I’m on a mission to connect people. . . online.

I help people and organizations wow their target audiences with great experiences. As a user experience (UX) designer, my skills are broad, but my specialties are: 

  • planning/conducting/communicating research
  • developing UX and/or content strategy
  • sketching/wireframing/prototyping designs

I can see the big picture while also digging into the tiny details. I’ve worked on projects for both tiny startups and huge organizations such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. I've also helped Lenovo, Bloomberg News, and Duke University.

I wrote a fun book on content strategy in 2017.  The Zombie Business Cure offers real-life examples and practical tips. You now have no excuse for poor content. 

One of my current projects is exploring what a trauma-informed website would look like. I won an Aquent Design for Good grant in 2017 to help me. Resources to help you be more trauma-informed are here. 

I participate in these professional groups to contribute to my industry and stay current:

• Teacher, Girl Develop It Raleigh/Durham (next class January 6, 2018)
• Co-Organizer and Co-Founder, Ladies that UX Durham
• Member, Triangle User Experience Professionals Association (UXPA)

When I'm not working, you'll find likely me doing yoga, hiking nearby, or watching soccer. 

You can check out my profile on LinkedIn to learn more and see what others say about me.

Speaking / Teaching

Here I'm explaining what makes for a great hero image on a website, using this stylish cat on the CatScarf website as an example. "Top Strategies for Better Photography on Your Website" was presented at WordCamp Atlanta 2015.

Here I'm explaining what makes for a great hero image on a website, using this stylish cat on the CatScarf website as an example. "Top Strategies for Better Photography on Your Website" was presented at WordCamp Atlanta 2015.

I enjoy speaking and teaching about UX and content strategy. Following are upcoming and/or recent events.

2018

I'll be teaching classes for Girl Develop It but otherwise plan to take a break from speaking to devote time to other projects in 2018.

2017

  • edUI, September 2017
  • Content Marketing World, September 2017
  • Girl Develop It: Intro to UX, May 2017
  • NCCASA Conference, May 2017
  • High Five Conference, March 2017
  • Girl Develop It: Guerrilla Usability Testing, Feb. 2017

2016

  • Girl Develop It: Intro to UX, November 2016
  • edUi Conference, October 2016
  • WordCamp Raleigh, September 2016
  • UNC-Chapel Hill, September 2016
  • NC Tech for Good, June 2016
  • WordCamp Atlanta, March 2016
  • High Five Conference, March 2016
  • Girl Develop It: Intro to UX, March 2016
  • McGill University, January 2016
We brought Melissa to our conference to speak on usability practices and content strategy. Not only did she skillfully incorporate examples, but she customized the main points of her talk to our niche audience drawing illustrations from relevant industries and nonprofits. Her vibrant energy and stage presence kept attendees enthusiastically engaged as she covered a tremendous amount of material.
— Jessamyn Jade Rubio, Co-Organizer, Lilly Websites Consultation
Thank you for your wonderful presentation at WordCamp Atlanta. It was extremely helpful and added significant value to the conference from my perspective.
— E.J. Rabell, Jr., Chief Financial Officer, Rabell Creative
I REALLY enjoyed Melissa’s session. Her presentation was fresh and interesting, and her speaking style was engaging and energetic! I really enjoyed hearing her speak and hope to hear her again in the future.
— Conference participant on evaluation form, Penn State Web Conference