Who We Are

A passionate crew.

Experienced UX professionals seeking to deeply understand and help create the intersection of people and their world. Also interested in wearing costumes. And eating snacks.

The EchoUser Team

Mick McGee's Photo

Mick McGee

CEO & Co-founder

Mick McGee

CEO & Co-founder

Elsewhere

Crafting & optimizing user experience to the best it can be for anybody in any experience... easy, right? Done by Tuesday. Or, I'll have fun with EchoUser striving for that lofty goal as long as I possibly can. Great ride so far, can't wait to see where we go next!

Education

  • Ph.D., Industrial and Systems Engineering, Virginia Tech
  • B.S., Engineering Psychology, U. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Past Experience

  • SAP, Principal User Researcher
  • Oracle, Senior Usability Engineer Computing Devices Canada, Human Factors Engineer

Favorite Color

GreenBlue

Desert Island List

Sunglasses, a hammock, 1 chai tea, 2 Blue Moons, and 3 fish tacos

Hidden Talent

Almost had a laser implanted into my pinky. That would have been amazing. Alas, it remains an imaginary laser.

Aaron Rich's Photo

Aaron Rich

COO & Co-founder

Aaron Rich

COO & Co-founder

Elsewhere

Great design starts with the users. Great user research starts with adapting, tweaking and inventing new methods to understand people in the context of their environment. As the co-founder and COO of EchoUser, I love making this a reality at EchoUser and I'm constantly invigorated by helping companies design their next innovations.

Education

  • Masters, Human Factors, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
  • B.S., Engineering Psychology, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Past Experience

  • Senior Usability Analyst, Salesforce.com
  • Senior Usability Engineer, Oracle
  • Human Factors, US West Advanced Technologies/Qwest

Favorite Color

Orange

Desert Island List

Hat, water bottle, tarp, iPad with solar charger and 500 preloaded books.

Vel Prakhantree's Photo

Vel Prakhantree

Senior Director, Experience Head of Research

Vel Prakhantree

Senior Director, Experience Head of Research

Elsewhere

With a foundation in human factors, and a quick eye for identifying design pitfalls, Vel has been untangling and re-imagining Bay Area tech since 2001. Her straight-shooting, transparent approach to leading talent and projects produces highly confident, consumable outcomes. Outside work, Vel enjoys being outdoors as much as possible, as well as karaoke nights and UFC.

Education

  • M.A, Human Factors Psychology, University of South Dakota
  • B.A., Cognitive Psychology, Butler University

Past Experience

  • 2010-present Experience Director, Echouser
  • 2008-2010 UX Manager, Oracle Fusion Procurement Suite, Oracle
  • 2007-2008 Pr. Project Lead, New Interactions, Oracle
  • 2001-2007 Usability Engineer (Staff > Sr. > Princip.), Oracle

Favorite Color

Hot, Sunny Orange

Desert Island List

The Minions Sensible Shoes Espresso Beans

Rally Pagulayan's Photo

Rally Pagulayan

Senior Director, Design

Rally Pagulayan

Senior Director, Design

Elsewhere

Rally has quite the varied background - he's a designer with an engineering background, an American and a Canadian, and a fan of both dogs AND cats. He found his niche in user experience design where he gets to study people and then design things that will make their experiences as amazing as possible.

Education

  • 1991-1993 MS, Industrial & Systems Engineering, Human Factors Concentration, Virginia Tech
  • 1987-1991 BS, Industrial & Systems Engineering, Virginia Tech

Past Experience

  • 2000-2012 Usability and User Interface Design, Oracle
  • 2000-2003 Visiting Lecturer, Tufts University
  • 1993-2000 Human Factors Engineer, General Dynamics Canada

Favorite Color

Blue, like in Moraine Lake. And orange.

Desert Island List

Coffee, an iPad, my greyhounds, ice, skates, hockey stick and a puck. And thin crust pizza from the East coast.

Laura Chang's Photo

Laura Chang

Director, EchoUser East

Laura Chang

Director, EchoUser East

Elsewhere

As a kid, Laura always loved both problem solving and dreaming big. Over time she realized that a career in design would allow her to do just that, all day long! Laura spent nearly a decade in the SF Bay Area before moving back to her beloved hometown, Washington, DC, in 2014 to head up the new EchoUser East.

Education

  • 2005-2009 BS, Product Design, Stanford University

Past Experience

  • 2010-2013 Operations, Google
  • 2009 Design Intern, T-Mobile, Berlin
  • 2008 Design Intern, Nokia Research Center, Beijing

Favorite Color

Coral

Desert Island List

Coffee, ice cream, podcasts

Patrick Stern's Photo

Patrick Stern

Director of Business Development

Patrick Stern

Director of Business Development

Elsewhere

Director of Business Development @EchoUser, from Hawaii, ocean devotee and avid backpacker.

Education

University of Hawaii at Manoa, BA in Psychology

Past Experience

Ran a small development and creative team, worked with various startups in consumer and B2B tech, and worked for Apple retail.

Favorite Color

Forest Green

Desert Island List

Coconut water, yoga matt, Kindle...

Calvin Tchiang's Photo

Calvin Tchiang

Director of Sales and Marketing

Calvin Tchiang

Director of Sales and Marketing

Elsewhere

Sales and Generalist Entrepreneur with a passion for growth, team and happy customers. Tech and Life Sciences background. Two commercialization deals startup-US public corporation. Startup and Corporate experience. Lived in China. To thine own self be true.

Education

  • 1999 - 2003 UCLA, BA/BA History/Asian American Studies
  • 2003 - 2005 UCLA, MA Asian American Studies

Past Experience

  • 2011-2016 Director of Business Development, SIDIS Corporation (Life Sciences Investment Startup)
  • 2010-2008 Legal Liaison, International Finance Corporation (World Bank Group)
  • 2008 - 2006 Associate, Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide
  • 2005 - 2006 Government Relations Specialist, IBM

Favorite Color

Deep Blue

Desert Island List

Espresso, Family, Johnny Weissmuller biographies, ee cummings, David Mccullough, David Simon, Larry David, Tim Keller, Godfather I and II, Glengarry Glen Ross and Mindspace.

Hidden Talent

Humor (not hidden).

Jessica Ng's Photo

Jessica Ng

Program Manager

Jessica Ng

Program Manager

Elsewhere

I'm a yogini & a coffee geek who loves clean lines of action & nutty aromas. Coming from a market research background, I'm steeped in advertising effectiveness & new product innovations - now honing in on the user, facilitating meaningful & memorable experiences.

Education

  • 2005-2009 BA, Sociology/Political Science, University of California, Los Angeles

Past Experience

  • 2013-2015 Account Manager/Research Analyst, Millward Brown Digital
  • 2013-2013 Account Manager, Social Tribe
  • 2010-2012 Project Developer, Nielsen
  • 2009-2010 Assurance Associate, BDO Seidman

Favorite Color

GOLD, Seafoam Green, Red-Orange

Desert Island List

Yoga Mat + all my yoga books, Guitar, Tarp, Knife, my best friends, chimes + singing bowls, coffee beans

Hidden Talent

I can eat more chips than you.

Lily Yichoy's Photo

Lily Yichoy

Operations Administrator

Lily Yichoy

Operations Administrator

Elsewhere

With a background in operations, human resources, event planning, and customer service, Lily can tackle pretty much anything thrown her way. She thrives off keeping the office organized, building a strong company culture, ensuring employees and clients are satisfied, and has a passion for planning events.

Education

  • 2003-2007 B.S. Business Administration, Sonoma State University

Past Experience

  • 2015-2015 Office Manager & HR Coordinator, Blue Shell Games LLC.
  • 2010-2015 Assistant Operations Manager, Enovity Inc. -2007-2010 Executive Team Leader, Target Corp.

Favorite Color

Any shade of pink

Desert Island List

Endless supply of Round Table Pizza, my running shoes, and a device to log onto Pinterest

Hidden Talent

Turn anyone's frown upside down :)

Teresa Hu's Photo

Teresa Hu

User Experience Engineer

Teresa Hu

User Experience Engineer

Elsewhere

Teresa is a web developer with a passion for user experience design and social justice. Originally from the east coast, Teresa recently moved to San Francisco to join the EchoUser team. She fell in love with computing 12 years ago and has been cultivating her skills ever since. When she’s not coding, you can find Teresa exploring the city with her dog Pico, trying new restaurants, or planning her next travel adventure.

Education

  • 2009-2015 B.S. Computer Science, Georgia Institute of Technology

Past Experience

  • 2013-2014 Software Developer Intern, Ericsson
  • 2013-2013 Program Manager Intern, Microsoft
  • 2011-2013 Website Manager, FindSpark
  • 2012-2012 Software Engineering Intern, Cisco Systems

Favorite Color

Gray

Desert Island List

Matches, portable water filter, my pup, citronella oil

Hidden Talent

Hula hooping for hours

Navarre Joseph's Photo

Navarre Joseph

Principal Experience Designer

Navarre Joseph

Principal Experience Designer

Elsewhere

Systems-loving UX generalist with a passion for difficult problems. With an admitted bias towards visual design, my heroes are Santiago Calatrava, Dieter Rams, and David Fincher. And when I'm not thinking about design, I'm thinking about how to make my kids laugh.

Education

  • 1990 – 1993 Ithaca College, BS Cinema & Photography

Past Experience

  • 2014 – 2016 Interaction designer, Adecco at Google
  • 2013 – 2014 UX designer, Western Digital
  • 2012 – 2013 Senior visual designer, Outbid
  • 2010 – 2012 UX designer, Made Of Pixels
  • 2004 – 2012 Founder, Ribbit Films
  • 2002 – 2004 Director, Getty Images

Favorite Color

#FF8D00

Desert Island List

A fully stocked yacht to get me off that island as fast as possible. On that yacht would be all seasons of Game Of Thrones, coffee, chicken tikka masala, dulce de leche ice cream, all my design books, a case of 2013 Stag's Leap Cask 23, my Global knives, and avocados.

Hidden Talent

Can swat any fly in one shot.

Amelia Altavena's Photo

Amelia Altavena

Senior Experience Designer, EchoUser Rockies Lead

Amelia Altavena

Senior Experience Designer, EchoUser Rockies Lead

Elsewhere

Hailing from Michigan, Amelia is a storyteller with a fervor to engage users on all levels from emotional to functional. Outside of work, she is a devoted outdoorswoman and maker of things.

Education

  • 2004-2008 BFA, Bachelor of Fine Art, Industrial Design, Rhode Island School of Design

Past Experience

  • 2014-2014 Designer-in-residence, General Assembly
  • 2008-2010 Junior Exhibit Designer, West Office Exhibition Design
  • 2011-2012 Exhibit Designer, Gallagher and Associates
  • 2012 Industrial Designer, Eight Inc.

Favorite Color

Pantone 292

Desert Island List

A knife and a mutt who can sing the entirety of Fleetwood Mac's "Rumors" album

Hidden Talent

Hunting animals and turning them into tasty food, drawing comics, memorizing song lyrics

Yi-Ying Lin's Photo

Yi-Ying Lin

Senior Experience Designer

Yi-Ying Lin

Senior Experience Designer

Elsewhere

With a background in Journalism and a masters in Human-Computer Interaction, Yi-Ying always has a passion for people and a genuine curiosity about the world around her. Yi-Ying believes design thinking can be applied to a variety of disciplines and is hoping to use her design skills to solve complex social problems in the future.

Education

  • 2010-2012 MS in Information Science, with emphasis in Human Computer Interaction, University of Michigan in Ann Arbor
  • 2004-2008 BA in Journalism, with emphasis in Network and Multimedia, National Chengchi University in Taipei, Taiwan

Past Experience

  • 2015-Current Senior Experience Designer, EchoUser
  • 2014-2015 Senior Experience Designer, ThroughTek
  • 2014 Design Contractor, EchoUser
  • 2013-2014 Experience Designer, TenMarks Education
  • 2012-2013 Design Contractor, Oracle

Favorite Color

Blue

Desert Island List

MacBook, Notebook, Pen, Coffee, Sunglasses, Chocolate, Beer, Lotion

Hidden Talent

I am finding them.

Laura Mattis's Photo

Laura Mattis

Senior Experience Designer

Laura Mattis

Senior Experience Designer

Elsewhere

Trained in service design, Laura is comfortable designing for complex industries and big systems. Originally from the DC area, Laura has 10+ years of design experience. She's designed human-centered experiences in food services, retail, healthcare, financial services and more. Laura misses the heat of the DC summer, but doesn't miss the Chicago winters. With a scarf in hand, Laura gets outside volunteering at the SF SPCA with dogs and exploring the bay area by foot.

Education

  • 2012-2014 MDes, Master of Design in Service Design and Design Strategy, IIT Institute of Design
  • 2003-2006 BA, Bachelors of Arts in Graphic Design, University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC)
  • 2003-2006 BA, Bachelors of Arts in English Writing and Communications, University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC)

Past Experience

  • 2013 Experience Design Intern, Concept & Design, McDonald's Corporation
  • 2012-2013 Freelance Graphic Designer, IIT Institute of Design
  • 2011-2012 Online Editor, Callahan & Associates, Inc.
  • 2010-2011 Graphic Designer, Callahan & Associates, Inc.
  • 2008-2010 Design Associate, The Forum for Youth Investment
  • 2007 Design Services Intern, Edelman

Favorite Color

All of them!

Desert Island List

Tomato plants can that can survive anything; water filter; a crate of yarn and two pairs of knitting needles; my stack of unread issues of WIRED and Vogue.

Hidden Talent

Animal whisperer.

Virgilio Leynes's Photo

Virgilio Leynes

Experience Designer

Virgilio Leynes

Experience Designer

Elsewhere

Born in Manila, Philippines but raised throughout the world, as a “Third Culture Kid”, Virg has a unique outlook on the world. He tries to create connections amongst things and with a varied background in marketing, front-end web development, graphic design and UX strategy, it clearly shows in his work. A graduate of Academy of Art University’s Web Design and New Media program, he has worked with a gamut of different companies ranging from banking, insurance, interior design, startups and IT. Virg is always looking for ways to simplify complexity and beautify the mundane.

Education

  • 2009-2012 BA, Web Design and New Media, Academy of Art University
  • 2007-2009 BA, Double Major in Marketing and Graphic Design, University of San Francisco

Past Experience

  • 2015-2016 UX Design Instructor and NXT Level Academy
  • 2014-2015 Visual and Experience Designer at Cisco WebEx
  • 2012-2014 UX Designer at Awasu Design working with Wells Fargo, Citibank and Ancestry.com

Favorite Color

Pantone 18-1438 (Marsala), Pantone 14-0848 TCX (Mimosa)

Desert Island List

Knife, Water Bottle, Flint Stone, Rope…..Wilson

Hidden Talent

Can haggle and order food in 8 languages

Lilian Qian's Photo

Lilian Qian

Experience Designer

Lilian Qian

Experience Designer

Elsewhere

With a combined background of digital media design and game art, Lilian is not only passionate about creating elegant and juicy user interfaces, but also interested in creating interesting and meaningful interactions. Coming freshly from grad school of Carnegie Mellon, she is excited to join EchoUser to create and share memorable experiences.

Education

  • 2013-2015 MET, Masters of Entertainment Technology, Carnegie Mellon University
  • 2009-2013 BFA, Digital media design , Tongji University

Past Experience

  • 2014 -2014 Intern UI designer, Schell Games LLC

Favorite Color

Green

Desert Island List

Water filter, light, seeds, weapon, my pillow, umbrella

Hidden Talent

Making chiffon cake

Yalu Ye's Photo

Yalu Ye

Experience Designer

Yalu Ye

Experience Designer

Elsewhere

Yalu is constantly exploring possibilities in the planet. From the , Yalu figured out a path to UX realm. It infused problem solving in her head and awakened her passion to design with innovative technology for people. Yalu believes UX can enrich our life and create meaningful impact to the world. From a small island in China, Yalu is now experiencing new adventures with her dog in San Francisco.

Education

  • 2012-2014 MS, Human-Computer Interaction Design, Indiana University Bloomington
  • 2008-2012 BE, Software Engineering, Wuhan University, China

Past Experience

  • 2013-2013 Intern - User Experience Design, Autodesk
  • 2013-2013 Associate Instructor & Mentor, Indiana University
  • 2011-2011 Product Manager Intern, Umeng

Favorite Color

Mint Green

Desert Island List

Doraemon's fourth-dimensional pocket; a buddy who can explore the island with me.

Hidden Talent

Mighty feet

Noah Kersey's Photo

Noah Kersey

Experience Researcher Manager, Research Strategy Lead

Noah Kersey

Experience Researcher Manager, Research Strategy Lead

Elsewhere

With a background in sociology/anthropology and a masters from the UC Berkeley School of Information, Noah is ever curious about how people and technology meet, mix, and evolve together, and ultimately how those interactions can be improved.

Favorite Color

Green

Aria Ghanaat's Photo

Aria Ghanaat

Senior Experience Researcher

Aria Ghanaat

Senior Experience Researcher

Elsewhere

Aria, dual wielding backgrounds in psychology and human-computer interaction, explores the ever-evolving relationship between man and machine. Focusing on human behavior and cognition, he helps create satisfying experiences. He is also hella excited to be back in the Bay!

Education

  • 2012-2014 MS, Human-Computer Interaction, University of Maryland
  • 2006-2010 BA, Psychology, UC Davis

Favorite Color

Green

Desert Island List

Physician's Desk Reference...hollowed out. Inside: waterproof matches, iodine tablets, beet seeds, protein bars, NASA blanket, and, in case I get bored, "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone." No, "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban."

Londa Overbeck's Photo

Londa Overbeck

Senior Experience Researcher

Londa Overbeck

Senior Experience Researcher

Elsewhere

From psychotherapist to user researcher, Londa has a curiosity for understanding people and a passion for uncovering their needs. Having been deeply immersed in the healthcare sector, she thrives on solving complex problems. Originally from the south, via New York, Londa brings her southern charm to the Bay Area. She's also a parent to two young kids so she's no stranger to multi-tasking or monkey bars.

Education

  • 2002-2004 MSW, Masters in Social Work, New York University
  • 1997-2001 BA, Bachelors in Psychology, Boston University

Past Experience

  • 2010-2015 Design Researcher and Program Manager, Edgewood Center for Children and Families
  • 2013-2013 Leading by Design Fellow, Adaptive Path and California College of the Arts
  • 2004-2010 Psychotherapist, Private Practice, New York University, Hudson Guild, and Glendale Mental Health Clinic
Katie Johnson's Photo

Katie Johnson

Experience Researcher, EchoUser Rockies

Katie Johnson

Experience Researcher, EchoUser Rockies

Elsewhere

With a background at the intersection of Engineering, Human-Centered Design, and Innovation Strategy, Katie loves empathizing with people and developing solutions to meet their spoken and unspoken needs. Katie has worked on aircraft cockpits, wifi thermostats, compressors, Coriolis sensors, and software interfaces during her career so far, and she looks forward to countless more opportunities to study and define user experiences around the world.

Education

  • 2006-2010 BS Mechanical Engineering, Washington University in St. Louis
  • 2010-2012 MS Aerospace Engineering and Human Factors, Georgia Institute of Technology

Past Experience

  • 2012-2014 Human Factors Engineer, Emerson
  • 2014-2016 Innovation Marketing Manager, Emerson

Favorite Color

Cerulean

Desert Island List

Fully loaded Kindle and iPad with full music library, ice cream, sunglasses, and my dog.

Hidden Talent

Identifying songs playing in the background of restaurants and bars.

Evan Fishman's Photo

Evan Fishman

Experience Researcher

Evan Fishman

Experience Researcher

Elsewhere

I have a background in educational research, a strong interest in social psychology, and a passion for using solid research technique to examine human beliefs and behavior.

Education

  • PhD in Educational Psychology, Arizona State University
  • Masters in Educational Psychology, Arizona State University
  • BFA in Music and Theater, University of Hartford

Past Experience

  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Stanford University

Desert Island List

My iPod and a generator. A fishing boat.

Hidden Talent

You can find my music on iTunes and Spotify under the name Evan Jacob.

Alexander Strandberg's Photo

Alexander Strandberg

Experience Researcher

Alexander Strandberg

Experience Researcher

Elsewhere

When I was a kid, my favorite book was "The Way Things Work" because I loved figuring out how the inner workings of seemingly everyday objects functioned. That curiosity hasn't lessened one bit in the following years, and now I'm lucky enough to be figuring out how things work professionally.

Education

  • Spring 2015 General Assembly UX Design Immersive
  • 2010 - 2014 University of Chicago - B.A. in Psychology

Past Experience

  • 2015 - 2015 UX Researcher/Designer - Common Sense Media
  • 2014 - 2015 Freelance UX
  • 2013 - 2014 Research Assistant - ACID Clinic
  • Summer 2013 SEO Intern - Adobe
  • Summer 2012 SEO Account Intern - Efficient Frontier

Favorite Color

Green

Desert Island List

My dog, a beach chair, and an infinitely stocked bookshelf. Or refrigerator, that's probably more important.

Hidden Talent

Remembering random lines from movies that probably aren't good enough to merit remembering.

Yuqian Zhang's Photo

Yuqian Zhang

Experience Researcher

Yuqian Zhang

Experience Researcher

Elsewhere

Education

  • 2013-2015 MA, Developmental Psychology, Columbia University
  • 2008-2012 BS, Applied Psychology, Beijing Normal University Zhuhai

Favorite Color

EchoUser Green

Rawan AbuShaban's Photo

Rawan AbuShaban

Marketing and Sales Associate

Rawan AbuShaban

Marketing and Sales Associate

Elsewhere

Education

UC Berkeley 2015 BA English, Public Policy.

Past Experience

The Huffington Post, Apolish, Bookselves, The Global Heart Network Foundation, Haas School of Business, Uloop News, Al-Bayan Magazine.

Favorite Color

The blackest of blacks.

Hidden Talent

Knowing more about 80s pop culture than I probably should.

Company Culture Photo Gallery

A Short History of EchoUser

Zeitgeist Bar

IN THE BEGINNING THERE WAS ZEITGEIST

Zeitgeist (beyond its cool translation of, ‘time spirit’) is a San Francisco bar where Mick convinced Aaron and Manik that chasing ANY experience was not only fun, but a company. After a beer and a sunny afternoon, they were sold.

But everything really started by breaking the rules at Oracle. While working there we formed an ‘underground’ research team to experiment on ourselves. We essentially researched research and redesigned design. The people and ideas developed became the core team and principles for EchoUser and our ‘any experience’ philosophy that we still strive for to this day.

Careers at EchoUser

Greetings future EchoUsers. We are always on the lookout for designers and researchers who like to chase great experience. We’ve recently expanded to Washington, DC, and Boulder, CO, and will definitely be growing across 2016. If you’re interested in potentially joining our passionate crew, please send an email to careers@echouser.com with your LinkedIn and/or portfolio information.

- Mick, CEO

Get in touch