and I'm a product

  • Designer

  • Leader

  • Admirer

A bit about the process I use

Every project has it's own requirements depending on complexities.
This process merely serves as a roadmap for me.
With this, I also have built a managerial approach through the years.

Requirements & goals

  • Strategize and work with stakeholders to define business goals
  • What is the problem for the customer and user
  • Who is the user and what are they trying to accomplish
  • How content context affects user journeys and goals
  • Keep accessibility needs during the whole design process

Develop concepts & workflow

  • Brainstorm with my team to uncover best design concepts
  • Use past experience to understand which strategies might work best
  • Analyze data and present results and path forward to stakeholders
  • I practice deep thinking methods and often find solutions when I am off the clock

Information Architecture

  • Design sprints if needed to determine breadth of project
  • Detailed concepts of task flows and navigational paradigms
  • Naming models for objects and actions in the UI
  • Present architectural concepts to management and stakeholders before visual design

Incorporate visual design

  • Assess modern best practices and iterate design library as needed
  • Bult out visual wireframe kit and shared with team
  • Polished visuals prototyped in Sketch/InVision, Figma, or HTML/Video to showcase interactions
  • Ensure common patterns are followed

Management & Mentoring

  • Run hiring from phone screen to final interview and decision processes
  • Built out design best-practice templates to ensure consistency
  • Ensure excellence with design check-in’s and reviews
  • Scheduling and meeting all team members for one-on-one mentoring
  • Documentation of many types of business processes for re-use

Design Systems & Operations

  • Worked with design operations to create a new design record type
  • Attended regular meetings with operations to suggest better ways to manage
  • Created documentation detailing best practices in communication and team management
  • Constant feedback loop around which components to use for specific applications
  • Helped in reviewing tools for the whole design organization

Hello, I am Joe Richardson...

I'm a product designer living in San Diego, California. I started my career 20 years ago, worked for a few in-house design departments, and afterwards had my own design consultancy. I then got interested in UX and product design so changed my career trajectory. Since, I have worked for DNN Software, Marketo, ServiceNow and currently work for Egnyte. Creating user experiences, functionality and beauty is not just my job, it's my passion.

View my Works

Portfolio pieces

Document management


The federal vertical was not getting met for a document signing feature between employees and HR agents. This was a very complicated feature and needed a lot of design concepting and thought put into it.

Feature Overview

Federal employees are required to fill out documents for various reasons such as NDA's, verification of task completion and other use cases. The new federal requirements were moving to having an annotation process between employees and HR agents when form fields were filled out improperly by the employee. There were also stringent accessibility requirements to meet around this process.

The UX issues

  • For Employees:
  • Time that was being wasted by form rejections and refilling out of forms
  • Many pages to fill out per each PDF form and no way to save progress
  • Hard to understand which forms are mandatory
  • Hard to understand the due dates

  • For HR Agents:
  • No field level change/annotation process for PDF in our current software
  • Extra layers of UI (annotations) make accessibility challenging
  • The journeys can loop over and again
  • No easy to use UI that meets all ServiceNow standards (common components)

The business problems

  • The federal government often still deals in paper forms and needs PDF modernization
  • Low HR sales due to some federal agencies missing key annotation features

First Steps

The research had already been done by the time I joined the project. I was sent to our India branch with our key HR Sr. director of PM's to work out the feature requirements with the research in mind.

Campaigns sketching and planning

Creating flow diagrams and wireframes

Our document templates already existed. We broke down the flows and created a simple journey map, so we could present to leadership where the issues existed and how we would work new feature concepts into it.

User definition images and prototype overview

Creating high fidelity mockups and prototype

We had a feature that we could use as a base, but we had to design for all the note taking capabilities and back and forth interactions until final approval.

User definition images and prototype overview

Core solutions

HR Agent:

Existing: A signed document is gathered from an employee in PDF format and reviewed. Rejected, or accepted with general comments.

New: Ability for the HR Agent to review a filled out document from an employee. The HR Agent then approves the document, or leaves notes on specific fields and sends back to employee's portal for field level corrections.

User definition images and prototype overview


Existing: Ability for the employee to fill out documents and sign them in the employee portal. New portion: If the HR Agent reviewed these and they needed changes.

New: Ability for the employee to view HR Agent comments, understand where their mistakes were and check off the fields they have corrected. Then, send changes back to HR Agent.

User definition images and prototype overview

Key takeaways

This was one of the most complex features I have ever worked on. Government accessibility requirements are rigid and PDF notations and signing are very complex in this regard. One of my favorite sub-features we created was the accessibility shortcut menu. It brings me true happiness when my designs can be used by anyone, even if complex in nature.

User definition images and prototype overview

Joe Richardson | UX Designer

Campaign Builder


The ServiceNow HR team created a powerful campaign engine for internal employee communications. Unfortunately, it was complicated to use and hard to understand. This was my first project when I started working with the HR business unit and one of my favorites, due to simplifying the complex user experience and beautifying the feature.

The UX issues

The task for me was to redesign this feature, top-to-bottom. The ServiceNow HR team created a powerful internal campaign engine for internal employee communications, but it took 20 different screens and 8 different modules to create a campaign and it was all a disconnected process.

Campaign issues showing 20 screens

The business problems

  • Low adoption due to complexity
  • Key customers complaining about the confusing process
  • Highly sought after feature which is hard to use
  • Key HR initiative is losing momentum

First Steps

There was already extensive PM research done by the time I was assigned to be the designer on the project. I took all the documentation and poured over it. After getting a good feel for the issues at hand and what had transpired previously, we had a few design sprints and many brain-storm sessions.

Campaigns sketching and planning

I then consolidated the efforts and created a user journey diagram pinpointing where the issues were in overall architecture and usability.

Campaigns Journey Map

Creating high fidelity mockups and prototype

After the wireframing phase was approved, I put together the intro screens and built out a prototype of what the team had agreed upon.

User definition images and prototype overview

Visual of prototype screens

Validation testing

I try and use a pretty stringent testing method so I can synthesize the results without bias or false positives. I put together a timed script, tested the users and synthesized the results. After this I put together a deck to present the results to upper management for final sign-off.

Visual of prototype screens

Final Designs

We took in the feedback that the validation testing gave us and incorporated what was feasible into the designs. Afterwards we presented them to the design review board, and they were approved for development.

User definition images and prototype overview

Delivery to the development team

I took the new designs and broke them down into full red line annotations. I also explained which components to use and how they interact together.

User definition images and prototype overview

Development review process

We conduct a stringent review process once the developers have completed a project. A developer instance is provided to design and we review it stringently to make sure it matches the approved design.

Visual of prototype screens

Key takeaways

I was proud to release this product and work on it for 2 subsequent software releases. When we did follow up validation, the users gushed about the vast improvement in architecture, usability and the ability to preview all the campaign content.

Joe Richardson | UX Designer

Default Program Calendar

Marketo Inc.

I was tasked with rethinking and redesigning the Marketo Default Program Calendar. I worked with a dedicated dev team, product manager and my own design team to come up with new mental models and concepts to make this feature more appealing than it was in the past.

An overview of the Default Program Calendar

The default program represents a single marketing initiative. You can think of it as a container with all the stuff that you need to make the program work - these are called local assets and include landing pages, email, smart campaigns (automation), and more. In each Default Program lives a Scheduling Calendar. It shows you when all of your pertinent calendared events take place.

The problems

From The Business Perspective

  • Low adoption
  • Users don't know it exists
  • Solution imperative from stakeholders due to past investments
  • Internal and external confusion between the global calendar and the default program calendar
  • Poor perception from customers of the feature

From The UI/UX Perspective

The numbers pertain to the marked up image below:

  1. A big conceptual issue was that a mistake was made to blend an agenda view and a month view together which kills horizontal space and becomes confusing to users
  2. The month arrows point up and down, which makes no sense for a standard calendar and the arrow next to the date opens a date picker
  3. The inline creation process forces a name before a type and then one can't distinguish what some of the types mean... Single click to create is jarring
  4. Marketo asset names are typically long, which don't fit in a small area
  5. Global calendar overlays have no distinguishing characteristics
  6. All entry types need to be able to be distinguished better
  7. User research determined that marketing professionals were not using a 3 week view at all
  8. Global views, a complex theory, are made even more complex with a buried and non-intuitive UI

Old Marketo Calendar Marked Up

First Steps

This was a very open ended project at the onset with no product manager attached to it. It was up to me to do some initial research and conceptualize some possible solutions while the organization freed up one of it's product managers. Before I started down the user research route I wanted to learn the internal history of this feature. I discussed it with anyone who had laid hands on it from the director of UX, developers, PM's, to the VP of product. After which, I was able to have a high level idea about where the calendar stood within the organization.

During that time I was doing a lot of research on calendering systems and especially marketing calenders. I started doing research all over the web and collecting my findings on Pintrist. Here is a screen shot from my board:

Pintrist calendar examples

User Testing

We had been working on reorganizing the UX department for a while and instituting new processes. One of them was user research. We had a new system in place and it was wonderful to be able to test it out with this project. Our findings backed up what most OS us already knew, but we ran into a new major issue:

  • Marketers don't typically plan their work on a calendar

Many of the users we talked to liked to take a more holistic group approach, which looks something like the image below. It could be in a binder, or presented in other ways, but onset planning with a calendar just wasn't popular.

Old Marketo Calendar Marked Up

The calendar was being used for some of our larger enterprise clients for pure tracking of activity, so it was out of the question to disrupt it at this time. Also, there was too much other work happening with a complete redesign. After we presented our findings we came up with a direction.

The Strategy

Fix the UI/UX for the Default Program Calendar, which we would parody with the Global Calendar in a future sprint. In the next sprint after that conceive a true marketing planner that overlays onto the existing calendar.

After we had taken care of the direction we had to address another issue:

Designing with a new UI system in parallel

At the same time as I was designing this, our team was re-architecting the UI, creating a whole new design system and also a pattern library. We decided to forgo wireframes for this project so we could focus on fine tuning the UI and architecture. I knew this was going to be tedious, but it paid off in the long run, defining many of the styles and patterns that we would use later.

Pintrist calendar examples

Final Designs

We went though many variations, sprints and changes. Here is a look at the final UI polish and UX fixes.

Pintrist calendar examples

How we addressed the issues

1) Separate the agenda view and the month view into independent view, also adding day, week and modal

The design outcome was to create a new day view and all time agenda views, which are more typical to calendars. We also created a week view and a modal view that let users stay in context when working in week or month view. The view selection is prominent; Directly under the header date.

We also decided to remove the three week view as it wasn't being used.

Agenda View (Day view similar, but no day label in left column)

Month View

Week View

Modal View

2) Fixing issues in the top level navigation

Having a date picker was essentially having a calendar in a calendar, which made little sense. Also, the up and down arrows were confusing users. We simplified the interactions and made them appropriate to each view.

3) Rethinking the creation process

After user testing we determined that the creation process within the calendar itself was almost never used. Typically a user would create by duplicating from a template within the program and they would automatically populate in the calendar. The last attempt was to robust of an operation in an inline list, so we decided to move all creation into a modal, so that we could simplify the information for the users. We also let the user decide if they want to edit the entry further, or stay in context to where they were.

4) Solving the issue of long names in a small container

After much brainstorming and design exercises, we came up with multiple solutions for this issue. The best solution for this is the agenda view. The names are clear and can be read completely. The user can also drag the column over to the right to afford even more space if needed. Another creative solution we came up with was to hide certain days and collapse the navigation tree, which affords more horizontal space in the week and month views. Lastly if a name is hovered over on week or day then the user will see a tool tip with the full name and details.

Agenda view

Hidden days in month and week views for more horizontal space

Tool tips in week and month view

5) Simplifying the filtering process and visualization.

The first thing we did was move the filter controls to the top of the UI for prominence.

Previously, the user used the same panel to filter global views with entry types, which was an extremely confusing mental model, so we split up the filter by asset type and global filters into two panels.

The default is to only displayed local entries to that program. If a user wants to filter in entries from the global calendar, then The global calendar filters are used to display entries from the users whole app instance. By inserting a global icon in front of the entry the user can now quickly identify a global entry.

View filter panels

Global calendar asset visualized with globe icon

6) Give the user the proper visual guidance as to what the icons and colors stand for.

We needed to visualize what all of the icons and colors meant. We didn't have enough room in the UI to create a good legend system, so we decided to bundle it into the viewing by type panel. We also made sure to add the icon in the global filters panel label so that the users would associate it when viewing it in the calendar.

Colors and icons explained at a glance

Global calendar icon explained at a glance

Delivery to dev

The process of delivery to dev is to mark up the design with thoughtful direction and red lines thatdictate styles, padding, sizes, etc. To coincide with this, any new animations and interactions that have been designed are animated with Principle and output to Gif, then uploaded to InVision where dev, design and product management can converse about them. Lastly, all sprints are run through JIRA to keep track of all activity.

Annotations for developers and PM

Starting point animations for devs

User testing validation

We tested the new designs with the same user pool to be able to validate the new designs. We received overwhelmingly positive feedback with the new changes and went forward into development and QA.

Joe Richardson | UX Designer

Complete Modal System Redesign

Marketo Inc.

As part of the larger redesign of Marketo, I was given the job of redesigning the modal system. As I designed I had to keep a very consistent set of rules in order to create patterns that could be used over and over again, even within the main parts of the app, such as inline error states, padding rules, font types, icon usage, etc.

The problems

From The Business Perspective

  • Relieve customer pains by making modal system easier to use
  • Need better alignment between design and Dev
  • Save money by creating less iterations
  • Use this project as a springboard for the complete software redesign

The solutions

From The UI/UX perspective

  • Visual style guides
  • Error handling rules and placement
  • Icon usage system
  • Font types, style & usage
  • Modal standard sizes
  • Wizard system
  • Padding rules
  • Point out to new developers where these modals come from
  • Define animations using Principle App

In the past, there were general rules on how to design the UI/UX, but there weren't definitive guidelines on how to design to the pixel and mental model. A designer would design based off of old designs, but didn't have a place to go to solve the complex little issues. Over the years the modals started to vary all over the app with different UI/UX for the same designs. We made a list of high level tasks that we needed to accomplish with this project. It looked something like this.

The work:

Visual styles

As part of a larger project, the redesign of Marketo UI/UX, we needed to identify what our new styles would be. As a team, we decided on a modern light visual aesthetic. We also decided on our primary action color of purple, which is heavily branded throughout the company. This design helped contribute to the gray 1 pixel line separators, background gray, button styles/colors and heading font style throughout the app design.

Modals library

Error handling rules and placement

Error handling can get very tricky in an enterprise app, so we had to sit down and have some sprints about all the variables that can happen within different constructs. We decided to create rules for different error types. Destructive error animates a warning above the modal like seen below, required entry highlights the field and has a general warning inline below the field and an in-page error will throw a general error modal with a specific message if needed.

Modals library

Icon usage and padding rules

Marketo is a very icon heavy app. At a high level, there are many different types of assets and campaigns that can be run. Also, most of our users have a large amount of activity in their navigation tree, so they can use the icons to identify type, then scan for names. After some team design sprints, we decided on a standard icon library to use as part of the redesign and a standard icon size for the modals and the general app design.

In parallel to this effort we mapped out a standard of padding practices and translated this to the lead UI developer. He used a system called vertical rhythm for the whole schema. This meant that after the developer language library was created that there would be no arbitrary padding, it would be enforced with the rare exception to override.

Font types, style & usage

We chose 2 fonts to represent the core of the app, Muli as our heading font and Lato as our core app font. We also created rules and sizes in order to align with the developers.

Modal standard sizes

As I designed different modals we wanted to keep a level of consistency with width. We decided along with the development on 3 main sizes to work with after all the modals were created. This would lend a level of consistency for the users as we had previously had modals dictated by content. This system didn't scale well and often looked bad.

Modals library

Wizard system and multi screen modals

The navigation for our previous wizard system was very confusing. In some interaction there would be upwards of 4 buttons all stacked together and all on one side of the modal. We split the navigation into 2 sides, having cancel on the left forward and back on the right side, taking care to avoid any situations that would require more than one CTA.

We also redesigned the step progress UI to be more intuitive and modern.

Modals library

Point out to new developers where these modals come from

When we started the redesign project there were only a handful of developers and most of them were new to Marketo. As they were learning the software, we created a modal audit to showed them the entry point of the modals, which sped up the logic of what was being displayed.

Modals library

In closing

All told, this was an extremely successful internal and external project that helped define systems and also helped to establish some work flows for the Dev, PM and UX teams. Much more work was done to finish detailing the pattern library, but I will create a whole separate project for that.

Modals library

Modals library

Joe Richardson - UI/UX Designer

Content Management: Publishing Feature

DNN Software

I worked closely with DNN's VP of Product, product managers and engineers through the full design cycle, including research, design sprints, presentations, wireframes, prototypes, revisions, high fidelity mockups, project management, QA and release.


We knew that we wanted to create a publishing feature for our content management system: Evoq Content. We studied the market, our competition and started researching. After the product manager created our official requirements doc we decided to hold a design sprint as this was a brand new feature.

Design Sprint

We began by doing a week long sprint design sprint that was attended by the VP of Product, two designers, and two developers. This sprint is patterned after The Google Design Sprints with some variations tailored to DNN's organization. Our UX, flows, and persona findings steered us to wireframes.


During the design sprint, low fidelity design concepts were created and presented to stake holders. After feedback we went back to the drawing board and created wireframes. These evolved until we were happy with the interactions.


After the high fidelity images and interactions were approved, we created prototypes with explicit directions. This way the developers had a very defined blueprint to work from and we didn't have to have as much back and forth during project management.

HTML prototype: https://www.dropbox.com/s/hl2bgcv77fkraq1/publisher-list-view.html?dl=0
(Copy and paste link in browser)

Early InVision prototype: https://projects.invisionapp.com/d/main#/console/2781391/62236839/preview
(Copy and paste link in browser)

Publisher elements detailed:


Publisher includes support for tags, images and social media sharing. Tags are a useful way to categorize content created by Publisher. Content managers use Evoq’s tags to organize content, which in turn makes it easier for site visitors to find what they need. Tags are a feature that’s common across numerous Evoq features.


Publisher includes integration with Disqus, a third-party commenting system used by many websites. To utilize Disqus commenting, users need to create a Disqus account for their organization. From there, they do a one-time set-up via the Evoq control bar.

publisher front page

Publisher auto-generates a “front page experience,” multiple sections of a site: Blog, News, Press Releases, Webinars, etc. The front page includes two slots for featured posts. This is used to highlight most recent (or, most important) content item. Below the featured posts, Publisher provides a paginated, three-column list of content items, complete with the article’s title and a selected image (taken from the article).

Publisher editing experience

Publisher provides the same, easy editing experience that is found across Evoq products. The user creates Publisher content using the WYSIWYG (“What You See Is What You Get”) editor, which allows them to format text and add images and hyperlinks. The editor supports inline image editing, so the user can crop and resize images inline.

Workflow and Analytics

Content created by Publisher ties in with Evoq’s advanced workflow and content analytics. By using workflow, you can create an approval process to have new articles reviewed before they’re published to the site.

Content writers could have their blog posts reviewed by the marketing manager, who’d publish approved posts to the site. Alternatively, the marketing manager could send the post back to the submitter, asking for changes to be made.

In-context analytics mean that marketers have immediate access to key metrics on any page created by Publisher: page views traffic sources, time spent on page and much more.

Social Sharing

Publisher automatically inserts social sharing buttons at the bottom of each article:

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Pinterest
  • RSS Feed

The sharing buttons make it easy for readers to promote content to personal social networks, helping to drive traffic back to their website.

Mobile Readiness

All content created by Publisher is mobile-ready using responsive design. In addition to being mobile-ready to your site visitors, the Publisher user experience is also mobile-friendly. This means that users can create and edit content from a tablet or smartphone.

Joe Richardson - UI/UX Designer

DNN 3rd party connectors

DNN Software

DNN Evoq is an enterprise level CMS software geared towards marketers. Recently, we designed a way for our users to tie into their 3rd party connectors, so that people can easily connect to their favorite apps and software, such as Salesforce, Marketo, Drop Box, Disqus and more.

User Flow

As part of our framework redesign, we created what we call a "persona bar". The connectors can be accessed here. In essence it is a tool bar that slides out when the user logs in. There is a different tool set for each type of user: Content editors, Content managers and community managers and even more granular permissioning that can be set by the site administrator(s). Connectors increase organizational engagement, proven touchpoint data and also provides simpler workflows

Connectors detailed

  1. We decided to use our established accordion pattern to house the information. The decision behind this came from the fact that many api's have different ways of connecting and trying to standardize the visuals in a column grid would be too granular and cluttered visually. A variety of api connection methods are used in the pattern we chose and will not break the frameworks. Instead the panel grows downward to house extra content if needed.
  2. At a quick glance, the user knows if the item is connected as it has the check mark and the icon is highlighted.
  3. When the item is not connected the check mark is not present and the icon is dimmed back.
  4. The dimmed back connect button prompts the user to connect
  5. As part of being an enterprise level CMS, some Evoq customers need to be able to connect multiple accounts, so when more than one account is added the number indicator shows this and the UI container conforms to the process.
  6. Create new adds another connector to the list
  7. On hover and on state you get a tools panel that enables editing and deletion.
  8. This is a sample connector to drop box.
  9. Cancel closes the panel opens a dialogue asking if the user wants to go through with this destructive process, before closing the panel
  10. Save triggers a loading bar at the top of the panel and then closes it with a color flash to denote the new item
  11. The blue bar is used across our products as a stopping point for the interactions of open panels.

Video prototype created with After Effects


A friends reunion app

I wanted to design an app that made it easier for friends to coordinate a reunion together. I did some research and used my own experiences to formulate some initial documentation. After designing the app I put together a presentation of the design process which I have detailed below.

Information Architecture.

research documents: http://joerichardson.me/assets/projects/documents-re-dux.zip
(copy and paste in browser to download)

For the design I focused more on the user side of interactions when I started. I knew this would be the hardest part to accomplish. I wanted the app to be able to scale from a simple 1 time transaction, such as a dinner, to a full blown destination vacation with friends. The reason my wireframes may seem a bit complex is because this is the fully scaled out version.

Simple User Journey

Linda is trying to find out how to plan a complex destination vacation for an old set of friends. She wants to get everyone together to celebrate a mutual friend’s birthday party. After some Internet searches and chatting with friends, Linda decides to use Re•Dux.

Linda finds the app on the Re•Dux website and is re-directed to the app store where she downloads it.

Using her mobile phone, she signs up for the service with her email and password of choice. She is then asked if she would like to import contacts from Facebook or her email account. Next Linda is taken to an onboarding screen that shows her how the app functions on one simple screen. She clicks get started and the onboarding screen disappears to reveal the home screen beneath in empty state. Linda notices the prompt and clicks the “Create Reunion” button.

She is taken through a simple stepped process of how the reunion will shape up to be. My thoughts on this are that this app is fully scalable to handle a single event on one day, or a full-blown destination vacation over a multi-week period. The intent is to take the admin through the process very quickly and efficiently.

The Stepped Create Process is as Follows:

  1. Would you like to set up travel accommodations for the event? (yes) (no)
  2. Would you like to set up dining options for the event? (yes) (no)
  3. Would you like to display a guest list? (yes) (no)
  4. Import contacts: Contacts are presented from the user’s database, or if empty they are prompted to import from various options.
  5. (Create) or (Cancel)

Now we get to the sign up process. The admin signs up just like the invitees: See the sign-up wireframes I have provided. If they choose to, they can skip this process and begin when ready, but they are prompted to create at least one item for each feature. The admin has inline edit permissions that a typical user does not. Also, the admin has analytics built into their dashboard and the ability to share admin privileges with others.

Overall, my thoughts on the app are that it takes away the pain of setting up by a few people, which normally happens, to creating a crowd-sourced setup/maintenance.


Re•Dux Wireframes

High Fidelity Mockups

High Fidelity Designs

Digital Product Designer

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Who Am I?

I am a life enthusiast who enjoys his wife, son, work, creativity and surroundings. I've always been a curious person and enjoy all that life has to offer.