counseled a group of four teenagers monthly. Graduating with a degree in psychology, I applied for Case Planner positions and consciously accepted the most challenging offer I received: working with extraordinary needs young men aged 18-21 in a foster care group home. The youth I worked with were, rightfully, distrustful and overwhelmed with emotions that they could not put into words. It took time, but “my kids” came to trust and respect me. I credit this to my willingness to listen and to intuit their needs as best I could. I tried hard not to lump them all into one bucket or apply a one-size fits all approach, but to tailor individual approaches for each.


The Product Manager Years

In my third year as a Case Planner, I began working on a website in my free time that provided women with the tools and information they needed to have a healthy pregnancy. The site was called babyMed and at the time that I started working on it, it was built purely with HTML and had very little structure.

Not having any personal experience with pregnancy, I spent hours googling blogs written by women who were pregnant or struggling to become pregnant. I looked for their pain points and the language they used. I then googled the top pregnancy sites and studied how they structured their content. Unknowingly, this was my first foray into UX research. I used my acquired insights and edited a lot of content. Every edit I made was user-focused. And then Google came out with Panda, their first (really) user-centered algorithm update. We flourished. Pageviews climbed, users increased, revenue improved and I, now, had a new full-time job.

Six years later the time came for me to move on, and my next opportunity was as one of the first hires at a co-working space.


The Community Manager & Director of Sales Years

As with most positions at an early-stage startup, my role was relatively amorphous. I jumped in feet first. I loved applying people’s stories to best position the product to meet their needs and, after a year, I transitioned to become the Director of Sales. But after several months in that position, I began to feel somewhat deflated. No longer a 20-something I had a difficult moment of self-reflection. Was this where I saw myself for the long haul? The answer was no. I missed being able to utilize my creative side and having the opportunity to brainstorm ideas with a team. I missed the communication, experimentation, and excitement involved in getting to the end of a project.


The Career Change to Product Design

I did an intake of my past experiences. What had I enjoyed the most? The least? Where had my strengths shone? I referenced an aptitude test I took post-college where I scored exceptionally high in all areas of idea generation, inductive reasoning and anything that required the capacity to be aesthetically discerning. I recalled the time I spent working with a design team when overseeing a redesign for babyMed and how much I enjoyed the entire process. I researched design roles. The more I learned about UX/UI, the more energizing I found it. I enrolled in a bootcamp course and realized I loved the work — this was where I belonged.

The windy road I took to get here has enabled me to gather the experiences and skills that make me a stronger designer. And I wouldn’t change a thing. My background in psychology, combined with my work experience, informs a capacity to anticipate user behaviors. The experience of growing a business from nothing allows me to always have ROI in the back of my mind as I design. And my proficiency in sales, enhances my ability to step into the shoes of my users to figure out their needs. Product design is where I was always meant to be, and I'm so glad to be here!

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