Concept for Understanding

By stepping outside perceived boundaries, we generate possibility and challenge expectations. We transform common into unexpected.

Design alchemy begins with solution brainstorming.  The most impactful approaches are culled by collaboratively pressure-testing all considered approaches. Designed concepts capture the core intent. Prototypes bring them to life for testing and reflection.

 Concept, prototype, learn and evolve - the Alchemy of Experience Design is a process of distillation.

Building understanding through iteration.


The following are work samples that depict various levels of fidelity during the Concept stage.

Star Wars BB8 by Sphero

Star Wars BB8 by Sphero

Best Buy

Best Buy

Infiniti (automobiles)

Infiniti (automobiles)

Comcast Business

Comcast Business



What: In Star Wars VII The Force Awakens, audiences are introduced to a new droid –BB8. Disney, who now owns the franchise, picked a small startup in Boulder CO to build the consumer version. The creation of that version required an exploration into personality and the development of a "real life" BB8 character. 

Assignment: Create a Star Wars licensed droid that is engaging to the young and old alike using a character engine that employs both a software and hardware solution to bring plastic, circuits and gears to life. The project required a great deal of effort organizing and aligning team members around feature priorities for the first release. 

Note: as this is an intriguing project for many, I'm happy to discuss the details in person. I presented my learnings in a talk to the User Experience department at Savannah College of Art and Design in the Spring of 2017 and again in Sept. to an audience at Denver Startup Week. The following information reflects only a few elements that informed the Concept stage. All work is attributed to Sphero.

Role: Product Strategist, UX Lead, Team Lead


Document pages that provided a vision for initial concept:



Assignment: Imagine a future where you shop in comfort from the privacy of your home. Oh wait... you already can. How about you connect with a personal shopper who is the store and can walk you around showing products and discussing the characteristics as it relates to your needs? That doesn't exist. Yet.

At CP+B, we put together a crack team to investigate and validate just such an experience. We investigated a variety of executions across UX, design and technology –as a remote, distributed team.

Role: Digital Strategist, UX Lead, Art Director


Test video to demonstrate technology integration progress



What: Six months of work. Over thirty brains and pairs of hands collaborating. Multiple plane rides. Lots of hotels. Field research. Phone calls and emails with consultants from across the globe. Endless cups of coffee. Hundreds of ideas that the client never sees. That's how to win a global marketing account with Infiniti. 

Assignment: Demonstrate the creative abilities of Crispin, Porter + Bogusky to win a significant global account. All concepts were truly just that - ideas brought to life sufficiently enough to show what it would be like to work with us.

On the digital front, we thought through a variety of ideas that connected wo/man to automobile. At the core of the winning concepts was the quantified self movement that paired human diagnostics with driving metrics to produce behavior insights. We architected the launch of an entire program that was revolutionary.

Role: Digital Strategist, UX Lead, Art Director


Video overview of the entire pitch process


Sample concept creation artifacts



Assignment: What does the future of connected business services look like? This is the question we needed to answer. We looked at a variety of complimentary services and those that catered to customizing environments for insight and ease. We imagined what is would feel like when the invisible data networks in and outside our work spaces came to life.

Role: Project Lead, Art Director, Voice Over Artist


Sample concept creation artifacts



3-stages. Click. Ponder.


What is the purpose of your product or service? Where are the underserved opportunities? Which opportunities extend or deepen your brand story inside the current or future ecosystem? Who is doing this successfully?


How many ways can we engage your customer? What does conversion feel like? What are our options? How could the content be presented? Does it align to a customer's belief system?


What is the content architecture? How many steps are required to complete an action? What are the sign posts that lead the user? Does each interaction communicate our brand essence?

Recognizing the need is the primary condition for design.
— Charles Ames